When is it too soon to move from commenting on someone’s blog to emailing them directly? To making IM requests? To exchanging cell phone numbers? To make friend requests on NaBloPoMo and contact requests on Flickr? I tell you, the trials of not becoming a blog-stalker, yet expressing your blog-admiration nee blog crush appropriately is way harder than deciding whether to send the cute new guy a note, or when to call again after the first date. You don’t want to comment on all their posts right away– that’s creepy. And if you start catching up on archives too early? Same thing. But at the same time . . . the internet is no longer the sole province of perverts, insomniacs, and lonely college students. It’s a world full of smart, funny, talented people trying to find ways to use the too-speeded up tools of modern life to slow things down, to reach out, to make connections, and to express themselves through something besides consumer purchases at big box stores.
The other problem is response time. The internet makes things instantaneous in so many ways– but at the same time, you can put it down and walk away. If you have more than one email account, you may not check them every day, or leave them open while you browse in another tab. If you’re a luddite like me, you don’t have the email forwarded to your cell phone. Or if you’re a lameass like me, you go to bed earlier than a seven year old.
The only way around it all (and the confusion and anxiety it may provoke) is to be straightforward.
So, my dears– if I’ve blog stalked you or friended or contacted you too early, or not gotten back to you by email right away, don’t take it personally, or worry that I’m a weirdo. I’m probably busy running errands or working late or sleeping. If you’re creeping me out, I promise I’ll tell you “I think we need a break.” I won’t just stop responding to your comments or emails or IM requests. If you promise you’ll do the same, then your virtual bunny will be just fine.