#503: The Community

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It’s one thing to exist as yourself, to be a person who has a solid, single identity that’s unwavering and a part of themselves. It’s important to remember who you are outside of society, outside of the communities you enter and are momentarily a member of, because if you lose yourself, you risk losing the person that remains after the communities inevitably fade away. Lots of these small communities fall apart over time; they don’t last by virtue of the fact that people run into issues and drama if they have to live and be together for so long, and for such a lengthy period of time. Personalities will clash, attitudes will clash, it’s just the nature of the beast. Some people are better at managing those attitudes than others, and that leads to reconciliation and compromise over resentment. Other times, people think they’re good at managing those attitudes when in reality they only make matters worse for themselves as well as others.

Communities are fragile, and only propped up by the people that run them. If communities aren’t willing to resolve their differences amicably then they don’t deserve to exist in the first place. It’s all about amicable reconciliation, at the end of the day. If we’re not doing our absolute best to accommodate for each other, what are we even doing then? Especially our friends and so-called fellow community members? There’s no point in it.

I guess this will be the last post I make about this topic, about this drama that’s made matters worse for me on social media. I guess, above all, I just want closure with this, but it’ll never come. Not while I’m still around, at least. I don’t think it’s the kind of matter that will find closure. Not everything does these days.

#502: The Terminator

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When no one listens to you anymore, when friends turn against you and everything seems to be moving into crisis mode in the world, that’s when it’s most important to terminate all connections, isolate yourself, and remind yourself who you are and what this world is all about. It’s not enough to just stand around and wait for things to happen to you; you have to take a stand, be proactive, and move forward regardless of the circumstances surrounding your personal crisis. I know that these words are difficult to hear considering the state of the world right now, what with the pandemic and economic recession and all that, but it’s always important to keep them in mind in spite of things.

Recently, I terminated my connections on Twitter over a bad, unnecessary fit of drama propagated by people who feed off of this stuff. It’s a shame how you’re unable to tell the types of people you’ll encounter in the world until you actually know them for months, even. It’s not something you can just gauge from a close encounter. And people, despite their appearances, deceive all the time; it’s almost as if it’s in their nature to be manipulative to others. I’m the one who terminated all connections and I don’t regret it one bit, but a part of me wants to go back at least for the people who don’t know any better.

Regardless, I’m only talking about this here as a way of getting it out of my system, venting to no one and nothing until the wind sweeps it away into the vast nothingness that is all these other blog posts no one ever reads but once. It’s a sad affair but nothing to do about it but write, write, and write some more, until the last drip of ink seeps from the pen.

#494: The Drama

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The more dramatic the moment, the more frustrating it ends up being. That’s the rationale I’ve always had when it comes to drama and mischief in social media communities. It’s not my fault when things blow up in my face; it’s the fault of the people who decided so little was enough to cause them to change their entire indictments of my character. It’s frustrating and very damning of them more than it is me.

But drama is drama. I can’t change myself for other people when the people trying to get me to change would rather hold their ambitions over my head than actually be constructive or positive about anything.

This whole post is kind of one big ramble, and I’m sorry for anyone reading it out of context (i.e., almost everyone who will inevitably read this except for me). It’s just something I need to vent and get out of my head. I don’t feel comfortable in the community I once was a part of, and a result of that, I feel completely unwelcome and like a stranger in a strange land. I no longer want to be friends with the people I used to be friends with, and I no longer have any ambitions related to the video game we once all liked and shared an interest in. I don’t like when people decide that they would rather put themselves before compromising and mediating. It shows more about the people who are involved than it shows about me. It’s something I really wish wasn’t this way, but I’m not interested in this any more. I need to move on and focus on professional stuff, and I need to move on and be a more productive member of society again. I can’t let this era of my life define me.

#409: The Long Conversation

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Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that just seems to go on forever? You can hardly trace where it started or began, and at this point, you’ve covered so many topics that it’s impossible to quantify it all at once. Your messages are so long, so varied and intense and over the top, and you’re both so interested in each other’s lives, that it’s a genuine conversation, the kind that really provokes interest. I love when I get the chance to have these kinds of conversations, as they don’t happen often.

