Have you ever been told to “get a life”? If you’re response to that is “I have one, it’s online,” then you are part of the new culture. If you are the one telling someone to “get a life” maybe it’s time that you expanded your online life to keep up with the rest of us.
Our society is divided into two types of people: those who have online lives, and those who do not. At one time, if you spent more of your waking life online than offline, you were a geek, a nerd, you were out of touch, you were weird, your were a freak.
Finally, the wave has begun flowing in the opposite direction.
Now, it is pretty commonplace to have multiple email addresses, a blog of some kind, a place to share photos, to get our entertainment (music, video, TV, film)online, and to be involved in some other kind of social networking community.
Social networking communities have received a bad rap, due to MySpace. Social networking communities allow people of all ages, races, genders, political beliefs, sexual orientations to come together when they have a common interest. Name one place “in real life,” where that is true 24 hours a day.
In all fairness, the term “in real life” or IRL, also needs to go. Online is just as “real” if not more so in some ways. People can make real and true connections online with friends and family members.
The reason that real connections can be formed is that an online life requires something that people are not always so good at in person: communication. Communication is at the heart of everything we do online. We are communicating our interests, the details of our lives, our hopes, our desires, and our beliefs. We share this personal information with words and images through emails, IMs, blog entries, and photos.
Get A Life: A Primer for Living Life Online
What about the rest of the folks who don’t have an online life? How are we supposed to keep them in our circle? When your online life is just as important, or more important than your offline life, how do we fit in those people who just refuse to get on board?
We need to train them, they need guidance, they need help.
1. Get Your Own Email Address. And Use It.
How do you feel about people who don’t even have an email address, or one that they check anyway? How on earth do they expect you to keep in touch with them? How do we share links and other information with them? The telephone? Please.
What are we going to do with those couples who share an email address? Please. No more bobandsally@ – just make two different email addresses. It’s not that hard. It’s free.
Please, get your own email address, check it once a day, and communicate with us!
And on that note…
2. Sign Up for IM.
If you really want to have a conversation with us, use an IM service. Forget the phone.
2. Cancel Your Newspaper Subscription.
Or what about those people who still have the local newspaper delivered to the house? Why mess around with so little news on a dirty and costly newsprint when all the news you could every want (and more) can be found online?
Save yourself some money, some recycling, get more up-to-date news, and save some trees, go ahead and cancel that newspaper.
3. Use a Digital Photo Sharing Service and Visit Our Photo Site
These are also the people who still use a camera with film. Then they pay a lot of money for prints, usually double prints, thinking that everyone will want a photo of the back of Uncle Joe’s head. Hello? Ever heard of digital cameras? Share the good photos with us online, forget the prints!
No, we will not give you prints, and no, we will not email them to you. Please. Just check our flickr or Shutterfly accounts.
4. Read Our Blogs
Want to know what’s going in our lives? We have no time for telephone chit chat. Read our blogs. That’s why they’re there.
5. Stop Asking Ridiculous Questions: Do Your Own Research.
All of the information that is available to us is also available to you. Use Google, do a search. Do some of your own research for a change.
The ship to the New World is sailing. Are you on it?