venturing out into the blogosphere
When I started to blog a few months ago, I didn't have a real reason for doing so. I also hadn't spent any time reading blogs, except for those of friends I actually know in real life. I'm now starting to have a bit of a reason (see point #2 in this post
) for blogging, and I'm branching out into reading the blogs of complete strangers. I think it's pretty cool.
In real life (the one where you step away from the computer and walk out the door), I'm not a big fan of being social. In theory, I like people a lot. But when I do walk out the door, I get hit with a lot of ignorant, self-absorbed idiots who, for various reasons, make my going-out-into-the-world a crappy experience. So, years and years ago when this internet thing started, I embraced it. Hang out with people but never have them look at you? Awesome! I met some good folks online, and the really cool ones I managed to meet in person and become "real" friends with. One such person is my best friend in the whole wide world.
Somewhere along the line, the rest of the world figured out that the Internet was full of possibilities -- some good, some not so good. Listservs started to be trolled upon. Newsgroups were less news than they were folders for every possible piece of spam known to man. Everyone had a home page, no one knew why. Blink was used, so were fade-in backgrounds. The nice, pleasant internet I knew and loved, it became a pile of crap. I stopped participating in discussion groups, I stopped hanging with the like-minded individuals I knew online. I tried to walk away from the Internet. For the most part, it worked.
I never stopped using the Internet, because my job
has been all about working in the medium. But I stopped using it for fun (Yahoo! and ESPN fantasy sports games not withstanding) and definitely stopped using it to talk with smart/witty/funny strangers. But over the last few years, the only people I encountered outside of my tiny circle of friends were clients and their accompanying worker drones. I found the majority of these people to be incredible dumbasses. Some not, of course, but many...sometimes you wonder how they manage not to get hit by a bus on their way to work. All of these dumbasses tend to make a hell of a lot more money than we do (we are a fiscally conservative company, which is bad for my budget but good for my job security -- the company made it through the creation, bursting and aftermath of the dot-com bubble) and get to (gasp!) take vacations. Since those are the people I saw everyday, I figured that's what general society turned into. I know, that's a completely irrational and generally pretty stupid assumption, and I'm happy to be wrong.
Since I sucked it up and started hanging out in the blogosphere, I've found -- amazingly enough -- there are perfectly nice people out there. Some are a little off, some are way
off, but I don't read their blogs and they don't read mine -- and that's cool. When the first complete stranger linked to my blog, after also reading and linking to the blog of a friend of mine, my friend said "do you know who this person is?", thinking it was maybe some friend of mine. I had no idea, she had no idea. We determined it was cool. This person doesn't seem to have much in common with either of us, on the surface (different field than either of us, definitely different orientations towards some things). If we lived in the same town, we'd never run in the same circles, but we leave comments in each others' blogs about universal things -- angst, work disgust, movies and tv, etc. You know, kind of how society should
be? It's cool.
Yesterday, I spent some time following links and trying to find blogs to read. For instance, there's the underwear drawer
, a blog written by a Pediatrics resident in NYC. I have nothing to with the medical profession, but I enjoy reading the entries. Her comic, scutmonkey
, is hilarious. I can only imagine how funny I would find it, if I actually were a doctor! Then there's some guy's blog, flashes of panic
. He's a perfectly normal fella, who writes about his life and sometimes geeky things, but is definitely a liberal arts guy who just happens to have really good technical skills. Kinda like me, only he's a guy. His path toward geekiness has parallels with my own, and his resume page shows that he was a CTY
kid too, although he went four times and I only went once. It's one of those things I try not to mention, but when I saw it on his site, I said "cool!" to myself.
I have hope that the blogosphere will continue to be a good place, because I certainly enjoy it. It provides several chuckles and smiles per day, which hasn't been the norm for the last many years.