Friday, 12 August 2011

Time for an upgrade

When the train arrived at Flinders Street today, the announcements said that it was the 5:47pm to Williamstown. Nothing remarkable about that.  But the destination plate on the front of the train said the destination was "Data Version 3.0".  Now having watched "The Adjustment Bureau" today and read all the Harry Potter books, I hesitated to board the train.  There was no Lonely Planet guide for Data Version 3.0 and I wondered what happened when you got there.

Earlier this morning, a message from Twitter told me that I'd been using Twitter longer than 91.43% of all users.  And I only started at the end of 2008 (I think.)  This prompted me to think about my virtual self and where she is present.

I'm on facebook.  Have been for a while.  Prompted by my friend G who now rails against all sites that require him to log in (including my blog).  I use facebook to play Scrabble, share photos, engage in conversation and promote gigs I'm involved in.  I also use the We Read application to keep track of the books I read.  (I flirted briefly with Library Thing, but it seemed pointless to have two places that did the same thing.)  I still have friends who aren't on facebook; others have recently succumbed.  I am only friends with people I know on facebook.

I never was on myspace.

I tweet.  Sometimes a lot.  Sometimes a little.  And often not at all.  I love to participate in community discussion during television shows like "Insiders" and "Q & A".  Other times, I use it as a microblog, making observations in 140 characters or less.  I find the restriction is a real boost to creativity.  My tweets feed to my facebook status too.  I'll follow back, unless you're a spammer or promising me access to hot girls or a religious zealot - probably the same thing.

Then there's Ravelry.  Ravelry?  If you're not a yarn lover who feeds their passion by knitting or crocheting, then you may not have heard of this one.  It's a project notebook, an educational resource, a pattern and stitch reference and an inspiration.  A recent Slate article sang the praises of Ravelry as being better than facebook because it catered specifically to a niche and is loved by its members.  It's true.  Apparently there's no bad behaviour in Ravelry.  There's a secret shared language amongst users.  When I walked into my local yarn store today I was wearing a scarf that I finished knitting today.  The woman in the shop admired it and said:  "Wollmeise?  Lacy Baktus?  Lovely!"  I understood every word.

Here's a picture of what she was talking about.

Lacy Baktus in Wollmeise!

I'm fixing up my Linked In profile.  It's been languishing for a while.  I've just joined Etsy.  I've got an ebay account and of course I'm now here on Blogger.  My goodness, I'm connected!  My virtual self is apparently close to omnipresent.  Does that make me a nerd? A geek?  What does this mean for my flesh-and-blood self?

With the arrival of the train to Data Version 3.0 I wondered if my time was up.  My imagination took flight...Perhaps my real self had become obsolete and it was time to be upgraded.  With each expansion of my virtual self, my real self was being gradually diminished.  Until she ceased to exist.  At this moment the doors sighed open.  It was time to take the trip.  My friends and family wouldn't notice my absence because they'd be chatting and networking with my virtual self.  The needs of my physical self, would cease and I would exist only in cyber space.  On the day I received notice of a rent increase of $113 a month, this seemed like an attractive option, so I boarded the train.  Turns out the train was really only going to Williamstown.  The homeless freestyle rapper was on board again collecting change and still not doing any rapping.

Destination Data Version 3.0 remains a mystery.  I hope it's warmer and the people are real.


  1. Tanya,

    Thanks for the reference on your blog, I feel so connected. Since you asked, I have summarized the online life which I am growing increasingly restless with. The list below counts 35. That's 35 individual secure passwords that I have to manage entirely in my head. Why do I have to manage them in my head? because online security is only as good as the trust you have in the 22 year old, californian tech-geek who has access to everything on there webserver. Not to mention the US government having the right to demand every piece of data stored on any server in the USA.

    1 social networking site
    1 radio station
    1 superannuation site
    1 healthcare fund site
    1 online payment site
    1 car rental site
    1 car sale site
    1 document management site
    1 hotel loyalty site
    2 social activism sites
    2 generic fund/share tracking sites
    2 share trading sites
    2 fund sites
    2 instant communication sites
    3 email sites
    3 professional networking sites
    4 banking sites
    4 airline loyalty sites
    4 professional services sites

    oh yeah, and this 1 blog site which I need to log in to post on.

    Thanks again,

  2. Thanks for taking the trouble to log in and post. Maybe you could streamline your email accounts. I might write my science fiction story about you. What did we do when we didn't have 35 sites to manage all our stuff?
    Thanks for reading.