What I mean by this is, these are the types of conversations that last ages, that really cause you to write down on a separate piece of paper what you’re about to say because there are so many topics you need to cover in just one message at a time. You’re simultaneously talking about Persona while also discussing career ambitions and college and beyond, all at once. It’s remarkable to have the opportunity to have these types of conversations, as they’re really only possible with people you’ve only just met. Afterwards, I feel like the conversations between friends are shorter, more concise and focused on what’s going on in our day to day lives. It’s nice to be able to talk about so many things, so many topics all at once.

What I love the most about making new friends is being able to tell them about things all over again, and being able to experience life another time around. It’s really like going through the motions all over again.

For context, I recently made a new friend on Twitter with a different shipping preference and it’s been wonderful talking with them about life and everything going on in the community. It makes all the drama much easier to deal with.

#379: The Resolution

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Sometimes it takes being the better person to make yourself realize how petty you were being in the past. I don’t like to talk much about drama on here, but I’d like to briefly touch on a moment that took place recently that made me realize something important about my life and the person I choose to be, both online and in real life. It’s almost always better to just be the better person when in times of trouble or difficulty, even if it’s difficult to do so or to admit that you’re that kind of person.

So that’s what I’ll be talking about today: making resolutions with people, even the types of people you might despise or might despicable. It’s almost always better to just turn the other cheek, let them say what they want to say, and absorb their words into yourself. By that I mean, really listen to what they’re saying, and the motivation behind their words. If you’ve offended someone in any way, isn’t it usually better to just apologize and make up with them than to just drag yourself through the mud by saying they’re wrong to be offended? Usually people these days are so quick to judge each other, and the fact that offense is seen as weakness just makes things worse. People can take offense to things without it seeming like the end of the world.

That’s why I’m all about making resolutions with the kinds of people I trust, or even the ones I don’t trust. Drama is unavoidable sometimes, and there are people out there who thrive on instilling drama in our lives, but they fail when resolution happens instead. Their effect is lessened. It’s better to beat them with kindness than to play the game the way they want it to be played.

#321: The Followers

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As I write this, I have almost the same amount of followers on Twitter as I have blog posts on here. It’s really grown over the past few weeks, and I’m happy to see it expanded because it means I have more people to interact with who love my stuff. It’s fun to see people from throughout the fandom come to my profile and discuss shared interests with me. It’s even more fun to make friends who you can then play Monster Hunter with. There’s so much out there in terms of what you can do thanks to social media, and in this day and age, I appreciate it immensely. Leaving an online footprint in places is, under some circumstances, a bit troublesome, but to me it’s just the same as leaving my footprint in other people’s lives. I’ve met people who haven’t liked me, and that’s fine. You can’t please everyone. I don’t think you’re meant to, anyway.

To me, having followers doesn’t mean I’m popular; it means that my tweets resonate with people and they’re interested enough to follow me. Popularity does not necessarily correlate with interest. I consider having few close friends better than having many acquaintances, and that mantra applies definitely to life online. You can be inundated with so many people, but you have to be selective about what you choose to do.

I decided on this blog title and topic because the number next to the title was really close to the amount of followers I have, and nothing more. As I write this, it’s actually at around 325, but I figured this is close enough.

I had to close this blog for a bit to finish writing something else, but now I’m back. Sometimes you just need to relax and wait for the ideas to come back to you.

#273: The Twitter, Part 2

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This blog post is a continuation of a previous blog post, so if you haven’t read that one, you may want to go back and do that first.

Most importantly, there’s joy in being able to share in online experiences with other people. I’m happy to share details about myself, though I wish I were more talented in the ways of art or drawing or video editing, so that I could be of a better use to the fandoms that I claim membership of. I’ve recently started talking with more people on Twitter who are part of the Persona fandom, and it’s been fantastic thus far. We may even play some Monster Hunter: World together sometime in the future. I look forward to whatever that has in store. It’s exciting to think about.

Twitter is there for cultivating friendships, and I’m thankful for its existence in that respect. I don’t know where I’d be without some of the friends I’ve made on that site.

Using Twitter, though, is like staring into the abyss; you never quite know what you’ll find inside it, but you’re interested enough to stare into that black mass anyway. You look because you’re bored, or craving some kind of excitement or news or something. You want to be thrilled again. Having a Twitter in and of itself is great for networking and communication, but not always there for professional purposes, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t used my professional teacher account very much so far. I think that the main purpose of the site is to keep yourself occupied while you want to be occupied by it; if you aren’t interested in what Twitter has to offer, it’s pointless. But the catch is that you cultivate the feed yourself, so you create whatever the site has to offer, if that makes any sense. It’s a conundrum.

