Be Unsociable on the Net


In my experience, anabolics people with the richest social life and level of satisfaction in real life practically ignore the net. Not long ago, one of my friends was asking me ‘What is a blog?’ For most people exploring the net that would be an unthinkable question, but he was quite honest. His perception of the net is absolutely utilitarian; there is email, access to research data bases (ISI web of science) and information on finance (his passion). Blogs, wikis, and other ‘strange names’ were absolutely a non-entity for him.

Unless one lives in places like Dannevirke (New Zealand), there should be plenty of opportunities to find ways of interacting in real life with people that share one’s interests. Then, why do so many people seem to reduce their social life to the web? Shyness, loneliness, feelings of not fitting anywhere else? How many times have you caught yourself starting an argument with a guy calling himself neo or another equally creative name? I know, some times is tempting to ‘pick up a fight’ in Slashdot telling people that Linux sucks, but shouldn’t one have something better to do?

May be one step to reduce time browsing — which I have to say is probably my greatest time waster — is to share real life with other people. It sounds corny, but if I look back at my most productive times they coincide with having my best friends. Simple: if I can spend time with great people why would I be arguing with neo? I am now trying to be as unsociable as possible; forget about comments, flame wars and the temptation to score cheap points in an internet forum. Point scoring is too costly: better spending time with people I really care about.

Then, what happens with all that web 2.0, social sites out there? We are still welcome to use them, but I doubt that our lives are much more productive or richer because we are sharing bookmarks using an AJAX interface. That is a nice solution to the wrong problem*.

(*)Maybe I am too old to ‘get it’ concerning online social networks. But, maybe, they are just tacky time wasters.

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