LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

pittOne of the magazines in our reception/waiting area is Wired, which I would best describe as a Rolling Stones magazine for the techno junkies. Augusts’ publication has Brad Pitt on the cover…wearing a blue tooth ear piece and next to it in itty-bitty print it says something about how HE can barely pull that look off and you aren’t him(oh, so true, people). I couldn’t figure out how Pitt could tie into Wired so I went to the article inside (of course it was for the article ‘cause Pitt’s face is not the purty IMHO) titled: How to Behave: New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans.

The article is basically a bunch of tips for people like you and me that spend an abnormal amount of time blogging, tweeting, flickring, facebooking, etc. Within those tips are tinier little tips, like these:

  • Don’t follow more people than follow you.
  • No more than 20 tweets in 24 hours.
  • Don’t use a photo of your child as your profile picture.
  • Don’t type BRB. Just go and come back.

By the way, Brad Pitt, star of Inglorious Basterds, is providing separate and bad advice within the column, which is actually kind of funny.

Anyway, one of the topics of the article/column is “Meet Online Friends in the Real World (Beware: It Will Be Weird)” by Mathew Honan. And this is interesting shit, so don’t skip over this or blow me off just yet.

Nancy Baym, who studies online communications at the U. of Kansas talks about what can be an awkward shift from internet friendship to a real world one.

“With all his snappy posts and ripostes, you may have come to think of him as quick-witted. But what’s fast in message-board land can feel slower than dialup in a face-to-face exchange. ‘Sometimes good online socializers are shy in person,’ Baym says. ‘Their medium is the written word.’

This made a lot of sense to me especially later when I was talking to a gal I’ve become friends with at work. She’s outgoing and hysterical and she doesn’t come into my office nearly enough throughout the day to alleviate my boredom. Just today we were talking about boobs. She claims she has pancake boobs – you know what I’m talking about – which she was lamenting when I suggested that she go to her S.O.’s class reunion and wear something to show off her boobage to make HIM look good. She said, “It’s too much trouble shifting them around to make sure I don’t look ridiculous in case it gets cold,” and then she made this motion with her fingers as to how one nip might be pointed this way and the other that-a-way and added some sound effects for good measure.

…I guess you had to be there. I mentioned facebook to her to which she responded with a blank look on her face. “I don’t get it. I have a SIL that sits in front of the computer all day doing that shit. What the hell could she be getting out of it?”

Herein is my point. It appears that a majority of people who seem to have a more difficult time, how should I say this? Socializing, do quite a bit of blogging. I read dozens and dozens of blogs and at one time or another there has been some admitting to being shy. It’s why I veer away from meetings with other bloggers. Why even though I have a few phone numbers stored in my cell phone, I don’t call anyone. I don’t want you to realize how abysmally dull I truly am in real time. When I headed up north for the ConFab and met Molly, Alexa, and Jennifer, I felt like a fraud and an actor. While my blog is hardly spellbinding, it definitely paints a much flattering picture of me than meeting me in real life.

I think that’s probably true for 99% of those who blog religiously. We are terminally shy and looking for some kind of outlet. So to many like me, blogging is actually kind of like Bizarro World for us shy, under-worldly creatures. There’s probably a funny, thoughtful, smart, insightful person inside of me somewhere, but since she rarely makes an appearance on my blog, I’ll just warn you to lower your expectations if we were to ever meet in person. My little nook in an unused room suits my personality quite well.

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18 thoughts on “LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS”

  1. I’m like mrsfinn, I think I’m much more outgoing then I appear on my blog. Although a bit shy when I first meet someone I soon come out of that shyness and you can’t shut me up!

    There are a handful of bloggers I would love to get together with and have a drink. You’re one of them.

    NY in ’10?

  2. I am such a talker it is not even funny. I actually think that’s why I decided to blog – I wanted to talk and no one was around so I had to do something about it. I couldn’t possibly just sit around with all of these thoughts in my brain and no one to spill them to could I??

    About the “rules”. If I only followed those who follow me I would have made nearly as many friends. I love to follow people and have about 200 blogs in my reader. There is NO way that many people follow me but I’m totally okay with that. 🙂

  3. I’m pleased to say that I just had the opposite response. Meeting so many women that I’ve known for years online, and finding them to be exactly as I’d imagined them – if not physically, then in personality. I was surprised, in fact, to find them so similar to their “in-my-head” selves.

    For me, the shyness or social anxiety doesn’t really effect my perception of them. I know that same with and humor is there, underneath the strangeness of meeting new people. Nobody is funny or witty all the time.

  4. I’m one of those sick crazy bastards who’s more outgoing (and funnier, I think) in RL. Funny just seems to fall flat when written by me.

    Of course, my life IS pretty boring. I’m just your run-of-the-mill average joe. I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to read my blog (oh, THAT’S right, no one does!! lol) but that’s ok- It’s not for anyone else, just me. I have a crap memory- blogging keeps things fresh in mind, and allows an emotional outlet I wouldn’t otherwise have. I’m not shy- but I’m DEFINITELY phobic of showing any emotion.

    I envy those of you who can write, and have tears streaming down my face with laughter- I wish I could be more like you, even if it does involve being a little shy in RL.

  5. Yeah, I hear you on this. Not only do I feel a bit socially awkward, but I feel I’m much funnier in the online world than the real one. You know, if I’m considered funny there at all.

    Let’s meet up sometime and sit in awkward silence for hours upon end. That’s its own kind of fun I think.

  6. Oh Boo-hoo.
    Boo-hoo.
    Boo-hoo.

    Anyway, now that is out of the way. What are your plans for retirement? I really want to move somewhere warm or at least have a condo somewhere warm in the southern US -Arizona, New Mexico? (My husband is an American so it is somewhat duable for us). What I visualize is that near or just after retirement you can either also buy a condo in the same area or come and stay with us (and then just me assuming I’ll outlive the aforementioned husband) for extended periods of time. And the best part is…. when you’re over 65 you’re not supposed to be all that exciting are you? As long as we’re both still breathing and able to climb stairs we can dazzle each other. What say?

    I hope you’re fine with not being at blogher (unless you’ve made a last minute mad dash there?)

    DinoD

  7. I agree with Molly–I had a great time meeting you, and found you every bit as charming in person as you are online. I’ve gotten away from shyness to a large extent, but since I am inherently lazy it is sometimes easier to simply blog or FB than it is to actually call someone up, plan an event, and then carry it out. I’m not what you would call “spontaneous”.

  8. I’m not shy, per se, I am reserved around new people. Some have said “stand-offish”, but once I warm up, watch out!

    I think that you & I would get along juuust fine.

  9. I’m not shy and I have no illusions that every blogger is a witty goddess. I just don’t see me going to Nebraska any time soon so I don’t know how we’d meet. Unless you came here, we do have Disneyland, lol.

  10. Ha Ha… I hate those blue tooth headsets!

    I used to be shy, I would have LOVED blogging back then! Now I just plain talk too much (making up for lost time I guess! ).

  11. I’ve noticed that between the shy people and those who own anxiety disorders, the internet is fully populated. I’m not exactly shy, but am definitely awkward and frequently say the wrong thing. I can occasionally be witty, but I’d really rather be quiet for the most part. Unless I’ve known you all my life. Then I’ll be kinda loud.

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