Monday, November 14, 2011

Attack of the Online Acquaintance Body Snatchers

(I don't write much, here, anymore, though I'm still slightly more active on the reading, photography, and crochet blogs.  [Too many blogs.]  But that's ok.  This blog doesn't cost me anything to keep open, and I like having a place to post when the mood does strike me.)

I just had the weird and unpleasant-- but not unusual-- experience of realizing how different some people are from myself.  I mean, I know (surprisingly enough) that many people have vastly different opinions from my own, but (possibly because I don't interact face-to-face with a variety of them on a daily basis) I tend to... well, not forget it, exactly... but at least sometimes not devote a lot of thought to it.  Maybe it's more accurate to say that I begin to think that I can always immediately tell like-minded people from the rest. 

If I'm not always aware of where people in my "real life" stand on big issues, I'm even less familiar with my Internet acquaintances' stances.  Maybe it's just that with most people I interact with/"follow" (on social networking sites, blogs, etc.) online, I'm rarely confronted with their opinions on serious topics.  They chat about hobbies and pets.  I post photos of crochet projects and autumn leaves.  When we interact, it's usually about very light stuff, and it's always friendly.

And then I read a tweet or something that throws me for a loop.   

Oh.  I didn't know CraftyGal465 was one of them.  It's a shock when CrochetPumpkin23, that sweet-seeming person who makes doggy sweaters and donates preemie hats to the local hospital starts tossing around terms like "teabaggers".  When ArtsyFartsyL@dy refers to a relative as "god-loving" like it's a bad thing, I'm slightly stunned.

It's a little like finding out your casual friendly acquaintance has been body-snatched by the pod people.  Surprise!  These people think your beliefs are stupid!  Hey, look!  They're pointing and laughing at people like you!  If they knew what you believe in-- politically, spiritually-- they'd think you an imbecile!

Silly, I know, but there it is...

There's a certain illusion of familiarity in so many Internet-based relationships.  It's probably better that way, for most of them.  You know what they say about politics, religion, and money.   (Says the person who frequently expresses political opinions on this blog.)