Friday, 13 June 2014

Social media, social me?

So another post inspired by a vlog, but also inspired by something I was thinking about the other day. I was twittering away, messaging someone that I realised I have been connecting with, via the net, for twenty years. Has social media made me more social?

I starting using BBS's and playing games on-line in the mid 90's, I was pretty active on-line and went to the occasional spod meet (as we called them), which was considered to be pretty daring... "You're going to meet people off the internet? They might be serial killers!", of course none of them ever turned out to be serial killers, mostly just students the same age as myself, who were into the same kinds of things as myself.

I started a blog in the late 90's, which I kept fairly regularly for ten years. Only stopping when a partner got upset about the possibility of being mentioned even obliquely in it. I played Everquest and joined a guild, I was an early adopter of Facebook (back when you had to be a student!), I toyed with Myspace and am now active on twitter, instagram, pinterest and am back blogging again.

One of the things that made me hop on board BBs's and usenet back in the 90's was that it allowed me to express myself via the written word.

A lot of people might find it hard to believe that I am shy, but it's something I've never quite managed to overcome. I'm pretty good at hiding it, and usually seem to end up in jobs where I have to be "on" and perform in front of people in stressful settings and present myself as calm, unflappable and approachable. In many ways, having areas in which I could, and can, write down or express myself in ways that don't involve verbalising has given me the confidence to go out and do those jobs.

In some ways though, looking back at my blog from the 90's is a very painful experience. The outlet which allowed me to function in social situations with people shows me as someone who was very angry with the world, and frustrated and bitter. I think it was the only outlet I had for those feelings, and sharing them like that validated them in a way.

Or maybe that's just nonsense.

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