This is the prompt: “…is there anyone you know mostly (if not exclusively) online? If so, how much do you really know (or not know) about this person? Are you comfortable with the very idea of getting to know someone mostly online? Do you think you’d care to meet them eventually?”
Although Stevie and I were in the same room for many days in the summer of 2002, we hardly spoke face to face. We’d still chat online. Wow, that AIC class was not talkative. Since then, I’ve seen her only a few times, including the other day.
The other person I saw yesterday was Mary. I know Mary almost exclusively through online chatting as well. Before the other day, I had only seen her once: When we saw Star Wars: Episode II.
How well do I know these people? Not very well. If I had to do that question game, I would do horribly. Question game? Oh, at TVA, there was a little experiment in which three people who knew each other online were asked questions. Two could collaborate to figure out the answer about the third person. (Fun times.)
Still, even if I had to do that about people I know physically (didn’t want to say, “in real life”), I wouldn’t get very far. I just don’t know people all too well.
My mom’s always asking me, “What college does s/he want to go to?”
“I don’t know.” Those kinds of topics never come up.
Others inquire, “Then, what the hell do you talk about?”
“Random crap.” Ask anyone I know. They will tell you that the topics I bring up most often involve random crap. Even my website, Psycho-ward.org… random crap.
That’s why I’ve wandered so far off topic: I’m bringing up random crap. How much do I know about anyone? Not much. (Especially of the people I know online.)
I suppose it’s because I don’t ask about that junk, but one tiny part of it is because people assume I know. Ever had that happen to you? The ol’, “I thought you knew” line? Yes? No?
I like meeting these people personally. There’s something about human contact… I’ve met Mary before. I know Josh’s cousin, Colin, exclusively online, and I’m going to meet him this weekend. Still, truth be told, I’m even less exciting in real life. It goes back to the comedic timing thing I was talking about yesterday: I’m not that great a speaker.
I’m very comfortable with getting to know people online because they can’t see that. There can be huge lulls in the conversation, and that’s just fine. It’s nicer if you’re a natural introvert.
What’s the theme of this mental wandering? I wanted to talk about people online but I ended up trashing myself. Hm. It’s because I’m covering up for how little I actually know about the people in my life.