Everyone posting about myspace lately has made me wonder what the attraction for me is. I'm not making new friends or looking for someone to date. I don't read the bizarre novel chapters sent to me by one of my "friends" every single day. Because my connection is so slow, I can't even see the funny clip of the burger king that's on my page.
But I think we all crave some sense of connection from the internet. Since 1994 or so we've been told that it's bringing people together, making the world smaller, the internet superhighway!! We want to map out our own space and use that space to proclaim ourselves and connect with others. I really do think that we think of the internet in terms of connections. I think that's why myspace and friendster are so popular; the way in which you get to collect your own connections.
My first internet connection was in 1994. It was a bbs (remember those?) in the DC area called IHOK (int'l house of kumquats) run by an awesome guy named Geoffrey Claussen. His handle was Pickle. Because of the beauty of google, I looked up it's old address in the (then mysterious cyber world):
International House of Kumquats, Intl House of Kumquats
(1993-1996) Geoffrey Claussen WWIV
You had to dial into it with your modem (my friend Kim called in on an actual 300bps modem. Posts came onto the screen letter by letter. I'm not even kidding). It was incredible. I have no memory at all of how I found it or learned to use it, but it defintely changed my life. I met this group of amazing, intelligent, artistic, thoughtful kids from all around the DC area, people I would otherwise have never met. So much of my taste developed during that time, just being exposed to what these people were into and getting to post about it, endlessly, on IHOK. I mean, like all groups of teenagers, we had sex and gossip and all that, but I still remember it as something purer, something I felt I needed.
I have to give my parents credit for even letting me do it. People were a lot more afraid of strangers then, I think. There was no real internet yet; we weren't accustomed to the idea of meeting people that way. The first time all the ihokians got together (these events were called 'kumquasia') I was actually allowed to go to DC by myself and meet a bunch of strangers. Once, on the 4th of July, I was allowed to host kumquasia at my house, a big co-ed sleepover in the basement. Yeah, my parents were cool.
I miss those guys. Some I've been able to track down over the years, but others, honestly, I can't remember their real names. Or sometimes I'll remember parts, but not enough.
Old ihok members, come and find me! I was Tig and I miss you all!