I am on the net all day long. No, seriously. I sit at a computer for about 10-12 hours every week day continuous connected to the internet and when I’m not there I have my trusty Crackberry™ at my side. You could say most of the dealings I have on a daily basis consist of speaking to people solely online. It’s my job (web developer), my grad studies (online applied anthropology program at UNT), my entertainment (World of Warcraft), and my release (blogging).
Today I’m plowing through code that keeps erroring out when I get a welcome distraction flittering up my screen as my gmail notifier makes it’s lovely murloc sound alerting me to the aggro of a new email:
to eaglemsg 10:00 am (5 hours ago)
Are you trying to find a safe, relaxed way to meet some of your classmates? Do you have some time to kill on Wednesday night?
Come to Facebook Live on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Willis Library from 6-8PM. Meet a room full of UNT students at this instant friend-making event. You will have the opportunity to have several brief conversations with other students. We will privately pass on your Facebook and/or Myspace info to those you select. It’s easy, fun, and free!
At first I delete it as I am not an on-campus student. Then I stopped, wait a minute – was that just an email about a face to face social networking meeting? Then I went to my gmail trashcan and retrieved it in awe. While an event like this does make sense in the scheme of things, I wonder if they really had any idea of what it means to take online social interaction to a face to face meeting.
It is my experience that people are a lot more confident online. It is easier portray oneself in a specific way online than it is to do so in real life. Add to that a sense of anonymity and the protection of time and distance, someone you meet face to face could be (and likely is) a somewhat different person online. So, what happens when people are thrown into a face to face social mixer where the purpose is to later hook up with these people online? I would love to study this!
After I retrieved this message from the trashcan I went about my usually daily business of working and trying to figure out .net via trial by fire. I kept hitting road blocks so I finally headed off to facebook for some brainless activity while checking in on my friends via my feeds. A classmate of mine (well, she’s in the 2nd year of the program I am in at UNT) has many of the same interests as I do and I love seeing what she has recently bookmarked to her del.icio.us account. Turns out one of her latest bookmarks was on the same topic of face to face social networking, but he addressed it as Real Live Human Social Networking. Hitting that page not only gave me someone new to twitter after reading his article on Deeper Twittering, but he also brought back to mind this email that I saved this morning to post about later. All of that reminded me of a Twitter from Brian Oberkirch about Social Network Portability, which took me to further surfing on Microformats and this fascinating masters project.
I’m glad my brain has its own filing system and that del.icio.us exists, otherwise I’d never be able to keep track of all the wonderful things I happen upon on a daily basis.
Something I’d like to blog more about later – the term “Real Life” as it refers to in person events versus events that happen online. Are events that happen online not also “real life” events that just take place in a different time and space?