I did something a little out of character yesterday. I reached out and asked a group of people if any of them would like to be my friend. What an incredibly socially awkward thing to do! It sort of went like this:
Me: Hi! You may be a social networking friend, but would you like to also be my friend in the virtual world of Second Life? I promise not to be annoying by ever talking to you, and oh by the way, I never log in anyway.
Nothing brings out childhood insecurities more than attempting to make friends with an already established group. I’m back in elementary school, standing on the playground, trying to play it cool, looking for a kickball group to join.
And unfortunately, everyone in Second Life already has their own team, and no one needs a replacement kicker. See, I’m the kid that transferred schools in the middle of the semester, and now that I might be thinking of transferring back, a lot of things have changed.
You might be reading this and thinking what sort of loser can’t make friends online? Isn’t that where socially awkward people turn in their time of need?
It is, it totally is, but I’m sort of one of those people that are waiting for the “meet-cute”, the awkward, zany scene where we crash into each other and look up and realize that we’re both reading post apocalyptic fiction and listening to Sia.
Unfortunately, real friendship isn’t that easy. Even online, they require work. Actually, sometimes online, they require more effort, since signals can be crossed so easily in text. The getting to know each other part can be awkward and not the cute awkward, but the painful awkward. That’s why social network sites, like Plurk, work so well. You can come, spew some nonsense, respond to someone’s misery in 140 characters or less and log off. Most things can be handled with an emoticon, and you have hundreds of people that call themselves your friend.
In Second Life, it’s the third grade playground all over again, and unfortunately, it takes someone asking “Would you like to play with me?” to get the ball rolling. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the prostitute idea, right?
Daila Holder has mad kickball skills, likes zombies, indie music and making you feel uncomfortable. She doesn’t really exist but could possibly be your new best friend.
Daila’s previous post was on March 14th, 2010.