Internet conformity

Trying to figure out what and who I want to connect myself with via semi-permanent links on the sidebar, gives me a headache. You see, I don’t really have many friends out there, and what few I do are smart enough not to pay much attention to me.

So I surf and surf, trying to find people of like mind out there. Big surprise. There aren’t any, really. There are however groups, and lots of them. I notice that links tend to be replicated a lot, and if you’re paying attention, once you find a group of blogs, they don’t seem to venture far outside their sphere. Conformity Rules in Cyberspace from the Australian Times discusses yet another Internet study based in chat-room behaviour. The core thesis is that people smooth off their rough edges and even change their opinions about what’s right just to fit in. But do hypertext journals work the same way? I’m not so sure. I keep searching for evidence to the contrary, but I don’t find much. The same social pressures of face to face interaction rule the distant corners of the web. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

There’s been some discussion on Metafilter about the “rules” of blogging. It seems like one of the rules is don’t get too personal. What fun is that? The lack of personal content around here isn’t because I’ve set any boundaries about it. It’s because I quite literally don’t have a personal life. If I get one, I’ll let you know.

However, if I wrote about how bored/unhappy/alone I was then even I wouldn’t want to read it. Writing makes me happy. Surfing helps fight the boredom. Being alone is usually a temporary thing, though I must confess this latest dry spell is sort of soul-shattering. But it’s not enough for me to start thinking that shallow po-mo ART photography is good. It’s not enough to make me think that crappy obfuscating design is somehow the true path to the future. It’s not enough to make me think that florid prose which forsakes content for cleverness is great stuff. It’s not enough to make me want to have anything to do with most cliques.