What a strange sensation it is to walk away from something for only a week and a half, and feel completely out of the loop!
I finally leave Texas today and head back home, and I can't even tell you how happy I am that my "vacation" is ending. It's not that I haven't been playing WoW, but I've only been logging in during the wee hours of the morning to run my AT dailies, and working on some of my alts while watching movies with my cousins.
Most of my immediate and extended family don't really "get" WoW. They see it as me being anti-social more than anything. I suppose it seems that way, because they have no idea how very social WoW is. My mom will sit at her computer and play solitaire for hours, and unfortunately, I think too many people think that's what WoW is like.
Why do I prefer social interaction via internet or computer? I hear all the time from people who insist it is difficult to read people over the internet, via what they are typing, etc. I actually don't feel that way at all. Maybe it's because I've been using the internet for communication purposes since I was about 9 years old (you know, back when Al Gore invented it!), maybe it's because, let's face it, I have a talent for expressing myself via words. I'm not sure, but I am the type of person who gets sick of other people and annoyed with them very very easily - yet somehow I don't have that problem when I'm communicating via something like WoW.
I think it might also come down to the fact that I'm a multi-tasker. I can't just sit at a table and chat with people for hours on end. I get restless. I need to be doing something else. What's nice about WoW is that I can communicate and socialize while entertaining myself doing something else. I don't get restless.
All that having been said, I basically checked out of the WoW social atmosphere for a week, and I miss all my wow friends like crazy. I haven't even been checking our website much, whereas before I left I was obsessively checking it every few minutes (shh, I'm a tiny bit OCD). I log on now and we have so many new people, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I don't have the patience to deal with people who can't respect the fact that my WoW friends ARE real friends. That if I "make plans" with them, such as for a raid, it is just as valid as me making plans to go to dinner with girl friends, so no, I will not cancel my raiding plans to go out with other friends. My mother has asked me why I don't spend as much time with some of my older friends as I used to - I don't spend time with people who cannot respect and appreciate my time commitments to other people. Unfortunately, I find that many non-gamers just don't "get" it. They don't consider those other people real people.
The World of Warcraft may not be real, but the people who gather, play, and involve themselves in it ARE. Most of the people I know who play WoW play because of the people and the community - not because of the gameplay mechanics.