Monday, 13 October 2008

Compartmentalising - IRL vs URL

Blogger (haha, nearly typed "Blagger") doesn't have a reply function for comments the same way YouTube does, so I was going to make this entry really quick and just reply to something real fast. Today had other ideas though, and I'll dwell on this a little bit longer before I go to bed.

In a comment on my last entry John Lacey wondered why I seemingly compartmentalise my online and IRL lives. The short and unsatisfying answer is that I don't. Not at all. The proper answer is this: the reason why I talk about IRL at all is only because other people still see the world this way, and this makes it easier for them.

In the context of my last post I was amazed that teachers and students at my old high school have discovered my videos. I said: "I never thought that my videos on YouTube would actually land so close to my 'real life'." I understand that friends I've made over the internet sometimes take offence to statements like this, because it implies that my relationships with them aren't as important to me as the ones I have with people I phisically interact with.

The fact of the matter is, though, that not everyone who reads my blog comes from the internet (hi Mum and Dad, hi Auntie Maz and Uncle Dick). For the sake of simplicity I speak about these things as if they were separate because to those people - they are. I already have a problem with super-convoluted sentences - I don't want a paragraph of politically-correct clarifying text every time I want to talk about my activites online.

Some people go to great lengths to keep their IRL and URL lives very very separate. Internet activities are a secret. It would be an awful invasion of privacy if family members were to read their blog. I've never hidden what I do online, not ever. My amazement last post was that somehow some people I only had a tenuous, yet personal connection with had found what I do online. Is my profile really large enough for that to occur - especially after writing that post on fame? I suppose relatively speaking Australia is a small pond, but still!

GAH! Why am I rambling like this? Zacaryxbinks has just today explained the importance of online friends much more eloquently than I ever could. And if you don't click that link I'm going to come and get you with murderous intentions.

Today drove this home for me more than ever. I spent the majority of the day in an epic Skype conversation - epic in length, number of people and what was actually said. I'm so glad (more than you could ever know) that I have these (and other!) friends as part of my life. I even made a new one. =D

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