“Oh, no, I’ve said too much… I haven’t said enough”
I’m not sure whether this is about growing, or just about moving around or moving on. I have been online for a very long time. I remember acoustic couplers, 300 baud modems, BBSs, choosing between The Source and CompuServe, and paying by the hour for internet access. I’ve been involved in online communication and communities, mostly as a participant rather than an instigator… ermmm…. organizer… since the late ’80s.
The technology has grown and evolved so far since then. I would have never predicted the widespread availability and portability of internet communication, including high-speed access both wired and wireless. The high-quality audio and video that is now available to us to help us get our messages across more clearly is even more amazing when compared to the limited offerings in the not-so-distant past.
Technology changes quickly, but people are slower to change. We may have new and improved interfaces on our discussions, but the human side hasn’t changed much. The joke about “how many internet mail list subscribers does it take to change a light bulb” is over a decade old, but still applies to so many forums today. Someone has to lead, someone has to follow. Someone has to be the voice of doom, another the eternal optimist, another always missing the point. Instigators, mediators, complainers, fixers. We all just want to find our place somewhere on the ‘net, just as we do in real life.
Some of those places don’t turn out to be good long-term residences. A few days ago, I re-Tweeted one of RapierTwit’s one-liners (follow her on Twitter, those one-liners are fun): Wondering if I need a Second Life when I don’t have a first one, along with the comment that I was getting away from virtual worlds, which I am. Not Second Life; I did try it but my old laptop’s graphics card wasn’t up to the challenge, and I didn’t like being tied to my desktop computer just to fly around as virtual me in a virtual world.
The VZones worlds (newHorizone, Dreamscape and Seducity) are based on an older 2D technology which even my older, slower laptop could handle. I really did enjoy those worlds, particularly Dreamscape with its fantasy theme, for several years. I served in a few different volunteer staff positions as well. Ultimately, though, I find myself feeling the same way as I do about Facebook (read my post about that here if you didn’t already): too many silly games and pixel “things” (and unlike on Facebook, many of these cost actual cash) and not enough real and genuine interactions. Not to say that there are no opportunities for real conversations; what I am saying is that there aren’t many there for me recently. I still like having places on the ‘net to escape to, so I’m still trying different places out to see how they fit.