Monday, October 11, 2010

I wear my paranoia well



The rains ceased and the clouds parted over the center of the universe last Thursday afternoon and as the earth turned on its axis emulating the westward journey of the sun, I left work, hopped in my Jeep and headed east on a 26.8 km trek, from the fifth largest city in Canada to Toronto, our nation’s largest metropolis and home of our country’s elite.

My mission, to secretly meet with some of the best known, Toronto area, progressive, bloggers.

Note to self: Do not head into Toronto on the night when the Leafs are playing the Habs in the season opener. 

Two hours later I arrived at the secret location, a three story and seemingly popular pub, only to realize that I did not know the names of the people I was meeting, only their blogs. Nor did I know what they looked like. So reverting to my friendly salesman mode, I approached every table where at least one women and two males were seated and asked them if they were elitist bloggers. 

Second note to self: Do not approach under 40 year olds in a posh Toronto bar and ask them if they are elitist bloggers. They become terrified and will, I believe complain to management, where you will then be followed by large serious looking waiters.

So I went out for a smoke and decided to email my inviter, since I was tweetless and lo and behold this confident, young woman, grabbed my arm and led me to a small secluded nook where sat some of the most proficient, experienced, serious, humorous, snarky, and politically astute bloggers that I regularly follow, followed will start to follow around these parts.

And needless to say beers of both common and premium variety were consumed, as well as a Tom Collins, conversations occurred, and I for one was having a surprisingly good time as I started practicing my new social networking skills.

Most people would assume that an old salesman, based on the nature of the profession alone, would be an expert at social networking, but unfortunately one of the necessary skills required in social networking is to be sociable.

And for the same reason that a contractor’s home is in a state of constant disrepair, to a salesman whose livelihood depends upon repetitive empathy, responsiveness and a constant friendly out going personality, it just seems like too much work to give a shit after five o’clock.

So as simple as meeting a few bloggers for beers might seem to most, it was a uniquely bold endeavor for this anti-scocial, anonymity protecting old salesman. When your personality is more important than your knowledge in the real world, the risk of not meeting the expectations of your online personality, paranoiacally, takes on too much importance. 

In hindsight this blog was started as attempt to develop some sort of communication to people outside of my daily life, where the comfort of anonymity would allow me to say what I wanted without repercussion. Of course as therapeutic as ranting into an empty void may appear, I quickly realized that joining a community of ranting people, such as this one, gave me not only the opportunity for feedback, but a feeling of camaraderie. 

Everyday I read ten or more posts, voting often and I am now at the point where I can recognize who wrote a post by the title, or at least by two paragraphs in. Bloggers take on the anonymous personality that we as the anonymous reader has personally developed and assigned to them. 

In that respect this is a fictional, anonymous community that we belong to and although there has been comfort in that, at least for this anti-social paranoid, I think it is time that I start to take this community more seriously.

The first step was meeting those experienced, impressive bloggers last week, the second was to get a Twitter account and add it to this page. Not sure what to do with it or what the next step will be, but it is definitely time for an upgrade.

Of course my anxiety now is that I am probably taking all of this way too seriously, but as a fellow traveller, once told me some forty odd years ago, while leaving a Doors, concert, you wear your paranoia well.


4 comments:

JJ said...

Let me know as soon as you get a twitter account! I want to be your first.

First follower, I mean. :p

Beijing York said...

I can relate. The first couple of times I broke the bounds of anonymity, first by phone call and then by face-to-face meetings, I was kind of freaked and paranoid.

But you nailed it, the camaraderie of such networking gives us hope that our marginalized view points aren't necessarily that marginal.

Rev.Paperboy said...

And for the same reason that a contractor’s home is in a state of constant disrepair, to a salesman whose livelihood depends upon repetitive empathy, responsiveness and a constant friendly out going personality, it just seems like too much work to give a shit after five o’clock.
So that's why my father the retired salesman is such a cranky old bugger most of the time.

great post -- now when and where is the next meeting of the blogging underground?

fern hill said...

Yes, great post. Like Beijing York, I was kind of freaked the first time. One gets over it quickly though.