02 March 2015

On Internet Things

In his book KING DORK, Frank Portman wrote:

You can feel you're close to someone you hardly know; people do all the time.

I think that's especially true of the Internet.

I follow several blogs, and try to comment on them when I feel I have something pertinent (or at least pithy) to say; I follow 88 people on Twitter (I prune my list pretty aggressively) and have my little circle of humans on Google+, though almost all of the ones on Google+ are people I know in real life.

Nonetheless, when I write something on Twitter that gets the attention of someone who is, essentially, a stranger, I still get a rush, even when I know I shouldn't.

The same goes for when someone reads and replies to a comment I made. "Oh, wow! The world has noticed me!"

I don't know if everyone has this problem.  I seem to recall some research being done on this topic - I'm pretty sure I read that there's a cascade of endorphins people get from using and social media - but I have noticed I'm particularly susceptible to it, and have been from the earliest days of social media, and even before that, my misspent youth on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). As a teenager I invested so heavily in online friendships with people I barely knew, so much that it took a pretty serious toll on my mental health.

These days, I still find myself checking a page two or three times a day to see if anyone has replied to one of my comments.

I have to work quite hard to keep myself from obsessing.

I guess that's all I have to say today. I just needed to get that out.