Moving from Australia back to the USA was in some ways like being sucked through a time warp into a faster and more caffeinated future. People in America are on speed and maniac to be famous, wanted, adored, loved. There is no people that is more blinded by stardom and image than America.
It felt like stepping from a sidewalk onto a machinated walkway like they have at airports only these walkways are unstable and going too fast.
The way this relates to interacting with new people is that right after they ask, what do you do for a living, they ask, "are you on myspace?" If you make the first step and ask, do you want to exchange emails, or you hand over your bcard they stare at it blankly and ask, "are you on myspace?"
All I could manage to stammer out time and again was…gosh gee, you know I've been meaning to - and then they'd nod knowingly, vaguely remembering a distant past where they too were my space virgins, then give me words of advice "you should really get on."
The idea of "getting on" automatically implied that I was "off", but OFF of what? Off a wild exciting fun ride? Off and floating in some uncertain limbo? I could almost feel their words chastising me. You know, if you don't get ON now, you'll have NO chance at all. You're either ON or you don't exist. And so that's what it came down to.
And it's not like Sydney is a slow town, or behind in any way. It's just that people weren't really doing that there in the massive numbers that are doing it here, in the US. (Though that will change) Some of my friends were ON and I do actually remember saying to myself over my slowAS dial up that one day I too would have broadband (somewhere other than work) and I too would join in the revolution! I too would watch banal videos of someone's dog barking at the TV somewhere in Idaho in a very ludicrous manner because this was the beginning of something big… I just knew it. It was all like ICQ (remember that) on acid, like chat but HYPER chat, and somehow the drive to upkeep my own website in the wee hours of the night waned. It seemed comparatively empty next to the possibilities offered by friendsters myspaces and youtubes.
Still part of me rejected it. Part of me said, no - I want to LIVE in person upfront and REAL. But then the other half of me said, you can have your cake and eat it too, on this one. Besides, you were already doing it. For years I had a mytxt section going on poem-maker (which I've taken down). I didn't have the programming skills to make a blog but I sure as heck had a decent mytxt going….ok, very boring I know!!!
So very recently I got ON. I started with youtube. I posted random videos of my Uni work. Then I entered a contest and got into the feedback part with others. It was so exciting to have a complete stranger view your work and then comment on it! Wow! What a rush.
I moved on to friendster, whoopee! Then I decided to tackle myspace, the Mammoth GOD of the social networking sites. I found it to be the most user unfriendly and counterlogical internet experience I've ever had but it was none the less thrilling!!! I am now proud to announce that I've got three friends (not that I'm counting)
Then I discovered revver and that opened a can of worms. To be discussed in the next section….
And suddenly I'm ON. ON and rolling.