incendiary wit from a perpetually curious techfemme... and the crap I find on the interwebs.

the argument FOR online intimacy.

I have some uncommon thoughts
about online relationships
and the degree of intimacy you can reach
in the limited format that the internet offers.
Let's do this.

Now, this is undeniable:
when we socialize online
we do it almost entirely by writing to one another.
Videos, occasionally,
but web cams aren't something everyone has.
Though, text is something everyone can produce.

For me, words are comfortable.
I am generally good with writing as a means to express myself.
It makes sense to me and it's fulfilling to interact with people in this way.
(That was the chief way of communicating between separated lovers
during a lot of our history, remember?)
I've created my share of intense intimacy with people I've never met.
If you think that's impossible then we simply disagree.

I also take emails and instant messages seriously.
I treat them carefully
(I edit emails for too long)
they are the textual extensions of people, after all.
For example, unless someone is bleeding to death,
I never walk away from one without courteously excusing myself
just as you wouldn't hang up the phone without a goodbye!
(If I do, I apologize)
See, to me,
it's not cursory because it's convenient.
It's not totally impersonal because I can't see someone or hear their voice.
If you feel otherwise, perhaps you are missing out.

My comfort with writing and the commitment to others I feel
regardless of the medium used
is probably why
I've had more online relationships
than anyone I know.

People like myself,
who use the internet often as an outlet for matters of the heart
are often
accused of social crimes.
Internet relationships are often frowned upon
and mocked
even by those close to me!
I will now address the following falsehoods.

There are great disadvantages
to not seeing the person you care for
face-to-face. Duh.
I am operating on the assumption that
one would not choose the internet over reality,
and that it's usually the fault of the circumstances.

On a personal note, the most recent relationships I've had
have been very long-distance.
I keep trying to date people who live on the East Coast.
That's not close to Boulder at aaaaaaalll!
DIfficult! Expensive! Tiring!
Probably foolish! Decidedly unconventional!
Though, I do love flying and traveling by myself, generally.

Why do I think this is? A few factors:

1. I don't like bars.
You mean there are other places to go?

2. I don't live in same-demographic Boulder.
Longmont singles raise your hands... aaaand
cue the crickets.

3. I was too busy paying attention in college to meet many people.
I didn't have fun, I just did my work. I just graduated in May
and I just started to work there, so I'm doing the best I can!

4. I haven't lived here for very long.
I felt lost at first, because I transferred so late, as a second-semester junior.
People didn't seem to want new friends, and were generally uninterested
in the 399th person in their lecture hall.
So I spent a lot of time online with the friends
that were still so close to my heart.

5. Perhaps dating people from back east makes me feel
like they are a piece of the place that grew me up.

They feel familiar. After all, one of them was the brother
of someone I went to high school with.
How much closer to home can you get without living there?

6. I've been reluctant to feel settled here.
"Settling" scares the CRAP out of me!

7. All of my good friends are couples. ALL OF THEM!

And furthest of all, there is likely a part of me
that is more comfortable getting
to know others behind a computer screen.
BUT it's not like I refuse to meet people!
So, now that I've admitted lots of personal crap to everyone,
on to the falsehoods:

1. Heavy internet users lack social skills.
I have friends! They actually like me. They call me.
And, I only have *two* cats.

2. Relationships conducted chiefly on the internet
are somehow not as [blank] as relationships in person.

Alright, this is actually true. But sometimes you can't help it
because of whatever conditions that life has kicked in your faces.
It's better than not knowing the person at all, especially
when you feel like you can't walk away, a feeling I know all too well.

3. Conversing online is inherently impersonal.
I blame this on you if that's the case. I care plenty for the people I talk to,
and I give them the same care and attention
as I would if they were sitting in front of me.
This is why it pains me when people leave me mid-conversation
I'm not messing around, people!

4. Everyone is a gross pervert / pedobear pedophile.
I'm online. Lots of my decent friends are online.
End of discussion.

So you see, this is how I think.
We'll see how all of this goes for me.