I was thinking of the years I’ve wasted waiting for screens to update with attention and contact opportunities with people out there- out of my head.

Penpals first of course. Those aren’t screens and I could kick myself for purging some of the correspondence I had. I’d look in music mags and they’d have sections for penpal hookups based on bands- Cure, Siouxsie- and I wrote to the best people. Jon Kapshaw in Elmira, where are you?

Usenet was first 1993–98?
IRC 1994ish-1998ish?
Listservs based on interest- still do those
AOL Groups
Yahoo Groups
Forums on blogs, Salon
LiveJournal (always my favorite home)
Deadjournal (briefly)
Facebook (bloody facebook)
Digg? I think?

I’m probably missing a few. I think Livejournal was my most home-based. I met so many people. I did strong writing. It was expanding, theraputic, and also home for some really stupid and embarrassing drama.

Then the Russians came and we all got older.

I wasn’t a gambler, or a gamer, but an introvert with social tendencies who just didn’t fit in anywhere and sought and sought. Online you can develop a voice and a character that might be reflections of yourself you haven’t admitted to the world, or something created from the clay of perceptions and aspirations. And there really isn’t commitment, which I think is key. I like to ghost and hide, and I can. In my small family we were distant and self-protective; I was a water sign among land signs. I was a bright, curious kid in an economically depressed and abused area- generations of it. I was sensitive in a brutal time. I tried and failed and adapted into false senses of self. Then found freedom in elusive structures built by others as authentic or as fabricated as myself.

Societies of mumbling philosophers and beautiful searching souls. Talking about how much a band’s new album sucks. Until it became, for me, the only spaces I preferred and I lost the ability to remember what was illusion and what was generated by my own ID. Do you use the tools or do they use you?