Digitized and Antisocial.

More and more people I know are on Zwift. It seems like every day I see another local rider pop up on a leaderboard, but I have yet to catch up with one. I think they're hiding from me, or I'm hiding from them. Something like that.
 
I have managed to miss every training race, group ride, or other pre-announced special event so far. I'm usually finishing up a hard workout, completely drained and already looking forward to a shower, the couch, and double fist-fulls of Goldfish, when I roll up on large packs of virtual riders sitting in the road waiting for the start time. Even when I'm on the system at the same time as the event, I'm on a completely different part of the course.
 
To be honest, I haven't made the effort. Some people spend their whole workouts sending out messages and giving each other "Ride Ons" (which sounds vaguely inappropriate, now that I think about it). They thrive on the social interaction.  I click on the Ride On button occasionally if someone did an impressive effort and I'm not occupied with hurting myself at the moment. Messages are beyond me, partially because I'm gassed and partially because, once again, I haven't made the effort. For me, the social aspect of the game is satisfied by beating random people or having random people beat me for a meaningless and short-lived "achievement". Either I do well or I don't. I don't need to chat about it. Plus, the sweat clogs up my keyboard.
 
One day that may change. One day I might tire of my current online semi-interactions and delve deeply into the various methods of communication that Zwift users employ. However, I'm not sure what I'd say. Probably a series of grunts and heavy breathing (after someone gave me a "Ride On") would be the limits of my communication skills. The virtual world mirrors the real world more and more every day, so my suave and romantic nature can't help but be effectively rendered.
 
So, if you see me in digital form out there and I don't return the "Ride On", please don't assume I'm a selfish Zwifter. I am, but usually it's because I don't possess sufficient brain cells to pant, sweat, and text at the same time. I think that's a Millennial skillset I just don't have.
 
Ahh, progress.

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