Tuesday, January 29, 2008

With friends like these...

--the saying goes on to talk about enemies, but really--I meant friends. People tell me virtual isn't real. But I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and yeah--virtual is real.

Before on-line communities, writers were isolated. Sure, there were workshops and conferences. And you could always call, or hit up your local writing group, but if there's one thing I know, it's writers don't get along. It's a genre difference, and even within genres, we break like falling glass.

When I went to Atlanta RWA, I got to meet my chapter president for the first time. I'd joined KOD for the cheap workshops, but for the first time I realized what "special interest" meant.

People. Lots of people, just like me. Murder, death and poisons--weapons, all sorts, bodyguards and spec ops groups. Get a bunch of romantic suspense writers in one place, and we talk shop.

The funny thing is that we talk shop no matter where we are.

The Internet brings us closer together. Maybe not in actual terms, like I'd wanted to borrow an egg or something, but together like someone separated from a "real" friend.

Virtual hugs are real.

Think about it.

10 comments:

Dayna_Hart said...

sometimes I think people allow themselves to be more 'real' online than they do in person. I think I do...or at least...I'm not seen as a snob because I take a while to open up with online friends (though taking that same time in real life gets me labelled as 'snooty'!)

And virtual hugs are just another way of expressing affection and concern...and having dosed up on them yesterday for little more than pregnancy blahs...well...they definitely help.

Thinking of you....which is sort of a 'hands off' virtual hug I guess... :)

Thinking of you.

Alice Audrey said...

Well in that case here, (((((((Jodi)))))))

jodi said...

Dayna--you're right. Real is more real on-line because there are no artificial barriers. The first impression you get is "personality". Nothing fake, or artificial. Much as people say, "you know you can be anything on line..."

You can't.

Sooner or later, it wears though.

It's like that lecture I went to on names. People have many names. Each name is an aspect of their personality. The me I am here is me-the-writer and it connects with Dayna-the-writer and Alice-the (should put her Suzie stories into bookformat and sell them) writer.

(((((hugs Alice back)))))

Thanks, Alice. :)

Jeanna said...

You're right, sooner or later it wears as through as face to face.

Kaige said...

I was involved with an online game for over a decade. People were always amazed when they switched characters and others still knew who they were. It didn't involve tracking ips or other magic beyond watching them interact and talk with people.

I think the lack of a "personal space boundary" or maybe just a very differently defined one is part of it too, Dayna. I've been accused of being aloof in person because I like to hang back and observe. Lurking's more acceptable.

One great thing about virtual hugs is they can last as little or as long as you need them to. Oh! And group hugs are much easier to manage. *group hug* So consider yourselves hugged. =)

Jeanna said...

Don't you think writers have a tendency to hang back? I mean we have to stop talking at some point or how would we get the story?

jodi said...

I think it's part of being a writer. I remember someone once told me that a long time ago writers were locked up or medicated. I mean--who else displays so many symptoms of mental illness without actually "being" ill.

:)I think we all hang back. The internet is a natural for writers, because we write to communicate, and writing to interact is a natural extension of that.

Jeanna said...

Being locked up and medicated doesn't sound all that bad. I feel as if I am right about now.

Unhinged said...

Hell, yeah. Virtual has been so real for me that I met and married a guy I met online (we're divorced now, but still friends), took a cruise with a girlfriend I met online, then, after I got divorced, moved across the country where I had virtual friends because I wanted to try something new.

And people think I'm NOT a daredevil, just because I'm a homebody. Little they know.

Gwen Hayes said...

I have found that virtual friends know the real me much better than the people I see offline.