August 5, 2008

Stalking or starving? Your status now

I remember watching two men watching me, tracking me. In some shadows, my heart can still race.

I eagerly await status of folks I rarely see, partly for assurances they are still there, partly for a pause that refreshes.

Is the craving to know stalking? Or just starving for interaction?

Two bloggers I follow write about seemingly separate ideas, but somehow my mind links them to this stalking/starving idea.

Louis Gray outlines a relationship highlighting why being polite may not always be right as he talks about a potential web friendship that turned bad.

Gray was being polite and answered a number of comments, emails. But he watched a relationship with potential sour as the man's attitude changed. Without knowing the other person - did he expect more speedy responses? was he misled by the intimacy the internet can create? did he forget that text leaves no room for body language?

Over on GotBeeler, there's the sharing of Facebook statuses as an art. He cites some folks he thinks have a knack for using a 140 characters or so for delivering a universal truth, a puzzle of words that promote a smile, a combination that makes you pause to ponder.

As I read through his choices, I realize that I'd like to follow some folks so that I could benefit from these pearls. Yet, in no way, could I ask them to be my Facebook friends.

It helps me realize, though, how I do count on some people for their updates - David Armano who reminds me of the pleasure of motorcycle riding and enjoying life, Michael Stobbe whose puns make me groan, Hassan Hodges who shares the delights of a growing child and changing workplace. Beeler too.

In describing the artful way some update their statuses, Beeler notes that some rely on their children for help. And though Beeler moans that his children don't give him clever lines, I realize that all children do - it is just that some of us don't recognize the good lines. Or know how to use them.

Beeler notes:

"These artists take the mundane update of where they are or what they are doing and routinely add a li’l somethin’ somethin’ to it. They make checking status updates every 5 minutes worthwhile."

So, inside out, is it stalking if you only read statuses and rarely contribute your own? Is it stalking to add strangers you know only via their blogs or web postings? Is it stalking to add colleagues from across the miles when you know there will never be a face to face meeting?

Or is it starving for a link to someone else, a safe relationship with low expectations.
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