Daniel Patrick Johnson (teknotus) wrote,
Daniel Patrick Johnson

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Packet Data

I wonder how many of my friends have been secretly replaced by AI scripts. Most of my friends I rarely see in person. The evidence I have that then even exist is purely electronic. Some people lets call them efriends for electronic friends I have never seen in person. It is not unusual for me to communicate with them as much or more than people I know IRL (In Real Life). While it is unusual for me to call any one friend more than 3 times in a week even if they are really close, with some of my efriends it is unusual to go more than three days without chatting with them. Sometimes real life friends turn into efriends. People who I went to school with have moved away, and now I keep in touch by sending emails to their cell phone in japan, or chat on AIM across an 8 hour driving gap. With a few people I even use the phone. Although that is far more personal it is still packet data streaming across ATM networks.

The emotional bonds can be stronger than the electronic web that supports them. Thinking about one of my efriends who died still brings tears to my eyes six months later. I only knew her for a matter of months, but her influence will touch me for the rest of my life.

It is possible for me to spend most of my waking hours in some kind of electronic communication. I was able to open my soul by that means long before I could actually tell a person sitting in front of me the same things. I can imagine myself at a party sitting in a corner typing on a computer. It comes to me so much more naturally than speaking across a gap of air to a human ear. Actually I have done that at a party. Still I would rather someone gave me a hug IRL than get a hundred replies to a post with "*hugs". I need human contact, and I just don't get it.

It doesn't help my situation that so many of the people I chat with all the time are hundreds to thousands of miles away. Unless I join some kind of traveling show it seems unlikely that I will meet many of them. I think my best bet to become real friends with people is to go to school in a big college town like Boston, or find work in a huge city like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. Then people might visit me, or even move in down the street.

I think I should try to make friends in more traditional ways like public places, but the people I usually find most interesting are nearly hermits themselves so I am not likely to find them out in the open. I can either put up a smoke signal, and hope they investigate, or go on a hunt.
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