Alice in Online Wonderland

I was born  April 7, 2010. Well, my online life began on that day anyway. It’s been a trip and definitely a sharp learning curve. When I first launched  this website I was so nervous! Would anyone show up? Would anyone like what I had to say? After all, writers depend on people liking what they write.

You know what? You showed up, and read my stuff. And some of you have come back for more and have left lovely comments. I am profoundly grateful. So now, I’ve got my rhythm going here. I post about every other day, mix in some poetry, and constantly look for ways to make this website even better.

Soon after I was “born” online, I added Facebook and Yahoo to my social network. Completely different from my site, I white-knuckled my way through creating my Facebook page. I nearly had a panic attack the first time I requested a friend, and had to breathe through a straw after making my first comment on someone’s post. Ugh!

It’s been an education, let me tell you! I am by nature a wallflower, so putting myself out there for the world to see has been at once terrifying and liberating. At this point, I’m feeling a little like Alice in Wonderland.

 On the plus side, I have met a slew of really cool people who are kind and witty. Many have terrific writing careers, and I look to them as role models and sources of inspiration. Others are grounded in other pursuits and still I can find a commonality there as well.

On the down side, I’ve made a couple of mistakes, faux pas along the way. Little ones, but still. I hate making mistakes! I tend to hold onto those forever while sweeping passed all the great stuff. I know, I’m working on that!

 I think I could use a Facebook Bible with all the ins and outs of online commenting. How much should I say? How long do we carry on a conversation? How many postings of my own is just right? But maybe at the heart of it all really is… do any of these lovely people really want me to or care if I comment? Sometimes I feel like I’m butting in, but I can relate to what they’re saying and so I put my two-cents in and run, not wanting to overstay my welcome. I mean really, who am I anyway?  I am a picture accompanied by words. But I’m more than that. I’m a person who is overjoyed to have people to connect with everyday. So many people don’t get that opportunity and I consider myself fortunate.

But those damn  unwritten rules that I’m too new to be aware of yet!  Break one of them, and the very people I’ve gotten to know could  easily say bye-bye. How nerve-wracking!  So that’s why I think someone should write the unwritten rules to interfacing with people online. This way no one, including me,  would feel like Alice in Online Wonderland.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Judy says:

    Hate to tell you, the book would be out of date before printed for the simple reason that the rules depend on where you are and who you’re dealing with, exactly like the real world. What you do in church is not what you’d do at a water park. What you say to family is not what you say to strangers. Be yourself. It will draw people to you and push people away, just like the real world. Once you hit send/submit it’s gone. You can’t take it back. I’ve learned to be much more thoughtful and to wait a while before hitting that button. Delete can be a really helpful button, and sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all. You’ve opened the door to making a lot of new acquaintances and some amazing new friends. Enjoy the adventure.

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