Hey Island Guests, I am sorry for closing the island down for nearly an entire week but I was in rough shape. As you might know I try to make love and positivity an important element of this blog and I felt I could not bring that to the table. A talk shook my believes and destroyed something beautiful I sorta had..without having it… Now I wonder.. can strictly online based feelings.. of either love or friendship ever be real?
Only Real is Real!
A Covid-instigated-depression came and completely wiped me for a bit. Luckily I could chill with Animal Crossing while I dealt with my issues..but I got this seasonal switch energy drain alongside it.. so the past few days have been a bit hazy and sad. I am a weak person, healthwise so I am kind of scared for this virus.. which got me into conflict with one of my best friends. He wants me to use public transport, go with him to fun places where there are people… and basically do anything the doctor advises against. Me being a frail little person with a weak heart and damaged lungs… prefers to listen to the doctors. I told him we could hang out online and voice chat and such… and he told me that online bonds are never real you have to see someone face to face…. somehow that got stuck in my head…. and completely floored me… what in my life is real.
He then blamed me for thinking that I could sustain a friendship online. He did not want some “bug” to water down our friendship. I would happily travel to him to have dinners with him if he would not break all the Corona rules himself.. he keeps travel to friends all over the place, hugging them, being super close to everyone. It’s not like I blame him either, he is young and healthy and will not have a lot of trouble so I don’t disapprove of it.. just because he does it I can’t hang out with him or risk the 1 hour by public transport trip for two hours of company. I rather phone, chat or whatsapp… but he told me it all isn’t real. Plenty of people think like this and it kinda messed me up. Am I wasting my time looking for online friends? I wasn’t sure for a bit. I was still pretty sure that I made some valid friends…. then a series of unfortunate events put some cinder blocks on my feet and threw me into the deep end of the pool.
I am not a very passionate person, I love people to bits but always in a very platonic way. I haven’t had a major crush since 2016. Yet the past few months I suddenly felt happier than I ever did. My new online lifestyle suited me and I felt I connected to people. On youtube (as a viewer) on Twitter and even more “locally”..on my main hangout here! The were 3 separated people I had “feelings”for. Now I would not say I was completely smitten with any of these three (alleged) women but I just felt happy to interact. I would say they would more qualify as people I really wanted to be friends with and would not mind being more than friends with. The latter in a really weak sense of the word though. Youtube , Twitter and WordPress personalities don’t always have to align with how someone is so .. it felt like picking a Waifu that is a fictional character inside an anime.. Like two levels of fiction… Still it was a nice and innocent fantasy to have. It made me happy that I felt this again.
The youtube personality hit me hardest, you see an actual person. However what made me want to be her friend was the way she edits her videos. The first videos I watched of her where so perfect… like I would edit them in the exact same way and if I wondered why she missed a reference it would pop up a second later. She is a (inactive) Lolita youtuber that visited Japan and vlogged her adventures. Not too pretty (being too pretty is like a turn off to me.. if you look like a hollywood actor I am NOT gonna be attracted to you) but cute as a button, a mind similar like mine and she introduced me to some fascinating things I all really enjoy. Our mindsets are super compatible. I followed her and interacted with her on Twitter, again showing that we are mentally on the same page.
She’s straight so I knew it was never going to be more than friendship. She was going to play Animal Crossing and I hoped that one day we could play together…arrogant as I can be. Her channel doesn’t have that many followers (somewhere between 500 and 700 I think) so I thought there might be a chance. She explained she would only play with mutuals and actual friends though… which is fine and completely understandable. However this happened on the same day as the prior incident… so suddenly this happy bubble of “what if” popped for me. Again I completely understand her.. but the phrasing and timing felt like a gut punch.. reality can be a female dog.
Social Media Deception
Through this you tuber I got to know one of her friends on Twitter. Playing Dungeon and Dragons, quite pink, loving many tv shows I did. Again we talked a bit , though nothing to special, but hey interaction is interaction and it made me happy again. I learned stuff about them , got to show some support and we played a few of those “social media games” I normally tend to avoid..because hers looked like fun to me. Now that doesn’t mean I hate the other games.. but I don’t listen to music on my phone and most of the pictures I get on there are either of people’s pets or stuff I use for my blog.. so those “share the last” thingies I just don’t do. Tell about yourself in 3 vampires.. feels a lot more personal and interesting and doesn’t require me to break trust of other people or listen to music to fill a list.
Getting of topic here.. she was just someone I loved to interact with. Her low follower count, made me feel like .. I mattered.. in a way. Which is a bit of a deception.
