231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The World of the internet is amazing

So the other week I had a post about falling in love with my Treo 650. My friend Todd made a comment about Thad Starner and ubiquitous wearable computers. Fayza (whom I've never met in person) then asked Todd (whom she's never met) "Who is Thad Starner?"

I replied to her comment that Thad Starner was a 'wearable computer geek,' a fact I had to look up via Google. Two weeks later, Thad Starner (whom I've never met) somehow ends up on my blog, and corrects me to say that he is a 'wearable computer nerd.' I'm guessing that he used Google to search his name and ended up here.

So "Hi Thad, hi Todd, and hi Fayza."

The other day I was waiting in my apartment lobby to catch the elevator. There were a number of people standing around and none of us said "Hi" to each other, nobody made small talk. I had a feeling that if it was 100 years ago, we would have all made small talk (granted that 100 years ago there wouldn't be 500 people living in one building.) But in busy nyc where you come across 10,000+ people a day, you don't have time to chat it up with everybody. I don't know anybody in my building, I barely know my neighbors (they are mostly old people for some odd reason.) When my neighbors are young, hip, party down and get drunk kids, then I know them (that's a shout out to 302 Summit Ave.)

I started thinking about how the 'real world.' is getting less personal. When we walk down the street or ride the subway, we wear our headphones, talk on our cell phones, and don't give a crap of being friendly to the person next to us. However, in the 'virtual world.' of the internet, we are starting to make leaps and bounds in connecting people socially. There is a shift from being friendly and socialable in the 'real world' onto the internet. I'm not saying it's making a full move from one medium to another, but there is some shift. There will always be times when you are friendly to the person sitting next to you on the subway or plane, but it probably doesn't occur as frequently as it used to because we meet so many more 'strangers' these days, too many 'strangers' to have the time for chatting.

Also note, that I don't think these social connections exists solely on the internet. The internet is just a tool that allows people to make initial connections. I attend meetup.com groups which are social connection I made via the internet, but all of our social interactions happen face-to-face.

The internet allows me to meet people with the same interest as me. So although I could just start rambling to my neighbor about The Killers, most likely s/he's not going to be interested in the conversation.

Any thoughts?

- This is an after thought after publishing. At the top, I talk of Todd, a friend that I have been re-acquainted with via Friendster after falling out of touch for 11+ years. I'm not exaggerating, that's half my life. He moved to Atlanta in 8th grade, I made a trip down there once in 9th grade, he visited Port Washington (hometown) sometime after that, and then we just fell out of touch. A few months ago he drops me a line via Friendster after searching connections though Port Washington's High School. We talk a few times online and over the phone, then I goto visit him in his kick ass loft in Atlanta a month ago. Turns out over 11 years (with me not owning a computer back then,) we sorta ended up being interested in the same stuff.



  • At 6/02/2005 10:28 AM, Blogger Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said…

    I would rather be a geek than a nerd.

  • At 6/02/2005 10:44 AM, Blogger Vincent said…

    It's 'cool' to be a geek these days (probably because during the dot-com days geeks got rich.)

    Are 'geeks' in high school getting ass for being different? Are high school girls like "Ohh, I want to get with Martin, he's so quirky." Such a shift in one generation.

  • At 6/02/2005 1:45 PM, Blogger todd said…

    Yes, the internet is crazy. I'm chatting with some in Thad's lab as I write this and looking at the weather forecast and my gmail inbox and reading RSS headlines all in the same window. The information overload and priorty processing ( GTD style ) we have to keep up will these days requires and drives that amazing virtual memory system that is the interenet.

    The "Real World" is becoming a simulation of virtual relationships. (Has anyone read Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard?

    My whole work experience is virtual, aside from the occational print ad or document I produce, there are no tangible items I've created.

    The statement Vinnie is spewing out was basically what I studied for four years. The effects of, and directions humanity could or would go with, encompassing/ubiquitous computing. It wasn't until last year that I started to see the world shift towards more condensed and information-based lifestyles. I just found out that the human population shifted in 2003 to a majority living in urban areas, first time in history -- the move shifted the population to 51% urban dwellers. That says something about our daily interactions and lives. We want to be closer to communicaiton and travel hubs to get the job/process/end-goal (whatever we want to call our purpose) done.

    The question might arise though -- Do we need it all, the endless information?

  • At 6/02/2005 2:49 PM, Blogger Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said…

    I think its a question of how borderline the geek is. A nerdy geek doesn't get any chicks but a quirky geek certainly does. I don't think it has anything to do with the internet I think it has to do with self confidence and social skills.

  • At 6/02/2005 2:49 PM, Blogger Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 6/02/2005 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I totally agree with Zendervive, it has nothing to do with the internet. Thre are two types of geeks, ones who can pull it off, and ones that can't. I would much rather go out with a cool geek, than a D and D one.

  • At 6/02/2005 3:08 PM, Blogger LauraRebeccaCass said…

    sorry to not post anonymously, cause I did that by accident. I can not imagine dating a D And D geek. (dungeons and dragons). A geek that can still be a geek, but cute about it is the right kind of geek.

  • At 6/03/2005 7:09 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    And I've never met you in person either and I read your blog too.


  • At 6/04/2005 1:29 PM, Blogger Roonie said…

    I love the fact that I'm a geek. As long as I don't start showing it on the outside; aesthetically, I mean. I'm always thrilled to meet someone dorky-hot on the outside with a nice, solid, geeky middle. Geek = smart, and geek = life outside of attempting to get laid. So since geek = depth to me, geek = hot.

    I'm not sure about the geeks in high school getting ass. I still think high school requires the outside package to belie the true inner core completely. The new "hot" now is the metro/skinny/"I might be gay, why don't you dig down my pants to find out?"/"I wear smaller jeans than you" look. I mean, I went to law school (WENT! YAY!), so I knew a lot of geeks...and they weren't all hot to me. There's an requisite balancing between insides and outsides that must happen if you're a true yet attractive geek.

    I think this particularity is why I'm still single.


Post a Comment

<< Home