Saturday, July 12, 2008

Counterphobic Networking

Okay, so I'm trying to figure out what the first chapter of Constant Tower will be. Prologue in the form of a quotation from the "annals" or regular chapter. And beause I would rather indulge in creative procrastination (in the garden or on the internet) I figured I'd go networking on this new networking site www.wonderlands.ning.com

Okay, networking is one of my counterphobic issues. I like networking but it scares me silly. I don't know why the heck I like networking. On a totally sweet level, I just like meeting folks. If they're like me...all the better. IF I can help them in anyway...all the better still.

When it comes to networking in person, you ought to see me. Like...let's say I'm at a convention. I am so dang friendly, flaky, and funny. And what do I do? I tend to go toward the people who look flaky and friendly. I also veer toward the folks who are the odd-people out. So in a Christian writers convention, I'm the one who goes ends up with the gay writers. Or I end up with the folks who look very shy and quiet. (Yeah, hubby is shy and quieet so I'm naturally drawn to the retiring types. Some weird thing in me wants to drag them out into the light.)

But this networking on the internet. A whole 'nother story! I find myself getting all nervous about how I'll be perceived. It kinda reminds me of a church I used to go to called St Mary's on the Green. Very rich church. Heck, I could name some of the folks in that place. The nickname for it was St Mary's on the golf course. Now, the problem was that with so many rich folks around there was always this assumption that people wanted to use other folks for money, status, power, employment, etc. So I always made sure that if I realized I was talking to say the steward of the Rockefeller foundation or the head of Nestle America, that I would suddenly disappear from site and never speak to that person again. Hey, I was black (still am) and the church was 99% white. And unlike the other black persons I was not rich or powerful.

So there I am on this new networking ring. Mostly white folks, mostly Europeans. They don't know me from Adam. (Which, ya know, may be a good thing...cause those who know me either like me very much or they want to wring my neck.)

So I'm going through the member list checking on members and deciding who to attempt to befriend. So I end up with my little networking filter. My first filter is that I find myself avoiding anyone who has an anime picture up instead of their picture. Why? Lord knows. Then I find myself avoiding anyone who is an editor or agent or big-time reporter. Why? Cause I don't want this "important" person thinking I'm trying to use them. Then I avoid any guy who is especially cute because I simply do not want him thinking I'm hitting up on him. Then I avoid anyone who is averse to Christianity or who might seem averse to minorities. (Honestly, I'm nice and I'd probably like them but they might not like me for prejudiced reasons, so why stress myself by adding them as a friend when they would only reject me.) Then I avoided anyone who was too young. Why? I mean... I have a lot of young friends online. Can't figure that out.

All this extreme insane behavior, of course, comes from me always being the "only" -- the only black among whites, the only Christian among atheists or new agers. And so in some very interesting way my online life reflects my real life. (You ought to see me at McDonnell family gatherings. Sure hubby and I are madly in love with each other and have been married for 24 years and sure everyone in the family knows me by now...but what do I do? Sit down and cower in the back until some flakier shyer member of the family appears.)

Anyway, what with all that filtering, I did manage to brave it and send out some "add as friend" requests. My big brave deed of the day.
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