Friday, July 6, 2007

Redefining Friendship

Last post for today. I promise! I haven't had much time to post lately, so I guess I'm making up for it today.

I'm stoked to be going shopping in Second Life twice in the next few days -- tonight for skins, and Monday with the After a Fashion gang for bikinis. Not just because I've been hankering for a new skin, and a bikini to properly show it off, but because it gives me a chance to socialize with my dear friends Eden and Kate.

This got me thinking some more about how social media and web 2.0 are redefining friendship for a large proportion of the online world. To me, shopping in SL with my After a Fashion friends is the same as shopping in real life (except that I'm much less likely to do it in real life because I hate trying on clothes). To me, the fact that Mitch Joel posted a link to an article in his del.icio.us is the same thing as if he'd emailed me the link or the article directly. To me, my sister posting on her MySpace blog about her house purchase is the same as if she'd IM'd or emailed or phoned me personally to share the news.

My offline friends don't feel the same way, however, and much as I try to explain it to them, they don't get it. To them, my telling them that I have plans tonight to shop online is akin to my telling them that I'm going to move to a small cabin in the woods like Ted Koszinski.

Is it just me? Has anyone else had trouble trying to define, or redefine, the new boundaries of friendship for their loved ones who aren't as plugged in?

8 comments:

Irene S. Levine, PhD said...

Hi Jenny:

Loved your post but I'm more of a newbie than you. What are skins?

Best,
Irene

www.fracturedfriendships.com

Bargainista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bargainista said...

Jenny, I find I'm always explaining what I'm doing in this space. My husband says it's like I'm driving a Ferarri and he's riding a two-wheeler. ; )

Yet almost everyday I learn someone I never would have suspected is on Facebook or some other social network. Be patient. Eventually the divide between the early adopters and everyone else will narrow.

See you soon in SL!

Eden

Maple Leaf Cyclery said...

As a less than plugged in dude, all this does seems a little loco.

That said if communication amongst the peeps is improved than maybe I'm missing out on something...

Jenny Bullough said...

Irene,

Thanks for your comment! Love your blog, by the way.

Sorry I neglected to clarify that little detail! Skins are just that, skins that you purchase for your avatar. Unlike real life, in SL if you're not happy with your skin tone or if you'd like a tan, you can just change your skin!

Jenny

Jenny Bullough said...

MLC,

Thanks for your comment! Don't be so modest, "less than plugged in dude" -- I've read your blog!

And yes, I agree -- any platform that encourages communication among folks is, I think, a very good thing.

Hope to catch up with you soon!

Irene S. Levine, PhD said...

Hi Jenny,



Thanks for accepting my LinkedIn invitation and also for posting on my blog. I use Google Alert to keep track of stuff on the web related to friendship. Much of it is pretty mundane but I often find research studies I wouldn't have known about, interesting articles in newspapers from around the globe, and great blog posts (like yours).



It would be great if I could interview you about how social media are redefining friendship for women. Can you email me?


I'm glad "skins" are more innocent than they sounded :-)



Best,

Irene

Kathryn said...

Hi Jenny - I left a Christmas party early so I could attend an After a Fashion event in Second Life. I apologized for leaving early and explained that my alter ego (Trixie) was due at an event in-world at 9pm. I'm pretty sure I was labeled a few less-than-flattering words that night but both myself and Trixie connected with friends and that's all that really matters!