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  IRC is a drug.

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IRC is a drug.
The dangers of drug abuse, a true story. By Tavarish

IRC is a drug. I started taking it about a month ago, because I thought it would be fun, and interesting to meet people from all over the world. I didn't think it had any major consequences...I mean, IRC? What did I have to lose? It would only be for a little while anyway.

And so is the mentality of a newbie experimenting with IRC for the first time. Whatta thrill! Whatta rush! You're hooked up, on-line to other people in real time! You never thought a computer could be so cool!! And all while you thought that all those people in front of their computers were total geekoids.

So you keep doing it, hey you're bored at home and all your friends have ditched you. Better than turning on the TV right? You keep doing it and doing it and doing it....you can't stop. You dream of it at night. You wake up odd hours just to chat. You learn to analyze different time friends, neglecting your family, and you develop permanent eyebags. You become the world's greatest typist.

You become familiar with odd lingo: dcc, aliases, url, rock bots, eggdrop bots, cyberlife, real life, ping timeout, wav files. Where was this when you were learning Spanish? People finger you and you won't mind. People with weird names, names named after animals, cities, parts of the anatomy.

People you have never seen, people you do not know and might never ever meet...these people become your best friends. And you become attached to IRC.

And then it happens. You realize that you are one of them...you are an IRC addict. Ack! What happened? You used to be so normal! Now you can't live without the damn thing. You HAVE to be on-line or you'll just DIE.

One weekend my provider was doing clean-up and installed more phone lines and didn't inform me. I tried to hook up...patiently dialing the number of my provider over and over again....was it my modem? Unplug and replug. Nope. Was it my phone line? Unplug and replug the phone jack. Nope. Was it the computer? Take it to the shop for a check up. Nope. Start crying and panicking. Call that guy from the provider at his home, and demand to know what I did wrong to deserve this fate worse than death. "Oh," I say, "So, I can't get on-line till midnight tonight? Okay, thanks for telling me, I was so worried..." So then I wait for midnight, counting down...3... 2...1..rev up that modem...IRC here I come!!! And then zilch! He lied to me!! I tear my hair out. Ahhhh!! I want my IRC!!!

To make a long story short, I eventually logged on, and whatta welcome I got! Where were you? What happened? Did you die and are you in heaven now? Yes yes yes!! IRC heaven! You feel great to be back...everyone hates your provider. You feel such cameraderie with these people.

I am an IRC addict. And I don't know if I can't stop. I wonder sometimes, why am I addicted to this thing? It's not like I have no life. I did, I do, I will right after I log off.

I think I know why I love IRC so much. In cyberspace, you can be yourself, or you can be who you want to be, and people won't care. You are a personality, not a body, you are a brain, not brawn. No one expects you to buy them flowers and call them after the first cyber-date (well, maybe an e-mail). No one expects you to provide them security, be faithful, nor obtain a commitment. IRC is an advanced form of dating. It is a haven for flirts, and romantics, and lonely people. IRC is where people can barge into a channel, and not one person would mind. Try THAT at a real life party. IRC doesn't embarrass you as much as real life...IRC is what you want it to be for you. Entertainment, your job, your lifelong commitment.

It's there, and you can turn your back on it anytime.


I forgot to mention the drawbacks of IRC. If you can call it a drawback. In IRC, like real life, you experience feelings. And I mean, intense emotions! You end up feeling ignored if no one talks to you. You end up getting frustrated if you can't get your auto-greet to work. You end up in a fit of real laughter with funny jokes. You end up all huggy and happy to see someone you like log on. You end up falling in love. You end up getting jealous. You end up getting hurt. You end up getting depressed.

And like real life, these feelings affect us. These feelings make us who we are...because we invest ourselves in IRC. It is not a game we simply play, we dedicate ourselves to it...it becomes a part of us. And the friendships that we form on IRC are real life friendships. Only IRCers can understand the nature of these relationships. We look for something on IRC, and when we find it, we don't let it go. All we want to do is have fun, all we want to do is meet people...all we want to be is liked,loved, even. We want what we don't have in real life. We find comfort in IRC. And that is why we get attached to it.

My advice for IRC is: KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE. KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE. KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE. If we can log-on to IRC, we sure as hell can take what is dished out to us. Sometimes IRC relationships become real-life relationships, ranging from e-mail to a phone call to visits; sometimes they simply remain in IRC. Whatever it may be, make sure all parties involved know what they are getting into, and like real life, be careful of the other person's feelings.

I should know. I have seen it, and been there.

When I first started IRC, I thought it would be all fun and games. But I was wrong. Sure it is fun, but it has its seriousness, and sometimes this is what makes IRC great. And when I was a newbie, I simply thought of these people as their nicks, and nothing more. And now, the people I am closest to live like, 10,000 miles away from me, and I can call them friends. Isn't that so cuel?

In many ways, I am still a newbie, learning all sorts of new stuff from the IRC. And in a few ways, I am beginning to let myself go a little from IRC. I try not to be such an addict. (The withdrawal symptoms are starting to show). Not because I wanted to, but because I have to, for reasons my provider will tell you. And all is well. Awhile ago, I actually saw my sister. And my family watched a TV show together. Hey, its a start!!

And!!! I wrote this article. :) Not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

So I have said my piece, and I have to go now. I think a line is finally free for me to log on already.

(QUIT MSG: Seeya!)



Copyright 2004 #Norway -Angelu-