Digital Pursuits

January 26, 2009 - 12:11pm -- swingbug

I don’t do Facebook. Don’t do My Space either. I don’t twitter, never digg, haven’t farked in ages, and I’m not linked in. Just not my deal. I ravel– that’s for sure – and I blog. I follow one or two online zines. I’ve got half a dozen blogs I read regularly and another half a dozen podcasts. That’s enough, really. How much time am I supposed to spend with you out here in the wilds of the internet, anyway? I do have a biological self to maintain.

People are often shocked that I don’t have a presence on Facebook. Look, if I wanted to interface with random people with whom I may or may not have anything in common, I could walk out the front door and into the real world. The glory of the internet is that it’s queryable. I can quickly and easily find people who like Apples. If I want to talk yarn, I know where the party is. I could walk into a yarn store and say, “Hey, what kind of fiber should I use to knit a laptop cover for my MacBook Pro if I’m worried about it overheating?” and folks would look at me like I’m nuts. Online, there are forums full of people talking about just this very thing. (Stay tuned - my MacBook Pro sleeve is currently on the needles.)

If only Google applied to the grocery store. You can never find a clerk when you need to locate the wheat germ.

I do like bumping into my online neighbors in the real world. On Friday, I was in the yarn store near my folks house in Napa (the ladies who work there know me now; that either means that they’re particularly good with faces or I spend too much time petting yarn). When I walked in, the counter was littered with striped 1x1 ribbed scarves in Noro Silk Garden; one still on the needles, one ready to have the loose ends woven in, some completed stragglers in a pile; and another finished piece on a peg on the wall. I laughed as I handed the lady at the register my selections. “It looks like the Yarn Harlot’s been here.” She laughed too. “I did the same thing she did, but they’re so addictive.” “So I’ve heard. I’ve got one waiting in my queue as well.” You can generally spot a fellow raveler when you see one.

I suppose I could get a Facebook account. I suppose I could also read more, eat less chocolate, and volunteer my time to help underprivileged pigmy marmosets with whatever problems they might have. Not likely though.

Most people who give me the incredulous “You don’t do [insert large non-specific social networking site here]?!?!” say that they do it to keep track of friends and family from the physical world. Eh. I see you people all the time. And I talk at you here. You got something else to say that can’t be commented, emailed, or phoned? Do you really need a digital wall to graffiti or whatever? I think it’s safe to say you know where to find me so stop with the sales pitch already.

Like the rest of us, you have to choose your digital pursuits. Lunch hours are only so long and something’s got to give. There’s a lot of information out there to absorb and only so much time that we’re willing to sit in front of one of these fancy little boxes with backlit screens. The sun is shining outside, or so I’m told. Don’t forget to unplug occasionally. Those pygmy marmosets might need you for something.

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