Just because someone on YouTube or Twitter or WordPress doesn’t have a lot of followers doesn’t mean that they see you as an actual friend. Friendship is a subjective term and it’s important to keep this in mind. Just because Twitter says you follow someone and they acknowledge you doesn’t make them your friend yet. I am well aware of this and do not consider this person as a friend yet..but I felt there was friendship potential. However .. (I told you before I get really unlucky) around the same time I went through my crisis this person went to hers. It basically invalidated what happened before. A reset button of sorts was pressed. Other than me a few real friends reacted to messages and from the way you talk, you can tell I am just a follower. Both ways.. which i fine and again I do not really expect to get anything more out of it…yet it’s like you get new shoes. You proudly show them off to your friend and than all the other girls at the party take out their phones and show off complete new outfits. No matter how happy you are with your new shoes it pales in comparison. Social Media has all sorts of weird rules.. which aren’t true. People only care about you if they are mutuals is not true, because both the above appreciate my words they just choose to keep their Twitter feats as clean as possible. There are people that matter more to them or things they rather keep of their pages. In their own way they do appreciate and evaluate me… but just like those shoes.. due to having access to other dialogue it can all seem pale and empty.
Does that mean however that online friendship can’t be real? Because we always look at things from different angles? I do not think so. I have a few online friends who I actually think of a friends. I have a few people in my online D&D game that I think the world off, even though I haven’t seen any of them in person yet. There are some bonds that I made through role playing in video games that will last and I really hope to achieve that on WordPress as well. You know the “ lets talk in DM’s on Twitter” or add “me on discord” kind of friends. I am not there yet, though I do think I am beginning to know a few of you very well. I think I might have spotted some unspoken things about a few of you. I may be wrong..but I see patterns, I see when people act different than they usually do and that makes me feel that we are actually forming actual bonds. Some people begin to trust me and open up to me, others just ramble against me like it’s perfectly normal.. like in a way you would talk to a friend. So WordPress really does make me happy.
Yet because of the words of that friend, I began to worry. I began noticing the “dark things”. I see cliques forming. “Islands” as it were of a cluster of bloggers. For example there is the OWLS bloggers, but the clique is very centered at the original members. Than there is the Jon Spencer Gang, a lovely bunch but something I could not really connect to as our angles are to different. I feel to shallow or bubbly to fit in there. I feel like a sweet lolita with a pink sparkly pen.. writing among monk robed scholars writing with goose feather pens and east Indian ink there. The underachiever in the room. I felt really bad and could not mesh with the tone so I left his chat silently. There is also the Island of Lita, which tone wise I connect closer too but experience wise I am way behind. Anime is one of the things I care about but It’s one of the things I do spend less time with, simply because I don’t have a great set up to watch it as comfily as I can.. watch a movie on tv. I feel too inexperienced to follow their conversations most of the time. I also followed Hikari’s channel but it was heavily focused on Manga and I am just not that much into manga. Way less than I am into anime. Anime and Manga are a bit of a hassle for me to obtain and for the first one I do think the effort is worth it for the second not so much. I feel like I am adrift between islands. I am there and I am recognized.. but I am not sure if I belong.
It’s not like I am drowning in the open sea because I got a few bloggers that keep me adrift like pink floaties of happiness, giving me the idea that at least somewhere there is a land where I can make new friends. The thought kept me going and keeps me trying new things. Like SMILE-Force was a thing. (And still is going to be ) I got two sign ups ..though one still has to write me about it, and maybe that can be a springboard towards that sense of community. I love the support of some of the people here and the wisdom of some people here and again that keeps me strong enough not to throw in the towel. Yet I do realise that what I wish to achieve with this blog is a community.. people to talk with, to banter and just have fun. Writing does help me deal with stuff as well to clear my head as it were, yet I still feel like I am not good enough at it. This is for example why I never participate in the Jon Spencer Creator Showcase things anymore. I write because I have fun doing it.. not because I am proud of it. Let’s be honest if you actively follow me, you do so because my tone suits you or you like to read something that’s a bit different. I do not produce high quality journalist grade content..so if you are not following me already , I do not think Jon Spencer’s Showcase will convince you to do so.
Which brings me back to the whole adrift in the sea thing! Followers that stick to me, come from places like Irina’s I Drink and Watch Anime and sometimes from Megan’s A Geeky Gal. Along with some lesser active places. Now when I say followers, I don’t mean people who see a tag post and click follow this blog and not do anything about it ever again. I mean people who read and comment, people like Foovay, Iridium Eye (I would use your first names but I opted against it as people most likely will now know who I mean) Fred, Mallow and the likes. Of course if you actively read my blog ..and I have a fair bit of insight in who does and who doesn’t I’d count you amongst those people as well. .I just am not willing to guesstimate this by naming names. However I do notice that some of my articles get less views than they do likes. So I have a fair bit of courtesy followers as well. While a courtesy follow does add some air to my pink little floaties, it doesn’t bring me any closer to finding my island.
All in all I think there is some semblance of community there. Some people I would almost count as friends and for the most of you I would still love to get to know you better! I do think online bonds are real but like actual friendships it needs to be mutual! So I played with open cards here! Now that I am way to many words in I realise I never even talked about how my WordPress Crush crumbled. Well that one kind of faded away due my new realizations. I am pretty sure they are taken anyway. I realised that I don’t need a crush right now.. I have a goal to find my island and find the place where I belong. That means I can not be distracted by singular people! I should be the me who I was… the one that says…. Remember I love you all, keep smiling and stay positive! Thank you for being my pink floaties!
39 thoughts on “Pinkie in Love? The legitimacy of online bonds!”
