I can't believe I'm saying this, but after a few months of not having time to so much as log on, sadly I don't think I'll ever be going back to World of Warcraft. The only thing I don't like about dropping an online game is the friends I leave behind, something similar happened when I left Everquest.
The difference this time is that I actually got to know some amazing people over the couple of years I spent online, and I miss them as though they were next door all along. It's pretty surprising how you can form attachments online, it makes the world seem pretty small until you look at the cost of airfare.
Sadly, "tools" like Facebook certainly don't cut it as far as staying in touch is concerned. Besides, as far as social network interfaces go, it's bare bones ugly, populated with applications that are as much spam as they are sad marketing and research tools and I find that for a social network there's very little back and forth even when you are 'speaking' to several friends. That, and I've turned down friend requests from at least a couple dozen people I've never known from anywhere. Spammerific.
Back on topic; I know I'll miss the people in World of Warcraft, the social aspect is what keeps people going back I believe. The game itself is great, but it does wear a little thin for some people. Besides, with two or more hours of writing every working day, then editing and more writing on the weekends along with other normal life stuff I have to get to, logging on just doesn't happen. Do I think of the people I was connected to online? Daily, it's hard not to after spending a couple years on and off in digital nearness with them.
Not spending time online has brought a lot of success that pushes me forward and upward in life though, and that's something I have to prioritize. It just goes to show that growing pains can come in many forms and at any time.
Last week I saw the inside of a bar for the first time in about six months, a few people were amazed I was even still in town. Just being around familiar faces for a bit was pretty good, getting in touch with a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. I still found myself thinking; if all the people I cared about online were there too, well, what a great time it would be.
Well, back to the editing of Project Moo...