Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When Internet people invade your dreams...

I'm old enough to remember the days when the Internet didn't claim such a big portion of my life.  In those days, almost everybody I knew, I knew because I had met them in person at some point.  Years later, that's no longer true.  I "know" a lot of people from the Internet.  Many of these people I will never have occasion to see face to face.

A curious thing about all of this is that sometimes people you never "meet" in person end up dying.  Sometimes you read about it if the person was involved in an online community.  Sometimes you never find out the person is "gone"... you just stop hearing from them.  Sometimes, they just end up moving on and you never bump into them again.

I remember back in 1998 or 99, I had a passing interest in a guy who was well-known for his articles and seminars about BDSM.  I know that sounds odd.  At the time, I was 26 or 27 years old.  I had absolutely no love life and was still a virgin.  I was interested in sex and the Internet, which was new to me at the time, gave me a very easy avenue for exploring sexual things.  An added bonus was that I could do it with a minimum of shame and embarrassment.

Anyway, this guy had written a very interesting and engaging Web site for kinky people.  He was very forthcoming about who he was and what he did for a living.  He had written stories, which were kind of dorky, but oddly entertaining.  Back when I discovered him, he was looking for a steady date and was very open about the type of woman he was looking for.  He was a little too old and fastidious for me and I was a little weirded out about meeting some BDSM aficionado/rope bondage artist offline.  But he charmed me and every once in awhile, I'd go back to read his pages and see what he was up to.

Then one day in 2000, the guy, who was then just 42 years old, got in a fatal car accident.  His death was announced online and for a long time, his many online friends kept his pages up as a memorial.  Even today, I can do a search and easily find him.  He's still much admired and even missed.

I've had similar experiences on Epinions.com.  Some much beloved review writers have passed on and family members have announced it.  There was one guy who died recently with whom I was very friendly.  Back in November of 2010, I had an unfortunate run-in with a nutcase on Epinions.  She quickly moved on to other members, harassing them with nasty comments and low review ratings.  This well-respected Epinions member had my back and sent me several emails explaining what he was doing to solve the problem.  When he suddenly died less than a year later, I was sad.

And Exmormon.org also has had people die.  I'm always touched and amazed by the affection people can have for online personalities... people they will never meet offline.  I have actually been fortunate enough to meet some Epinions and RfM people in person.  In fact, my husband and I met in an online community back in those days when I was so curious about sex.  Over twelve years later and after ten years of marriage, we're still very much in love.

This morning, I had a very vivid dream concerning the LDS blogger I wrote about last week.  I just discovered her blog recently and didn't even like her very much.  But somehow, that blog imprinted enough on my brain that I had a dream about her.  I dreamt that I had been reading her blog religiously, complaining about her sanctimonious preaching.  And then, *poof*, one day she was gone... the victim of a drunk driver.

Oddly enough, I think this was actually kind of a lucid dream.  I mean, I seem to have known that I was dreaming, reassuring myself that this wasn't real.  I also dreamt that this young Mormon woman, who seems to be struggling with the idea that she's not as Mormon as she seems to think she should be, was related to a Jewish woman I met on a cruise who happens to manage a well-known 80s era rock star.  She and I became friends offline before we connected on Facebook.  There's no way the young Mormon blogger and my rock star manager friend are relatives.  But in my dream, they were.

I don't even really like this blogger that much.  She's not the greatest writer and she's a bit on the obnoxious/clueless side.  But something about her stuck with me enough that she invaded my dreams this morning, even though her blog isn't even a month old yet.

Actually, there are a few people whose blogs I read casually because I enjoy snarking on them.  There's one blogger whose blog I lurk on.  I have never made a single comment and wouldn't, because her blog completely changed once she had kids.  But I look at it out of habit and there was a time when she was somewhat entertaining.  I guess she's still sort of entertaining, but her blog is now about her kids and their medical issues.

I know that even this blog has the occasional lurker.  I use Site Meter to track where people are coming from and I know there are a few people who stop by and never leave comments.  And I have a couple of readers who regularly leave me comments and whose blogs I also enjoy reading.  

I wonder if other people have dreams about Internet personalities...  

9 comments:

  1. You know I can't stop by without leaving a smart ass comment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So where is your smart ass comment? And where have you been?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Drunk and Black Ops in North Korea, replacing rocket fuel with Irish moonshine.

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  4. Gonna save us from North Korea?

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    Replies
    1. Done deal, once those missiles start flying the only thing you'll get is Irish hooch mist over the west coast.
      I'm away for a few days and Alexis is involved in some teenage slut experiment and you're talking to men in gimp suits on the internet. Mayhem.

      Delete
    2. No gimp suits? Did I imagine that? I'm in the wrong blog again aren't I?

      Delete
    3. Apparently, since I don't know what you're referring to.

      Delete
  5. I had a really creepy dream about President Paternoster once, which kind of disturbed me, becuase I understand that the blog was totally tongue-in-cheek.

    ReplyDelete

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