This morning, I gotta warn you, I am MEGA-CRABBY. There are many legitimate reasons for this, not just pantomime ones, including not sleeping enough because the husband was away last night, and while I like it when he goes away (MI-5! Jammies by 9! Brussels sprouts for dinner!), I find it hard to get to sleep. So last night I had a whiskey at 12:30, which helped, but then I felt lame I had to use a crutch. And woke up headachey and sleep-deprived.
And I am aggrieved by a few online situations, which led me to think about how the internet–that is, the corner of it inhabited by romance authors and readers–is similar to the world of the ton, as described in our books:
*Claustrophobic. You can’t get away from it, unless you check out of Society/the Internet entirely.
*Gossipy. Everybody knows everybody else’s business.
*Reputations are made, and destroyed, with a few quick strokes.
*You can get, and give, the cut direct: Not responding to email, declining to follow someone on Twitter or friend them on Facebook.
*You can also make friends quickly, based on a few common interests: Finding a husband, not finding a husband, what you like to read, whether you’re interested in knitting, or reading, or vampires.
*Certain sites or group of sites seem to have their own Almack’s style patronesses: Either you’re in or you’re out.
Do you think these general guidelines are true for any social group? What do you like best about the Internet ton? What do you like the least? And thanks for joining the Riskies group today!
Very clever, Megan. I love the Intryweb Ton. It’s allowed me to connect with like-minded people, make really good friends, and have intelligent discussions during the day. From schooling and my previous career, until I got hooked into these writer-reader groups most of the people I knew didn’t read or read sparingly. If you didn’t work 60 hours a week outside the home, you were wasting your education and frittering away your life. Needless to say, you can see, why I love my online friends and friendships.
Yeah, me too.
And I thought of another one: No-one thinks it’s odd if you wear the same dress multiple times (because now no-one sees you!)
I love the whole community of Romance Writing, which has brought me so many wonderful friends. Some of my really good friends have been made online, either through email, loops or our Risky blog.
But I may be like a country miss who “dines with twenty families.” I find the whole internet world overwhelming. I’ve dipped my toe into Facebook, but I’m confused by it half the time. (And now I’m worried that by not friending someone I might have given them the “cut direct.” Really, guys, I just can’t friend everyone!)
Keira, I know you are a Twitter gal. Maybe I’ll peek into that, too, someday, but I need to preserve some time to write!
Interesting extrapolation, Megan.
I think most social groups develop a hierarchy and different behavioural cues simply to allow for interaction between individuals in large groups–you see it in schools from a rather early age, after all.
LOL–the ton of the Internet. Very clever, Megan. I had never really thought of it before, but now I see they are rather similar. (are we the Patronesses of RR, then? I don’t think we’re very strict ones…)
I’ve found since getting on the “drawing room” of Facebook that it’s very useful for tracking down people, getting the word out about book stuff quickly, etc, but also that some people (mostly non-writers) want to interact way more than I have time for. I don’t want to give anyone the cut direct, but I fear sometimes it can’t be helped!
Diane, Twitter’s not for everyone. Don’t feel like you’re missing out if you’re not doing it. I’ve gotten (is this word also like ‘just’?) to understand some folks far better, because of this relaxed presence. Some folks are on it all the time, some rarely. You can watch a few people’s Twitter pages without signing on to the application to see what they’re talking about (rarely, anything deep or significant, well, of course, other than MeganF’s tweets, which are always momentuous).
Since I’ve started reading blogs on Google Reader, it’s a miracle how fast reading can be. However, I do realize that I’m commenting less, too, which might not be such a bad thing after all.
Ack, Megan, so sorry it’s such a miserable day! I do hope you do something nice for yourself.
Most of my best friends have been found online because I finally connected with people who enjoy the same things. I’ll be going to L.A. to stay with friends I met online. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of my friends that I never would have met if not for the internet.
Your ton connections made me laugh. I’ve noticed that I fit in less at the sites I post little and fit in more when I more actively participate. And there are rules of interaction that vary with each site.
As for unanswered emails, people get busy; emails do get lost, quite often, sometimes in cyber space and sometimes buried by other emails. I’ve a friend with whom I’ve discussed our lack of recent correspondence. We are looking forward to getting together soon for a long chat.
When my internet goes down I truly endeavor not to do so but I panic. I feel disconnected. “God bless my computer; all my friends live there.” 🙂
Clever girl, Megan! And I agree there can be the occasional toad in the internet romance writers ton, but for the most part I have had a fabulous time. Some of my very dearest friends I met through the internet romance writers blogs, groups and events.
And I have had to opportunity to chat with some of the authors I have adored for ages and they talk back! I met my fabulous mentors the Divine Diane Gaston and La Campbell via the internet drawing room.
And all of you ladies of the Riskies mean so very much to me and have been such a huge help in my ramshackle journey on the road to publication.
Very refreshing, Megan, you old grouch.
While I have made online friends I find it difficult to maintain the wholesome, chocolatey giggly image that seems to be de rigeur in the Online Ton of Romancelandia. It’s just not me.