So, you've come back from your little hiatus from the froth at the Orange Bubble. (I like to think of Gather as an Orange Julius in a world full of carbonated beverages.) You've actually accomplished a few things in "real" life. Perhaps, like me, you finished the laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, made bitchin' baby back ribs for the family, ironed clothes, worked out, and even managed to go shopping at Borders and spend some of those gift cards you've been hoarding since Christmas. Logging in isn't something you just have to do in the morning. You're over needing that fix, just like the reformed coffee-holic who now only does decaf organic lattes made from beans harvested only from countries with a perfect human rights record.
After a few weeks of weaning, Gather is no longer the heroin you thought it was. This brings us to Step II of Gather Suicide: what to do with the extra time?
For some, the prospect of reestablishing lines of communication with family members and old friends is daunting after the time apart. Once you've revisted those relationships, you may be tempted to think that you've accomplished your part of the bargain and may want to type in those magic words www.gather.com. In fact, you've only just begun on your journey to reconnection with the human race.
A healthy human needs more than a few people bobbing around in the relationship sphere. Now that you have the basics of communicating with living humans, try to broaden your scope. That's right, make new friends!
There are many who need friends and don't have access to people. Try your local jail, where people are literally held captive. You'd be surprised at the gratefulness of the inmates. Another good place to find lonely people is your local library. Head straight for the internet access area. Pretend like you're going online to research a book on early 20th Century automobiles. Drop your pencil onto the next area, and say "Excuse me, I dropped my pencil." This is a great conversation starter! I've actually had conversations with homeless people, because my thought is just because they have no homes doesn't mean they aren't people!
Once you've made eye contact and exchanged words with a few strangers, it's time to begin to make them friends. This is the hard part; people are wary of kindness in strangers.
Pretty soon you'll have a house full of new friends, which will leave you little time from dinking around on the computer.
Try it, you'll see!
Stay tuned for Step III, Beginning to Let Go