Anyone that would willing put a friends well-being in danger, really isn’t much of a friend. I’m a healthy person and the chances of COVID-19 doing much to me is slim, but I’m not going to interact with others right now and put those more vulnerable at risk. That’s an incredibly selfish thought process.
As for online friends, I have more online friends than “real” friends and I talk with them on a far more regular basis. Location and proximity doesn’t make them any more or less real.
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I agree on all those things, I dont think my friend would put me at risk though, he just thinks it’s not that bad, I just rather not risk it, as i live with a lot of old folks as well.
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What a rollercoaster of a week… I get what you are saying about your friend. There are a lot of people where I live that is just as cavalier about it. A close relative and a lot of my friends seem to have the same attitude (minus the hugging and purposely breaking the rules), while my workplace has been putting rules into place at least a week before the state and my community follows with the same rules.
Those who are cavalier to the point of being offensive generally view it as opposing fear and the government, not as intentionally infecting and endangering everyone they contact.
It becomes exhausting sometimes to just listen to the “did you stock up on toilet paper???” crowd as well as to listen to tirades of how working from home is meaningless and draining the economy.
I can be very chatty with a terrible habit of talking over people, but when it comes to serious matters, I try to clamp up and actually listen to people. Usually there is at least one valid point in there. After a while though, it becomes draining.
Ah, I got off track. Sorry. XD
Back on topic: I have met some incredible couples that met online.
I think that is easy to be fooled that us netizens are intimately close when it is so easy to express our innermost thoughts on the web in comparison to the outside world. That is the danger right there.. it is easy because we don’t have to face one another and see the other person’s reactions. We have the luxury of forming and editing our communication before we release it, and the receiver can receive it at their convenience.
However, I totally agree with you that it is possible to create lasting and deep friendships with others online.
And yes, long-distance relationships are valid and can thrive just as much as the non-virtual world everyday relationships. It depends on two people continuing to communicate with each other, and to reach out for the other person even when it may be inconvenient for themselves.
Now to your end conclusion, it may sound arrogant, but this is not my intent at all: I am so proud of you!
Crushes are fine and all, but the driving force behind your own sail cannot be another person.
We are meant to help each other, but no person can be another’s anchor 100% of the time.
I know you know it, but you are amazing as you are, Pinkie.
Thank you for sharing your week with us…. I tend to share personal things when I write comments, but I generally veer away from writing my own personal vulnerabilities when I post on my own. So, I am in awe when I find posts like this.
Keep being you.
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Thank you for this honest and open response.
The crushes stood out to me as something “odd” that doesn’t normally happen to me nor would I let them dictate my life.. but you know somewhere it felt nice to “dream” a bit in a way. Not as an anchor even just more of a me thing. Like in a way in enjoyed the sensation of having a crush more than actually having the specific crush.
I see people make the same mistake as I did and I think it’s nice to be aware of them. Just because someone doesn’t give you 100% doesn’t mean they are not a friend or an asset. Sometimes we go in expecting to much… but in the end I can’t influence how that YouTuber values bonds, I can’t assume that if someone doesn’t value me as highly as I do them.. that they hate me.
It might sound selfish but I think that to actually form bonds I can not let others dicate my feelings just like I can’t call them.. I have to go off myself, and myself alone.
I know what I feel.. not what that YouTuber feels.. I could get upset that she only games with Mutuals and she doesnt mutual me after weeks of talk..so clearly she hates me… which seems the normal internet way of thinking… but that isn’t nescicarly true. She could appreciate my messages and the communication but have some principal rules. The internet is a tricky place after all.
I have to create an environment that I am happy with.. I can not force people to be my friend or to connect to me, but I can be open and say .. this is me , this is on my mind.
That way I know that people who eventually gather by my side are actually on my side and aren’t just puppets of social media rules or politeness. Yet it’s weird how unnatural doing that can feel..due to social media adopting terms like friends for numerical stats.. . And somehow we treat that word the same as actual friendship. So I feel…it’s very easy to be fooled into living for expectations., while in reality those “common rules” hardly ever apply. It’s just weird xD
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Ah, that makes sense. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, majoring in the none at all department. So, I did go straight to something more serious. I keep forgetting that everyone is not the same- howwww can I forget that? Hahah!
Thank you for reading my long and rambling response, and for taking the time to write back. ❤
That is also a great point… the rules on the Internet can be totally different and more subtle than in the non-virtual world.
I for one am terrible about checking in often, but you can count me in for rooting for you.
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Thank you! I shalol wear the badge of Pikiechan with honour!
Thank your for initial reply and this one as well! It’s great to see people actually read and react and it really helps that feeling of realy being out there for me! It’s easy to be just an number at times whom we are just polite to.
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I feel you. As someone who is both an introvert and extrovert, I’m sure there is a word for that, I tend to friend people online, because I’m too anxious to talk to people irl. And I often think about if they actually like me or not. And it messes with me alot cus of my severe depression.
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The best advice someone ever game me about times of being self-conscious amongst others, is to forget about myself and to focus on the other person.
First, think of why you want to communicate with someone else. Go deeper than the immediate reason that pops out at you, and then go for it.
