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Posts Tagged ‘cyber recluse’

Info mining

In Commentary, Department of Politics on September 26, 2009 at 11:15 am

A month or so ago I became a cyber recluse, that is, I deactivated my Facebook account. I had done it once before and had been thinking about it for some time. Aspies are supposed to love socialising on-line, and in some ways I do. I would not have spent half the time talking to my latest ex (a mistake from the beginning) if I had not been able to do it on-line. This illustrates one of the dangers that I came to see all too starkly: the illusion of being sociable. I may not be the most sociable person that’s ever lived. I may prefer to get out and do something – to get down the driving range with a friend and work on my golf swing (which is abysmal), to cook for somebody, to get out on my bike and get some exercise – but all of these things, though neurotypicals may go about them differently, and enjoy chatting for its own sake, are sociable activities, even if I do them only once a month, or less frequently. On-line I was being sociable, and yet not. But also, Facebook, I found to lead to the same paranoia as I get in large groups in the real social world.

I am impulsive. I will post some idiot status update, and then worry about what people think of it. Indeed, sometimes, they will make that perfectly clear. I come over wrong through Facebook, as I do, often, in real life situations in which I’m not comfortable. I felt myself getting sniped. An old friend, who, if it were not for Facebook, I wouldn’t still be in contact with, because we have so little in common, reacted to one of my posts – some dumb comment to a friend who had asked something about the zeitgeist in my home town to the effect that it wouldn’t know a zeitgeist if it hit it in the face and that I felt like walking around the neighbourhood in a raincoat flashing my weltanschauung at all and sundry –  by saying, drily, sarcastically, there was an excess of Weltschmerz in my town. I worried over it for days. Why do I have to come over as such a cock? The guy hates me! He always did. And he has reason. What an asshole! I went to his wedding and didn’t bring a present, slept in a tent that time around for the most expensive wedding, in a Cambridge college, that I have ever seen, and I didn’t bring a present. I went over and over it, reproaching myself, and making some stab at defending myself, that with things how they were with my ex, I literally had no money and no time to organise such things. But it happened all the time. People sniping, maybe. And certainly, with words written down with no sense of irony or sarcasm, with nothing to go on, they worked their way into my head like shrapnel. And me, all the time, making the kind of gauche idiot pronouncements that I hate about myself, and about me in combination with any form of instant communication: e-mail, SMS, blogs, it’s all put me in horrible, horrible, situations before. Read the rest of this entry »