Aaron Braaten my friend and sometimes e-publisher of my not-so-great sprawling novels has just received a Master's degree on bloggers and their ways. I do believe he has established a trend. "You're gonna love this," he told his examiners.
He got his MA in Economics, especially in the socio-economic makeup of bloggers.
Aaron surveyed as many bloggers as he could, including this post-luddite hopeful.
I think Aaron has started a trend.
But the Toronto Star in an independent survery, seems to think it's a down trend.
"Internet breeding loners?" a Star headline asks.
"Canadians who spend more time online are more likely to neglect family and real-life friends", says a Statistics Canada survey.
Not so, says Jeffrey Boase, a PhD candidate at Toronto U, who will shorty defend his own thesis on e-mail and social networks.
He says the Internet has saved him from social isolation.
"I spend a lot of time working in solitude, and the Internet is one way to be more social. I spend an average of ten hours a day onling. If anything, it's helped me to stay more connected."
I myself thought that once you're in the trap of Boolean algebra, the matrix of all our surfing and blogging, you'd just get more machine oriented, more of an obsessed and addicted blogger and surfer.
Suck it up, or almost--says Barry Wellman a professor of sociology at Toronto, acknowledging that online social networks do occasionally diplace family interaction but such a trend is to be expected with society's increasing reliance on technology.
The nature and extent of my addiction to blogging was driven home to me this weekend when a visitor came and took me places, like the local Farmer's Market, a flamenco concert and a swell Greek restaurant.
Where'd I'd been? On the moon?
It was like coming up for air.
I seemed twenty years younger, I had brought some flamenco into my life and a vegetable wagon pulled by horses made me, through a kind of synchronicity, realize that I had turned into some sort of loner vegetable myself, only my reading of other people's blogs and emails bouoying up my optimism.
And yet my benefactor had insight.
"Look what you have built up. It doesn't seem like much,but through your blog and other people's blogs, you have created a kind of interactive novel."
So we are all building the great interactive novel? A Time Magazine of cyberspace?
Seems like even mass volume political blogs like Chuckercanuck out this way, are also developing a literary flair, and who knows, out here in Canada anyway we seem to be producing some sort of literature.
And literature has long been the loneliest of professions.
I will never forget my unofficial "greeters" at the Toronto Star, where I'd first started as a cub reporter.
They had a good look at me and declared, "Talent hides in the strangest places."
"You are going to be one lonely son-of-a-bitch. "
Well, yes. One is, uh, odd.
And until friends come to call, one lonely son-of-a-bitch.
But the Internet is slowly taking over my life.
It hypercharges my brain. My brain seems to double and ten itself as it works in tandem with all that information.
I seem to write better and faster (at least that's the illusion you get after abandoning the old Smith-Corona).
I also have the pathetic delusion of being a great stick man from all the porn I watch.
Looms weaving by themselves. Lovers coming and going in your own head.
It took some "field reseach" to arrive at a conclusion about all this.
In Graffito veritas?
Most answers to perplexing problems seem to come from low humour:
A troubled man had scrawled on a washroom stall: "My mother made me a homosexual."
A less troubled man scrawled just underneath: "If I get her the wool, will she make me one too?"
Who is this Deus ex Machina?
And what is he/she doing to my brains and balls?
Like some sort of sciencefiction cyborg, I am now embedded in the machine and, echoing the machine-like utterances of of Daft Punk:
"I now know my purpose."