Hmm… potlucks are pretty common where I live. (A get-together with the community for a purpose- goodbyes, welcomes, etc). Remember the reason why you came- if it is to welcome someone, that is the main focus. To welcome the new person and to make others close to them feel comfortable. If others are itching to be snuggle close to the newbies, I give them space and I look for ways to be helpful. There is always people in charge of food and seating. Even if they say they are fine, there are always things to be done. Sometimes, it is just to encourage those who are throwing it all together- assuring them they are doing a great job, and helping stepping in. Sometimes, it is looking for the people who arrive late, and waving them over.
Everyone is self-conscious more or less, so it is easy to see when others need assuring or just asking a common, how was your week?
One of the funnest things for me when I go to an event is to find that something…. there is something that makes everyone’s eyes sparkle, and makes the words tumble out with joy. Those are the most interesting conversations since I learn a lot, and that person’s interest and delight in that subject is contagious! What’s more, I feel like I was entrusted with a beautiful gem that is not usually known by everyone else.
Sometimes it is a topic that I love as much, like anime, Zumba, flying, or Korean dramas, but sometimes it is something that I am totally ignorant about, like (I kid you not) Chemistry, stock exchange and architecture.
It is totally OK not to know something- if anything, it is an absolute delight for others to shine in their expertise. The other person can tell when someone is asking, but really just using them as a buffer to feel less awkward… or saying something without meaning anything.
But when I say something like “I am totally ignorant on this subject. Can you explain to me….” or “What is the most interesting part of…” the other person usually has no qualms about expanding upon the subject.
The most amazing thing I have learned in communicating, is that I don’t have to be good at speaking at all! Most people just want someone to listen to them and to value what they say.
A friend once told me that “Interested people are interesting people.” In conversation, that is pretty much the golden rule. As an introvert, you have the observational and processing skills down. As an extrovert, you are able to push through the uncomfortable parts because you actually enjoy being around humans- you got this!
I can be fairly social with some IRL friends as well, I notice though I wanted more… IRL I am very bound by my physique and my health status. There if my muscles are being a issue for the day,,, there is no “hiding” I am not fine because an element of me isn’t doing fine.
Online I can eliminate that factor. Even if my body isn’t working well my mind is still.. sound… or well at least my mind still works like me. Online I can be me without consessions so having friends here is important to me.
Wether or not others like genuinely like them is eventually up to them. I am just being me and if that is not good enough that’s a shame.
My fear however comes from “not those people” .. it comes from people asking me “Pinkie are they really your friend if they dont even follow you on Twitter.. I mean thats the least they can do” It comes from people who post a like on my blog without even opening the post.
Either you like me or you don’t..but don’t pretend to like me because it’s the nice thing to do… to pity me and make me feel like I am loved.
I feel like we got so many rules now on how to socialise.. and how to act interaction often lacks that genuine feeling…but who is sincere and who is not?! I hate that I doubt good people..because of people pretending to be good.
I think for both you and me I’d say just be you… and I have to be me.. We might have some fake friends.. but if you are at least genuinely yourself there will always be someone in there that genuinely will care for you and your motivations.
Don’t ask yourself if your friendships are real.. because friendship is not an objective term. It can mean something else for you as to me, and Maica might have another vision about it Ask yourself that person is worth your time..for you.. do you gain joy from being or interacting with said person.
If you do it doesnt matter if they do not consider you a friend… but rather a friendly aquaintance. Friendship might be an extremely exclusive term for others.
When it comes to friendship you can not think with your head… you have to think with your heart. “We arent friends because they did not like my twitter post” is never going to ring true, no matter how many “rules” the general population come up with.. they only factor in if you want them too. A friend to some is just a person who is friendly to you.. to others it’s a sacred bond that comes with many responsibilities.
Semantics do not t invalidate a bond it only invalidates a word we apply to that bond. Just because a person can’t be there all the time doesn’t mean they do not care.
Feel if something is right .. do not fill in blanks for others.. like what they are thinking. Stick with what you know is real and let your heart make a choice based on that and at least you will do right by you!
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That’s a good way to think. I really never thought about it that deep, or should say that try not to think to deeply about it because knowing my depressed stated of mind would just think negatively. The people i consider friends are the people who i love interacting with and who has help me out with my suicidal depression
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Nothing to add here, I just wish I could add a gif. Hahah! It’s true though, nothing can substitute true friendship. What you both said, keep being who you are ❤
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Just going to leave a heart here as well <3!
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I totally get the whole issue of people following and never coming back and Im sure a lot of other Bloggers here do too. It frustrates me a lot more than it probably should but I can’t exactly pinpoint why…While followers are a cool number and everything, I’d appreciate it just as much or even more to have only 5 followers who return and interact casually than 80 who likely never come back. But, I appreciate where I am as a blogger now and I’m glad that people even respond in the first place given the vast horizon of the internet. Can’t always have everything, right?
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I think you are right. I do like the follower number in the way I apprreciate achievements in video games. However like you said people ,like you right now to comment and read what is being said is what I am much more interested in. A lot of blogs that follow me are marketing blogs to boost numbers. I honestly think that about 30% of my numbers. They show up because of popular tags.
