Smarmy Alligator

Politics, pop culture, and self-deprecation

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I’ve recently found myself in a strange predicament. I suppose it’s not really a predicament, more like a situation. For lack of a better word. A technology-related conundrum. I’ve been seeing someone for a very short time, but I generally like him, more than I like most people I date. And seeing as he’s a technologically adept and socially connected person, of course he has an internet presence. (The whole notion of our various internet presences is weird, in and of itself, but a topic for another time perhaps.) He has a myspace presence, to be precise.

I have no problem perusing the profiles and comments and blogs of random strangers. I have no problem perusing the online ramblings of my friends. But for some reason, I feel remarkably uncomfortable reading the online ramblings of this guy. I feel like a stalker, like I might be mistaken for an obsessive girlfriend.

Maybe I’m worried that I’ll find something that makes me like him less. Maybe I’m worried I’ll find something that makes me like him more, but it will be weird, because it won’t be something he shared with me, it will be something I discovered in a detached world of 1’s and 0’s.

It makes me think of something I talked about with my mom when she was out here visiting. My little brother has a myspace profile, and my mom likes to check it out occasionally, to keep tabs and check up and all that normal mother stuff. She claims that she has free reign to do this, because he’s put this up in a public space, and created this internet self that anyone can see. And while I see her point, I argued that myspace was not an internet space she could reasonably be expected to inhabit, and never would were it not for my little brother; therefore, I think she should leave it alone and give him that private space.

While I am a person who could reasonably be expected to be on myspace, I still feel the same way about this. It feels invasive. It feels like stalking or something. Friends have made the same argument my mom did about this: it’s out there, and public, and so totally free game, and don’t I ever google the people I meet? I guess I’m still just not sure how to negotiate the space between our real presences and our internet presences. And if I like the real presence enough, I think I’d rather just leave the internet presence alone.

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Written by laura k

August 7, 2005 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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