When I walk around the normal world, I feel out of place. I feel a kinship to the acne-covered Publix baggers who I KNOW would rather be home trolling Digg. I am shaken from my OH SHIT HOW DO I ACT IN PUBLIC OH MY GOD anxiety laden existence when I hear someone make a Rage Comic reference or a Fail joke. I sometimes think I even see cynical phraseology in Impact font over real life scenes.
Its not that I don't exist outside the internet, its just that I don't see the internet as a entity to itself anymore. Back when AOL greeted me with my inbox and I was using Expage to make crude websites, the internet existed to itself. I remember being in 5th grade and asking my friends which of these was most important to them: music, TV, or the internet. And the internet always came up last for them, and I never understood why. Which, come to think of it, is probably why I spent the greater part of eighteen years of life assuming I was going to die a virgin - cold and with horrible eyesight from decades of screen staring.
But, now, I don't feel like the internet is a sole proprietor to itself anymore. And, once again, I don't understand people who still niche it away as outside of "real life". Its getting harder and harder to hide yourself from the Internet, so that who you are is the same in "real life" as it is in this so called "digital life". That line of personality is not so rigid. Previously, I think you could exist anonymously online fairly, if not wholly, successfully - but that isn't the case anymore.
I read an article recently on Gizmodo that compared the internet to a club, in a sense, and broke down why it's ok that internet is charging now for services:
Since you clicked your first link, you were promised one thing about the internet: you may have to pay a cover charge, but once you're in, everything's free. Except that suddenly doesn't seem as true anymore.
And that's when I really realized that I no longer think of the interent as a component separate from my everyday life. To me, the internet is tangible, tradable, valuable - when I purchase something "ethereal" from the internet - whether it be music, a service, or whatever - I don't feel much different about it than going to Target and buying a cup. But I remember years ago when that was not the case. When my family and friends thought you had to burn a CD of music downloaded from the internet immediately to make its value added.
I get that progress dictates things like the Internet's use and that its normal and not especially revelatory but, I guess I am just saying that if NY Times can paywall and get away with it, then I can get away with my geeky internet idioms in this so called "real life".