I once nominated all of them for one of those blog awards xD just to see if a single one would respond (I am at like 40 or so now) none ever did xD
Of course there is nothing wrong with silently enjoying content. I for one watch way less anime than most, doesn’t mean I do not like reading about it.. I just can’t really comment how great an episode was.
Sometimes I read a post and forget to like because I was so engaged in a post xD. So I try to be careful. I do really dislike when I make a new post of like 4 Word pages and within a minute 2 people already like it and my article shows 0 views an hour in xD.
It’s why I dont use the reader anymore, I now have a day (or 2 if I dont have a melt down like I did ) where I visit people and read up on everyone I can. I do miss posts like it ..but at least I will have actually read stuff and when I comment at least I am being genuine. I do feel that part of the internet (not just WordPress) is to busy being a nice person..or pretend to be.
I just feel that with being forcefully inoffensive and nice we can feel okay about ourself but I rather have people be like.. ..Still I rather be the person who misses a few things and forgets to press a like button once in a while..but that has really been there.
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LOL, yes, you show those marketing blogs how much they deserve to be nominated! Also, I too absolutely adore putting out a lengthy post and immediately seeing a like a minute after. Who knows? Rather than a person liking the post just because, I’d like to believe they have the superhuman ability to read incredibly fast.
All jokes aside, when reading posts, I’d like to leave as much feedback as possible for the author since I know it has the capability to at least be slightly pleasing. Sadly, WordPress is only limited to likes and comments and likes can often be misinterpreted. I’d think comments are the best way to go about demonstrating your feelings on a post. However, most of the times, I find it difficult to find what to comment not out of a lack of what to say, but because of the exact opposite. There’s too much to say. Then, my brain just becomes a jumbled mess and even after reading over my comment draft 100 billion times, it still seems unintelligible and worthless. On good days, I can pluck up the courage to comment my thoughts no matter how stupid it may look like now but otherwise, I just silently hope people know my likes are genuine. Like you, when I forget to like a post, I always make sure to go back and like it
Also, completely random but I had a single day when I was able to consecutively comment on four different people’s post while feeling pretty good about what I wrote! Ah, bright days indeed.
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Or I notice that the last 5 posts I made were all liked in a space of under a minute. I get a smile from it. No, I am NOT going to visit your blog about selling widgets.
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It’s okay I have that effect on people; who doesn’t get smitten by the mystic, the charm, the unrivaled humor. I really am one alluring letter of the alphabet I can’t really blame you.
I guess there are cliques formed throughout but as sort of the residential black sheep I’ve found the borders around them are pretty welcoming. I’m pretty new to the Spencer gang I guess… sorry you were intimidated by all the intellectual banter, I’m sure you’re welcome back anytime but I understand feeling it wasn’t the right lunch table for you.
I understand the disappointment of followers in name only. I see an initial follow more as a sign of approval or endorsement of content because I know people like to see that growing and I always try and be honest with what I choose to read and read what interests me. It sounds like you’ve got a ton of wonderful people interacting with your stuff so cheers to that. As long as you keep having fun and stay passionate about you’re talking points I’m sure I’ll occasionally stop by every now and then.
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Thank you for your kind words, and yes you are the most adorable letter that I know *blush*
As far as the Spencer gang goes, it’s not nescicarily, that I think they are to intelectual for me.. rather that they take an approach to anime that doesn’t really gel with mine. Some people there make me feel a bit uneasy.. on an untangeble level.It’s like you said just not my lunch table. The realisation just came at a bit of a incovenient time.
I think it’s a nice way to think of intial followers like an orignal endorsoment. And I do feel people like you are sincere. It’s just hard to navigste trough the maze of who is and who is not. Which is why getting these comments is super helpfull it really shows people read! So thank you and everyone for reading and letting me know you are there! I will keep being me! That is something I promiss!
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You’re welcome, and thanks I try.
Yeah you know your stuff but I see how the scholarly sort of approach isn’t your main mode of operation. Someone should make that lunchtable meme with the WordPress folks it be kind of funny.
Thanks, I know I’m not the best reader or writer around but I’m glad I’m seen as keeping it real. Comments are the most important metric but I don’t know getting a like from someone you didn’t expect also happens from time to time and that’s awesome when it does.
Good luck navigating the digital world, it’s tricky and everyone is playing the game whether they admit it or not but I like to think that’s were the fun lies.
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Anyone who doesn’t understand the gravity of the COVID-19 situation has a “denial” problem. I suggest that they be put on temporary “ghost” until the situation clears up. A couple months ought to do it.
You undervalue your writing. Hooded monks with quill pens are not the only source of wisdom.
I’m glad you mentioned me. (Blush!) I thought with my strong sartorial preferences you wouldn’t want me to hang with you too much even if it is just digitally.
A courtesy like isn’t a bad thing. People are at least making a judgment as to whether I’m worth being courteous to. IRL friends do the same thing all the time – not that I have much experience either way.