#272: The Twitter, Part 1

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Having a Twitter is, in some ways, a blessing and a curse. It provides you with endless entertainment, memes, news, or whatever you really want to fill your feed with, but on the other hand, it can be a deadly distraction. You might be tempted to keep scrolling through your Twitter feed even while new tweets keep coming up, and you might be tempted to wait and see how your group chat feels about the recent news. I’ve already written about how wonderful it is to have a group chat available with friends from all types of backgrounds and interests and hobbies, but today I want to focus more specifically on what having a Twitter feels like, how it affects the day-to-day.

On a given day, I probably check my various Twitter accounts at least three or four times, some accounts more than others. It depends on what I post and whether it’s attracting any attention, too. Sometimes, if people are responding more to my tweets, then that means I’ll be on the app more than usual. I don’t frequently check my teacher account because I don’t frequently post there, but on my hobby account and my private account, I post much more often. I have made and met some friends there already, reminding me of what it was like to do so years ago, during my senior year of undergrad, when I first met the friends that would later form the group chat I have. I look forward to potentially having more group chats to share in, and I look forward to meeting new people online.

As a teenager, I made lots of friends online, so I feel familiar with this whole process. But it’s still a bit nerve-wracking at first, not really knowing anyone who you’re talking to really.

#243: The Group Chat, Part 2

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This one is coming in two parts!

Two of my friends on the chat are huge anime fans, for example, so I feel like I know a decent amount about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure just from them, even though I’ve only ever watched the pilot episode with Alex in Boston one night.

The group chat started back in 2016 or 2017, when I was still on Twitter under a different account name. I had an account I used to follow people from hobbies I was a fan of, and I found a bunch of wrestling fans who shared similar interests online. We bonded over the wrestlers we liked, but most of all, we bonded over our shared connections and long-winded discussions about heated topics, such as booking, match results, and video games. There were lots of things to be angry about back when we watched the shows regularly, but also lots of great, memorable conversations involving people I’ve never met in person. These people are some of my greatest friends, and yet I don’t know when I’ll ever get the chance to see them. Does that really matter? Aren’t online interactions just as genuine and worthwhile as interactions in person? I’m not sure, but I’d like to think they are. A person you communicate with, by whatever means of communication are available, can still be a friend of yours. A pen pal from across the country is still a friend regardless of the fact that you may never meet them, either.

When I was in high school, I had a difficult time making friends, so to be able to have access to the internet meant having access to a world of online friendships, too. I knew people on the internet from World of Warcraft, the Rock Band forums, Last.fm, and more, and all of those people I owe so much to. I don’t know where I would be without them, so they definitely mean as much to me as any of my other friends do.

#242: The Group Chat, Part 1

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This one is coming in two parts! Here’s the first one, about a fantastic group chat I’m a part of.

While scrolling through Twitter, I discovered something worth writing about: the group chat I’ve had for so long, and all the wonderful people I’ve met because of it. I was playing Persona 5 earlier today when I remembered that I could share my experiences in the game with my friends who recommended I play it in the first place, years ago. I remember reading the group chat, also known as “Paige fam” or whatever other title it has on a given day. It usually changes with the season, but that’s one of the more endearing parts of the chat. I’m not going to mention any of the chat members’ names, as I haven’t told them that I’m writing about them and don’t want to spoil their privacy. But it’s a great group of about 9 people, all of whom I’ve spent a lot of time talking with. We’ve gone through stages of allowing more people into the chat, only to have them either spoil who’s in it to others or just not participate very often. Those people aren’t part of the chat any more. There was a time when the chat had 11 people in it, for example.

We’ve talked about and shared opinions on all kinds of topics, from Game of Thrones’s latest season (and its ultimate failure) along with football championship victories in Europe and earthquakes in New Zealand. The people in this chat span across countries; the diversity isn’t just in location, but in gender, ethnicity, and personality. It’s that kind of diversity that makes the chat so great, and so wonderful to come back after taking a few days off from looking at Twitter or social media. There’s always a fruitful, interesting conversation to look at afterwards.