let me introduce you to joi.

Not misspelt, it’s Joi. Not Joy. Although joy is definitely something she brings me.

Joi ‘oodlies’ – it’s a thing…

I met her about 2 years ago, on the internet. It’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. We mucked around on twitter for a long time, telling silly jokes. And then we switched to emails – which sometimes got more serious. And texts. And whats app…. And suddenly I had a really good friend I was sharing my life with every day.

And then when I met her in real life for the first time, it was to have a sleepover at her house in Melbourne. A sleepover? With someone you’ve never met? Why YES.

So maybe I hadn’t *met* her in real life, but I knew her as well as if we’d been chatting over cups of tea for decades. And maybe even more so. Because sometimes the ‘safety’ of the internet means you can be more of yourself. Know what I mean? The person can’t judge your outfit, or your hair, they’re simply taking your written words, and building their understanding of YOU. Without all the fluff. I like it.

Admittedly, you could be creating a nasty online persona, and yes, those people are out there and we should be wise… but for the most part, people are people. You’ll be able to work out whether they’re your ‘type’ of people once you get chatting… And friendships can build online just as much as they can in person.

So I had a sleepover at Joi’s house. It was ridiculously good. I slept on a huge couch in the living room, and I even had a soft teddy bear friend to snuggle with. And I’ve had more sleepovers since. And we talk. Every. single. day. Online… we’ve laughed through different situations, we’ve cried through others, but she’s THERE. Always.

She’s my friend.

And the bonus of our online worlds is that she’s always in my pocket.
And everybody wants to go through life with a friend in their pocket…

 

controlled crying. it’s time.

I have issues.

I love my iphone. And my laptop.

A lot.

My lovely boss pointed out (er, so, um… kindly?) that I spend a lot of time online at night. Um, yes. And particularly at the moment, at night, because I’m awake, at my other job, waiting to be able to go home…  So I jump on twitter, or I answer emails, and then jump across to facebook. And back to twitter.

So I was given an ‘e-curfew’. That’s like a really bad swear word to me. This week, it’s 10pm. And next week, apparently 9pm. PANIC. Ouch. Well, I say ouch, but of my own accord, my self-imposed curfew is usually 10pm. I don’t do well with minimal sleep. I get cranky, and I feel claustrophobic. So, when it’s up to me, 10pm is a GOOD bedtime.

But at the moment, job number two doesn’t allow for 10pm curfews, and these days I’m falling into bed around 1am, six days a week.

I was quick to declare that my online-ness (it’s a word) was because of external circumstances. But essentially, lovely boss is right(how is it that I’m not even a little bit surprised. Still, don’t tell her.) and I shouldn’t actually be online. Even if I’m not actually asleep, I don’t need the online stimulus. I need ‘gentle’ at that time of night. I *should* be reading, or writing, or just winding down. A bubble bath! Novel concept. Oh wait, a NOVEL!

Last night my curfew was enforced, and I panicked. I crept over to twitter DM land, and sent a few secret DMs, but that just felt dodgy, so I stopped. Then I lurked on twitter, but it’s no fun lurking when you can’t interact, so I just went offline. Which irritated me, because it meant the e-curfew(and the enforcer thereof) won that round.

BUT, I unwound. I relaxed. I lit a candle, and meditated. I made a cup of green tea and read(I only had a trashy magazine, but at least I read…tonight it will be a book, I’ve packed one in my bag). And I seriously felt myself relax. Weirdly so.

Yeah, I have to stay up, but I also don’t have to be online…

So, I’m launching my own version of controlled crying. For my iphone. (it’s a thing.)

I’m accepting the e-curfew(the 10pm one for now, I don’t think I can quite breathe at the thought of a 9pm curfew), and I’m leaving my phone be… if it beeps an email notification, I’m just leaving it to beep. If it sings a little twitter song, I’m leaving it to sing. If it weeps for my attention, I’m leaving it to weep.

Harsh, but it’s time for some tough love. Isn’t that the deal?

So if you can’t find me online, and you hear my phone crying, that’s the deal. Leave it be.

[and if you see me online after curfew, feel free to yell at me…]