I look at my likes and see that some posts get more and some get less. That tells me that they aren’t just courtesy likes. OTOH, when one post gets 20 likes – or 5 posts in a row get 10 or more – and the next gets 3, you wonder what the hell you did wrong. Not much courtesy there. But people are at least reading the WP Reader blurb to make a judgment if they would like it if they actually read the whole thing. It is the way of the world today. I ought to make all my posts 25 words. Or at least always make the first 25 words a killer intro to lure them in.
Comments are really where it is at for me and I am desperately jealous of Irina. And you. When I get a thoughtful comment I light up like a Christmas tree.
Friendship is a funny thing. I have friends who I speak to once a month yet I can just wander over and visit any time. I can talk to them about anything that’s on my mind. I can wear what I want from the minute I’m thru the door. But until this COVID thing came up, there were friendly people I talked to on a regular basis for months I could not call friends. They never get past my outer barriers. (Been hurt too often.) I am a difficult person to be friends with IRL. It may take ***years*** but when it happens it is forever.
I am not even “friends” with my brothers and sisters.
The ultimate anonymity of the “Wired”(see Serial Experiments Lain) encourages more intimacy because we can be separated by geography. The risks of revealing my “real” self are lessened. Because I can reach out to a wider population, it is easier to find people who are accepting. And if someone says I’m being hentai or strange, they’ll just get blocked. I haven’t blocked anyone yet. That is a genuinely pleasant surprise.
Sometimes this leads me to overestimate how much friendship is out there and underestimate how much is just friendly acquaintanceship. Friendship needs to be redefined in the digital age. It isn’t the same thing.
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Thank you so much for responding and reading.
A courtesy like isn’t bad persé .. I however had articles I worked very hard on and within a minute of posting it has 3 likes and 0 views. I do not dislike the courtesy..I dislike the subsequent thought in me of… well darn I could have just posed a picture and gotten the same response.
I have honestly experimented with this and my like ratio remains more or less the same. Tag posts get more but insight pieces and deep thoughts get about as much as fluff.
Posts like this though are a big exception. They perform considerably better and get amazing comment results. Which does show that people do actually care and a lot of people deal with these same issues.
Yet even on post like these there are fluff likes.
Again it is fine to do so but I personally I feel it doesn’t mean anything. If someone does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do .. that is just normal behaviour. It’s empty.. action and reaction that remain the same.
Someone taking the time to write words of wisdom on post like these..are given by the length of all of these posts, not done because people should react but because they want to react. It means something.
I just think it’s a shame that I miss .. this shy person’s like lets call him Shy Jimmy.. Because Marketing Bob and In-The-Community-So-I-Have-To-Sally, press like without reading my posts.
Again I know some of you, so based on my stats from where in the world people visit me , and based on how people interact with me, I know a bit who does this and who doesn’t but I dislike that I have to judge if something is sincere.
I write for myself but I am still interested in seeing what type of my content people like and do not like.
I have to worry about what is a bond to me if that bond shows any sincerity if that sincerity is not there I also have to worry about if people actually like things.
I do aspire to entertain at least a bit.
It’s like Kakashi from Naruto..under his mask is another mask.. and under that yet another mask. At some point you begin to question what is real and what not.
I will always be me, and if people respond to that positively that is great, if you don’t like it it is fine either way… The comments is where I get that christmasday feeling like you as that is where I really see who is there…
I just feel it’s unfair towards those who do not dare to speak up yet and who like something in sincerity that their voice is silenced.
They show support that might go unnoticed and i might end up even missing an important blog they wrote.. just because Johny marketing wanted to press a button to feel good about himself. Thats a shame it just muddies up the waters.
As far as your content, I really do enjoy it and your insights and we share some ideals about being able to be ourselves and I really appreciate that tone on your articles as well. I appreciate people like you who can like stuff with an actual passion rather than because it is following a trend.
Whatever word you attach to me interacting with such people, be it blog colleagues, pen pals, friendly aquintances should not be as relevant.. the feeling of that bond is what it is about. Towards you I feel genuine respect and appreciation and gratitude and regardless of what title we decide to give such a connection those are some pretty important feelings regardless of how intense of a word we use.
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There are many days when I spend so much time reading other people’s posts and then long conversations like this that I end up running out of day before I write anything myself. If I like something, if I thought it worth reading, it gets a like.
Thankfully I can still read at 600 WPM with comprehension, else I couldn’t legitimately read a dozen blog posts a day.
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I think that your friend is being more then a little ridiculous and very inconsiderate. Phone calls and chatting online are perfectly legitimate ways to maintain a friendship. I’ve had to do that with more then one friend, for years at a time, when they lived abroad. I can understand why your friend would generally prefer in-person meet ups, but they should be willing to make temporary accommodations to help you safeguard your health. I think your decision to stay home for the time being is responsible and that they’re completely in the wrong on this one.
As for relationships that are based entirely on online interactions, I think that they’re different then “real life” relationships, in the sense that they function in different ways, but I don’t think that makes them invalid or unimportant. One of my brother’s best friends is someone whom he met through playing games online and they interact with each other almost exclusively through phone calls and texts and stuff because they live in different countries, yet I’d still say that they’re very close and important to each other. I guess what I’m saying is that there is more than one way to be friends. 🙂
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I loved reading your response alsmangablog,
While you were talking about your brother and his friend, it reminded me of the Japanese Film “Final Fantasy: Brave Father Online”
Although it was pretty much advertisement for the game, I loved how the father and his son got to know each other deeper through online gaming. You can never discount a form of interaction if it brings people closer.
