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OK yes, sorry, I have been neglectful and not kept a regular schedule and I am guilty of surfing endlessly as well as getting a bit lost in outer myspace…[btw- that last post sounds so pathetic, so sorry again!] Maybe I am kidding myself that anyone noticed or cared, but strangely enough, I did…do, uh, I have to confess I actually missed blogging. Which feels weird since I never really thought I would like it much.

So, anyway, yes, I did get a bit overwhelmed with setting up a space, decorating and whatnot. I didn’t move in right away, though; it took me awhile to give in. First I had to berate my friends in person, then surprise them with embarassing pix the first day I signed in…hahaha…. and before any creepos try anything creepy, don’t even bother b/c if I don’t know you in real world space then you are not my friend.

I guess I am starting a new social network obsession b/c I ended up joining another one too…completely ridiculous right? Well, this one is called and it’s way more my style. I was feeling a little smarmy browsing through some of the myspace pages, as well as old, but I have to admit it might not be that bad. There, I said it. There is a lot to be said for being able to spread your words around and keep in touch quickly and easily. I am having fun finding some public spaces for activist groups and authors I like. Myspace has also added Impact which may do some good considering how many people are on there!

Which leads me back to which rocks…easy to use and connect with info/causes/non-profits… plus it keeps track so I can feel all good about myself…hahaha… Really, I just appreciate that there are a lot of positive actions being taken on this wide wide world. I am not exactly collecting friends on that space, which for some reason are called recruits, but I’m more open to new connections there. Apparently they just started up publicly this year, but there are already a million groups involved. I also learned about through them which is now my search engine of choice b/c it donates $ to my chosen cause. Works for me, so now I can stop worrying that I don’t do enough good in the world b/c I waste all my time reading, writing and chasing kids. Whatever gets me through the night, eh?

I am not completely forgetting print media and am putting in a new resolution to actually cover it a bit more as well as complete some actual reviews, of books, I mean. In fact, I have to go finish reading something before I fall asleep….

I think I have to get a My Space page whether I want to or not. I have avoided it for this long, out of a sense of it being unnecessary in my life; I already have a social network, right? People I have known for years: friends, family, coworkers, even former lovers; we keep in touch, even as our lives change and  we move around or marry or reproduce and we grow. We all have cells and email and can read and write so we communicate and visit. But apparently I was wrong. I realize I am generally behind on things; I am often too busy reading books, papers or mags to catch up online. Then when I do get online, I have a bulging Inbox to filter through. [Oh, and work to do…] I have noticed lately, though, that there are fewer personal messages coming through than usual. I used to ignore business, news and other emails to communicate with my friends and family first. They seem to be disappearing, though, into deep outer myspace…

Some are disappearing without a word [gee, thanks] though I have received the obligatory “join me at myspace” emails from others. A few friends have told me I “have to get a Myspace” which I laughed off. But now I realize that was a warning… Translation: “If you don’t get a myspace you may never hear from me again.”  We will only see each other at formal functions and our communication is being reduced to occasional cell calls and the Annual Christmas Letter, or more likely a quickly signed card. OK, I am caught up in my daily life, too. Kids take precedence and I have a household to run and I am trying to create a writing career. I feel like I am wasting precious time doing this blog, and I obviously don’t get on here enough, but now I need to maintain another page in order to network socially, with the friends that I already have.

I am rather ignorant of the whole social network site phenomena, so I have much to learn. It seems to me though, that it would be really cool if I was still in school or dating or in a band, and I needed/wanted/had to meet new people. Its not that I don’t want new friends, I just think I’d rather meet them in person. And what is the deal with showing off how many “friends” you have, for all the world to count? Its like the fourth circle of high school hell… you have more friends than I do…my lifespace sux… One of my friends’ daughters bragged about her number, which included some celebrities that obviously don’t give a dang about herspace. Is that even healthy, for teens to believe these larger than life people are really their “friends”?!

The first time I heard about Myspace was after a particularly heinous murder in this region. A teenager met a thirtysomething man through Myspace and they consequently began a sexual relationship. She was 17 and had been living in a dorm for a week at one of the state’s universities when she disappeared. Turned out she had died during sex and he had taken her body to another county, set it on fire and returned to his life. Until he got caught with pictures of her in hisspace. It was all very disturbing, and obviously not the fault of the Myspace people, but that’s still the association I have in my mind. Since then, I have heard too many disturbing reports and cases of pedophilia, murder, bullying, stalking, etc linked to “social networking” sites. Though I cannot entirely blame the sites, I can question the causal link.

Have we lost our sense of reality because of this virtual world? We call strangers “friends” and put private information on a public forum. Kids and teens are obviously vulnerable because they do not remember when this was not considered normal. Anyone who has ever been a teen in a school knows that some people will do almost anything to be accepted, make friends or explore their burgeoning adulthood. It’s supposed to be harder than this, though. All they have to do is hit a few buttons and they can create theirspace, their alter-persona, their virtual world. And let anyone in.

I think I have privacy issues, really, so I try not to put too much online than I deem unnecessary. But, that seems to be an old-fashioned notion. Some folks share everything and some probably go too far. But does everyone, or anyone, think ahead anymore? If you put it online it stays there. For a long time. Whether you want it to or not. There have been some high profile cases of regret, amongst beauty queens and PTA moms for example, but many members of the younger generation don’t seem to have a sense of discrepancy either. Really, you may not want to confess to a crime or drug habit on yourspace. Unless you’re really that proud of it. I have a feeling most of the homemade porn stars working out of their dormrooms and parents’ houses won’t always be too proud. Then again, maybe they will…It’s their self-created 15 minutes of virtual fame right?

So, now, what if I give in to the technical peer pressure and sign on? What if I like it? I will have yet another responsibility to maintain. I have to check myspace and maintain myspace and I’ll start neglecting my inbox and my blog and my kids.  It’s another thing to read and another reason not to write. But I miss my friends. So wish me luck.

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