Some years back I was given a copy of The Sims, a computer game in which you manipulate virtual beings in a virtual world. In order for your virtual people to get ahead in their virtual life they had to forge relationships and make friends. This entailed engaging them in lengthy, inane conversations with other characters, so that their "friendship level" steadily rose until -bing! - they were now an official chum. The problem was you had to keep topping these relationships up, or the levels steadily dropped again and the friendship would be lost. So instead of just arsing around in the game having fun, you end up committing all your time and energy to an endless round of networking, trying to keep your numerous sprites topped up with friendly goodness. I found it all bum numbingly boring and ended up walling my Sims into a doorless room and letting them starve, the tedious fuckers.
The reason the Sims have been on my mind is that I find blogging can feel a bit like that frustrating networking malarky sometimes. I am not good at maintaining dozens and dozens of online acquaintances. I can keep up with a handful of blogs and bloggers, and then I've reached the limits of my time and capabilities. Others seem to tackle it all like a military campaign. They are all over the blogosphere, flirting, luring, self-promoting. How the fuck do they have time to actually do the things they blog about, given the vast numbers of sites they visit and comment upon? I am fucked when it comes to the networking stuff, as I still find it all as bum numbingly boring as I did in the Sims. I mean, I could visit numerous blogs and comment "LOL" or "that was beautiful and evocative" or "you are SO hot!" or "wow, it's like you're typing my pain with your fingers, writing my life with your words" or some other derivative platitude, but it would all be just so much white noise. A quick burst of static that means nothing other than "I am here! Come look at me and leave your own white noise, quick, before my popularity levels drop again!" Bollocks to that. If I leave a comment it will be because something engaged me sufficiently to get my lazy fingers typing. Or because I have been drinking. Either way it will be a genuine response.
Maybe I'm just not good at playing the game.