That is really sweet about your brother
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Thanks Maica! I hadn’t heard of that film, but it sounds very sweet, I’ll have to look it up. And I agree, any form of interaction can be important if it brings people together.
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There are more ways than one to be friends is exactly right. I think its tailor made and varies from person to person how to do that.
I do think however that because of so many people have their opinions ready its sometimes hard to see the truth. Friendship and any form of bonds always are exclusive to those involved in the bond.
If person A likes you and you like person A there is a bond and you can call it friendship.
Yet the world says ” but A dont follow you on twitter, that aint your friend” or ” you have never met, you are not friends”
Sometimes it is hard to listen to what your heart is saying if the world tries to convince you otherwise. Your head and heart start to fight.
Its why I made this post. Due to all the postive reactions I got, it’s easier to reset my head! I recalibrate my head and heart to align once more sort of speak, because clearly the majority of you does believe in long distance bonds!
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I think there is no right answer that applies to everyone. Your friend is right. For then, they may need the face-to-face interaction for them to form bonds. Other people can form bonds from just interacting with people online or mixture of the two. Doesn’t mean our bonds are invalid because it doesn’t work for someone else. The only person that can say for sure what bonds work for them is the person themselves.
Just because we have failures doesn’t mean our thinking about what constitutes a bond is wrong Bonding with someone else is complex with many things that come into play. Therefore we should not be dismissive of say online bonds because they where failures in the past. There might be other things that we are not considering that may account for the failures beyond the fact of them being online.
I think the best advice is just be yourself. Interact with people and let bonds developed as they might with other people. Be prepared that the other person may not feel the same bond as us and therefore doesn’t work out. That instead of trying to find some sign or parameters for what you think would make a good bond with someone else, be open to bonds with anyone. Sometimes we are own worse enemy in that regard because we limit ourselves to a certain group of people. When their might be other people outside that group that we could forge strong and lasting bonds with but we don’t see the chance because we don’t believe it could exist.
It is a similar thing to your writing. Some people will like it and some people will not. Myself I really like it. Some parts more than others. But that doesn’t mean you should change to make your writing better for me or meet some other criteria. To me the best blog writing is not the things I really like, but people who are being themselves when they write. They have something they want to express and express it. But that is just my opinion.
I think you already have your island and community and have fun. I am not saying that because the people that follow or comment on your blog here or on other social media. Your island and community already existed before that happen. They happen when you started this blog and started to express yourself online. It is the expression that makes your island and community not the interaction with other people. You gave people a chance to interact with you through your expression. As long s you keep expressing yourself then you will have that community and isalnd regardless of anything else.
I don’t know if what i wrote makes any sense at all. But regardless I said what came to mind and express it. That is all that matters is that expression 🙂
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Thank you , I mostly agree with why you say and it’s true I do have a community and I am very lucky to have you all.
What I meant in finding an Island is finding people in my community to deeper conmect with, you know ..like chatting with people on mundane non bloggy stuff.
I welcome everyone in my community but you can’t bond with everyone! I am open to very many people but there are certain energies, that prevent me from doing so with some people.
I for one have troubles with “pride” and “dominance” , “overly-Edgy” or ” Attention-Demanding” energies. I HAVE friends in all those categoried though, so its still not impossible, but I have met people here I’d never be friends with.. I can repect them , but I would not share with them.
Since I share on this blog..none of you fall into that category btw… Just in the geeky blog community in general.
But like you said , when writing the post I realised that fishing for friends might not be the right idea when desperately angeling for them. If I am me, I will create a stream that will draw those friendfish to me.. I HAVE a community ! I just have to be me, and be open and I will find those bonds I am looking for.
Dear Pink One, that friend is less of a friend to you than the people who posted above this comment. He doesn’t get that you are wonderful as you are, but you have a bodily weakness that puts you at risk of DEATH in this situation. My husband does, too. For that matter, I am 60 you know. So a friend who loves you would be the first to say, oh no Pinkie, stay home. We’ll chat on the phone. And then text you every few days to see how you are doing. That’s how I am treating MY FRIENDS. If he wants to do something that includes going out and running around then fine, he can buy your groceries and drop them off at the door, staying a nice six feet away and just happy to see you up and around and having everything you need. Loan you his anime DVDs or something. I’m sorry but in this situation he is being selfish and self centered. And we all have a friend or two like that, that we know really only care about themselves but we kind of enjoy their company anyway. You just have to realize their limitations and not be surprised when they pull something like this. Decide for yourself if you are going to accept it or if it is too painful for you, shrug and move on.
As far as online friendship, I am someone who never really has a LOT of friends. I have two or three that I am very close to, and a few more usually orbiting around that I care about but wouldn’t bare my soul to. Since I finally got dragged kicking and screaming onto the Internet some 20 years ago or so, some of those very close friends have been online friends. Like friends IRL some of them come and go and we may lose contact. That’s just something that happens in life – IRL as well as online. But my online friends are as close and good and special to me as any IRL. Some of them maybe more so. Sure, now and then you find out someone online isn’t who you thought they were. Now and then IRL you find out someone isn’t who you thought they were. It’s a risk you take with any human interaction.
