I May Be a Web Voyeur

There’s a phenomena I’ve noted in the blogosphere: cliques. Surely you remember these ensemble casts of characters from adolescence? Arms linked at the elbow as they marched, mowing down anyone not quick enough to scurry out of the way.

This proclivity occurs in school settings, work environments, athetic events, and on the world wide web it seems. I understand the reason – as people we are drawn to those who share our interests/ideals/traditions etc. That’s not a bad thing at all – but it can feel exclusionary to newcomers.

And not everyone embraces new blood.

I’m not much of a joiner. Socializing is not first-nature to me and when I find the clique to be internally focused…well, I sorta lose interest in trying to gain admission. That feeling brings about a strange sense of deja vu. Reading and writing were my way of avoiding cliques when I was younger and I realize that hasn’t changed.

One blog I visit referred in a post to lurkers – folks who lurk around the internet, reading and observing but seldom interacting. In real life people who participate in such activities are called voyeurs.

Huh. I didn’t think about myself that way. Until now.

Live and learn.

I am a lurker. Reading and surfing, visiting and checking things out appeals to me. Occasionally I feel inclined to opine and do so, but leaving comments without genuine interest feels false. I don’t like that. Insincere attempts at socializing make me unhappy.

I feel faux.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’ve met many great, wonderful, fun, energetic, and entertaining people in online groups, classes and challenges. Twitter is fun. Hashtagging cracks me up like strawberry winecoolers did when I was a teenager.

I’m not kicking anyone to the curb or throwing anybody under the bus. I’m refocusing and taking the opportunity to be who I really am.

Yeah, yeah…the internet voyeur. Ha ha.

Anyways.

I’m retreating into my bat cave. Me and the daddy longlegs will be taking a sojourn from the social whirl for a while. It’s called hermit-ing, to coin an awkward word. Old friends will laugh their asses off as soon as they read this because this is what I do in the corporeal life (A.K.A. the offline world).

Years ago I turned the ringer off on my phone. People could call but I’d never answer the phone because it never rang. Blessed silence. It took a while for word to get around but then my answering machine became the Friday night joke-call. I got entire conversations recorded by smartasses friends who were out and  thought they’d call to include me in their evening.

I’ll still be visiting blogs and occasionally leaving a comment, when I really have something to contribute, but the rest of this hubble bubble is overwhelming for my strained socialization skills.

I do hope you’ll still surf by and celebrate a little danger here at ye olde blogstop, but if not, happy travels.

In the spirit of discussion, feel free to raphsodize about mental health breaks you’ve taken. Or people who disappeared and then mysteriously reappeared in your life. Or crazy messages people have left on your answering machine…

Tags: being a hermit, anti-social behavior, voyeurism

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  1. #1 by Natalie on October 24, 2011 - 10:22 pm

    Lurkers – LOL – whether it was referred to in a negative or positive light in the comment you saw, I see "lurkers" or people who prefer to read and comment less as absolutely just as wonderful and important as those who do comment. You don't have to say something to be a valued visitor at my blog Lesann so lurk away! I don't mind – in all actuality – I respect it!It's good to follow your heart and feed your soul and do what's right for you so ENJOY!!! I love hermitting every weekend at the camp! :)))Take care…

  2. #2 by Lesann Berry on October 25, 2011 - 3:12 am

    Hi Natalie! The lurker comment was made in a positive sense but I appreciate your affirmation. I love visiting your blog because I always get a giggle or learn something new. In fact so many blogs I visit, I seldom make comments but it isn't because I don't enjoy – it just seems extraneous to say "Wow, this is all so awesome!"I do love being a hermit and with Nanowrimo looming on the horizon, a little less twitter indulgence is going to need to happen. 😉

  3. #3 by Tameri Etherton on October 25, 2011 - 3:53 am

    I never knew lurkers were voyeurs. Hmmm. I tend to lurk until I feel comfortable enough to speak up. I'm super outgoing, but can be intensely shy as well. It's a conundrum.Hermiting isn't a bad thing. Quite the contrary. Like Natalie said, it's good to follow your heart and feed your soul. If hermiting does it for you, hermit away!I'll still stop by because I love reading what you have to post and I'll miss you in the social media frenzosphere, but you'll be back one day so it's all good. Enjoy your sojourn.

  4. #4 by Lesann Berry on October 25, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Hi Tameri! I've decided that being a lurking voyeur is not a bad thing…it's all in how you spin it, right?I'm so glad you'll still be visiting. I will be too – pretty much everyone's blog, just not commenting as much unless I just can't resist. And I will be back, I do love my technology. Thanks!

  5. #5 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on October 30, 2011 - 5:04 am

    Leslie, social media can be overwhelming and I totally agree with you about the blogosphere cliques although they are not the same as the high school type (thank God!). I see people lurking, which I do often too, but as soon as they join in, they are usually warmly welcomed, unless they are obnoxious or try to sell something. I'm sorry to hear that you will be taking your "leave of absence" from the social media. I will definitely miss your funny tweets. I hope you will be back soon, at least in our wana711 circle. Please keep blogging. I love your post, even if I don't always comment. And thank you so much again for my 7×7 Blog Award. I'm working on my post about it :-)Hugs.

  6. #6 by Lesann Berry on October 31, 2011 - 3:22 am

    Hi Angela! I like social media, but like anything else, finding the right balance of time allocation is something I'm still working out. I'll still be floating around, just not as regularly as I've been for the last few months. This is that part of figuring out how to better manage my time so I can participate in all the things I want.I'm always glad to have visitors – and to visit others too…that won't be changing! *hugs back*

  7. #7 by Barbara McDowell on October 31, 2011 - 4:32 am

    *coming out of lurk mode* Heh heh. You aren't alone in this. I circle through a number of blogs each week, read and enjoy, but don't comment on all. I'm with you in feeling it is a bit much to just say, "oh that was funny." If I can comment and add to the conversation or give a different take, I do. I'll def. miss your Tweets if you are cutting back there as well, but will be here when you want to pop back in.

  8. #8 by Lesann Berry on October 31, 2011 - 4:43 am

    Thanks Barbara! Like many other in our "wana" group…I've gotten caught up in a tidal surge of time management conflicts. I'll till be here lurking about, but maybe not as noticeably until the dust settles and I have some more time.On top of everything else I decided to Nanowrimo this year, cause y'know sleep is for sissies. lolI'll still be twittering. Am headed to Los Angeles tomorrow, so I'm sure there'll be something worth sharing!

  1. Blue Moon Blogroll | Lesann Berry

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