Friday, March 16, 2012
Being a presence within a community
I am a product of the "internet generation". During the 1990s, when AOL was king, I was OL with a lot of my peers, exploring chat rooms and dicking around with making web pages. (Ha...I wonder if any of them are still OUT there?) I played amature HTML coder, signed up for several communities and generally had a grand time being ahem...naughty for a 16 year old...online. I was a presence OL, I could create the identity *I* wanted to present to the world and hide behind the lines of code that obscure my reality. This tendency didn't stop when I reached adulthood. It went through periods of lagging when work/family/school and major depression sank in, but it never really abated. I grew into a fanfiction writer, joining new communities of "fanfiction" forums. (It was actually there I met the notorious GF of previous posts...but that's another story! :-))I role played and started to dabble in photoshop design (ahem..pirated photoshop, I'll admit it.) I became part of new communities and again became a "presence" online. I was CHLOE, Lady or otherwise, my avatar, my alter ego. Writer extraordinaire of RP fiction and fanfiction, daydreamer beyond compare! I lived FULLY in this alterverse and thrived there. I admit, I suffer from mild to sometimes gripping agoraphobia and this internet world is a haven for those who are like me! FREEDOM! Facebook was a bit of a game changer for me. Even in my MySpace world, I was still enslaved to my "alter ego" and facebook demand reality. It was hard to let to of my online moniker and adapt my real name, putting the real me out there in the public. But I did it, and I'm really glad I did. This has allowed me to really...and I mean REALLY start to connect with some of the people I'd been "friends" with in other OL forums. (Not just the GF...LOL, but make real friendships,by being able to see the dimensions of other peoples lives). Wow! I add people as friends on FB maybe a bit randomly now, adding people I don't "know" in person, but would like to based on similar interests. Now I'm exploring the new community of Artists who are there. People whose blogs I like and admire, people whose classes I've taken and whose forums I've joined. I'm still startled and amazed by how freely these people give up themselves, their REAL selves into this community, how they are raw, open and honest to the internet world at large. I want that for myself. I want to be real. I've made a committment to be the REAL me here on this blog, but even that has come in gradual steps. Maybe you noticed the subtle change in names, photos and identifying details I've begun to reveal? Maybe not. It's unconsequential. What I do hope you notice is that in being "real", I'm also trying to be HONEST and sometimes that means I may not be kosher to all readers. That's all part of being "present" and being real. I hope to continue to do so.