INTERNET, SOCIAL NETWORKS AND NEW FRIENDS

I’ve never denied the fact that I’m addicted to internet, and never had a problem to admit it. Since I signed in my first e-mail account in January 31, 2000, and started discovering the possibilities of the net, I’ve been using and abusing.

Guess I discovered it in the most appropriate time for myself. I had just got back from UK and was in my hometown again, limited by a standard city, so quiet and relaxing compared to London, and limited in terms of rock and culture agenda, there were moments I used to feel suffocated. You have to understand I had met so many people in a big city and enjoyed this anonymous status implied, all of a sudden it seems that I was a prisoner in my own city. Not that I didn’t have friends, because I had and met new ones, but you know, there weren’t many people around sharing same passions and interests as me. I’m talking about rock, of course.

keyboard

I started visiting a cyber cafe close to college to check e-mails from all the friends left behind. You know how these romances start and end. Very intense and constant in the beginning, till they fade out as in a film and people ends up forgetting and feeling lazy. Usual shit. Anyway. I had heard of chat rooms and discovered there was a general one focused on music, so I checked what it was about. My username was LadyEvil, as an American friend used to call me. The beginning was quite disappointing, as the rhythm was frenetic and in order to catch someone’s attention and start interacting it took me some time. But eventually I managed and started visiting the café and spending several hours a day during the week, until I begged my dad to install internet at home.

Since then a new universe opened to me, and I found out it was the perfect way to get acquainted with people from everywhere to share interests, to be updated on anything going on around the world, look for stuff, and learning. You know I’ve talked many times about my friend Jaume, right? I met him in that chat room, and we’ve been friends ever since. Thanks to forums I also started dating theonewhocannotbenamed, met lots of people who have become friends and participated of events. And of course, I’ve learned lots about music, films and useless stuff. Social networks, which are so criticized, have also been good to me. I’ve discovered lots of bands, tattoo artists, helped me to get acquainted with musicians and music journalists and also to stay in touch with friends regardless of our geographical situation. Finally blogs and the possibility of having my own have encouraged my writing as a way of expression I thought it had died when I stopped writing letters.

Even though social networks have always been criticized as killing the actual social life of people, I must say I’ve never felt as much accompanied as I am nowadays. It doesn’t matter I stay home with flu, because someone will interact with me eventually. And at this point, it’s needless to remark my social life is a very active and rich one.

When you are in your 30s and aging, there comes a stage in which lots of people around are in couple, get married or have kids, and it’s difficult to keep up with the relations in the same way as when you were in your 20s. Not only because of family ties but also due to responsibilities at work, schedules and other stuff. Life changes a lot, it’s unavoidable. Friends are not as available as they used to and getting new acquaintances gets more difficult. Well, I’m not talking about that “lonely-people-looking-desperately-for-a-couple-crappy-sites”, but about Twitter for instance, where you start meeting people in your same situation with shit of any kind in common. I know people who love Star Wars, others dig Guns N’ Roses, and others share my passion for tattoos…whatever you might think of, really.

If you are in touch and get on well with people through 140 characters, at some point one of the parts will try to step forward and focus on a more personal (and private) friendship. Then I guess we’d talk about Facebook, the great monster of social networks. Whatever you share is also a reflection of who and how you are, and everybody gets a picture of the real individual they are getting to know. Or it should be like that, unless you’re capable of performing DeNiro 24/7.

And why all this? Just because. Last weekend I finally met this great guy I can call friend now who I met thanks to Twitter nearly two years ago, and the experience was terrific. Prospects that everything worked fine were high, yet, to be honest, I was careful not to have great expectations to keep from feeling disappointed, but the end everything worked awesome, and I enjoyed a fantastic weekend. I only hope it’s been the first of many. For years now I’ve been swallowing bullshit related to all the dangers of internet and blah blah blah… Of course, you gotta be cautious, but you know? Nice people and assholes are everywhere, and the chances to meet them are the same, so, why being so close? Why do people deny and reject the possibility of finding wonderful people in different places? Why are we so stupid and don’t take advantage of the possibilities we have at just a click?

Breezin'

I’m tired of listening to some narrow minded people who still burn my ear saying I’m too hooked to internet and that kind of crap. At least I’m approaching all the chances I have at hand to accomplish my vital target, which is something as simple as enjoying as much as possible.

This been said, thanks Gab, you might be reading this and have a laugh thinking I’m a nutter, but it was great to spend quality time with you, and I’m grateful that you contribute to my search for happiness and fun. Well fuckin’ done!

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