I do like to think you are my friend – although I wonder if I am being presumptious in that. But I think of you as a good friend. Because we TALK I actually think of you as a better friend than say my neighbor I’ve known for two years who I do not understand half the time and have zero in common with other than an address. And I want you to stay home and stay safe. And write blog posts and email and other things we’ve talked about because maybe you have a little extra time since you’re staying at home.
Online life can be weird. And you do have to have boundaries, IRL as well as online. I don’t mind anyone setting a boundary, although it’s nice if you know their reasons. Maybe it isn’t that you aren’t a close friend, but that she already has 110 friends on Fishworld and just can’t face sending gifts to any more. I purged my 500+ friend list on Facebook this year down to about 100, when I stopped working online and promoting my books and all that. I told people why and I also said, hey, if you really care about my life and I unfriend you, message me. One person did. I realized quickly who she was (I’m bad with names so “who” you are to me is that person with the two boxers who draws fairies”) and I added her back and ended up becoming much closer to her. I unfriended one family member (and I have all of hubby’s family on so I can pass news on his health when he is in hospital) because I hate Trump and I simply couldn’t stomach finding rahrah Trump posts on my wall among other subjects where we are miles apart. That’s a boundary. We’re still family, but we aren’t facebook friends I’m pretty sure other family members will let him know if something dramatic happens with hubby.
I’m not saying you are being dramatic – because rejection on ANY level hurts like hell and being rejected by someone online is just as real as IRL as far as I am concerned. But it happens. IRL. And online. And it hurts. And I’ll give you a cuddle and a peppermint candy (if you like them), and you can tell me all about it and I will sympathize because I’ve been there. But don’t take it as evidence that online friendships are any less real than IRL friendships. We are always only human and we make mistakes and we mistake others’ feelings and words as well. Shikattaganai.
It makes me all warm and fuzzy you mentioned me 😀
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Thank you for you kind words. I think my friend isnt too bad, he just looks at things from a strictly positive angle and that can leave visions crooked.
It’s not like I feel deceived by that girl that doesnt want to be a mutual, I completly get her, and like you say there are plenty of reasons.
The point I was trying to make is that online friendships are a tricky concept.. I think its wrong to put a dictionary or generalised definition to the word. What is friendship to one isnt nescicarily that to another. The YouTuber does care for me in her own way, yet in doing so our definitions kinda misalign… Because of that its easy to call something not real..I could consider her a friend , she would not consider me that word… However in actualty in how much we empatise with another we arent that far off.. our hearts see a bond regardless of the title.
Just like how I empathise with you and care for you and like talking to you. In my definition of the word friendship there might be a familiarity with one another we may not have fully met, but I do feel we are at least very close. I would qualify you as a friend to be or as a blossoming friend.
Again that doesnt mean I think of you as anything less than a friend in terms of empathy, maybe there is a part of me reluctant to risk getting shut out, because now that you described me ad such I would happily call you friend as well… Kinds weird how that works.
Friendship is a complex little beast that online gets many more layers! People uninvolved te you how to feel and so its a maze to easily get lost in!
Luckily I have people like you that help me find my way back. Friends..who offer me peppermint candy!
Thank you so much!
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*Handing you a peppermint* Don’t worry, I keep them on hand. Do you like the butterscotch hard candies? They’re here too somewhere. One thing that is true about online friendships that do make them harder to parse emotionally is that it is a “flat” or “2d” sort of medium. We get so many non-verbal signals from contact with other humans that do not exist or you can’t perceive when communicating online. Take any paragraph from any comment and read it in two different tones of voice. See? Say it with a smile, say it with a frown and the meaning can change completely. Now that I’ve been here a while (here being online) I do my best to be careful with words to convey the best meaning or closest to what I mean knowing that you can’t see me frown or laugh. I use a lot of emoji’s too 😛 See, it helps. And really, I feel you are right about where we are right now. I feel like I would really enjoy having you as a friend. That you would be someone I could talk to for advice, or call if what I really want is just a pint of double dutch chocolate ice cream with two spoons and a sympathetic ear who will say there there until I’m done feeling sorry for myself and then give me some great insight I had overlooked being in the middle of the situation. But best of all, I really feel like if this friendship does bloom it will be a friendship for the ages. The sort like I have with an old friend I called today. When we talk it’s for HOURS until someone’s phone is about to blow up – so we only call every few months or so. He actually does not have Internet where he lives (out in the country) so we are restricted to the phone. But when I talk to him, it’s like we were together yesterday and every day. We’ve been friends for over 30 years. There are a few people like that in your life. Those close friends.
I got to thinking about your friend who wants to go out after I wrote that reply yesterday, and I wonder if he isn’t also someone who uses that positivity as a defense mechanism. I don’t know if you read any of my “Let’s Step Out of the Bullshit Zone” post but I talk there about people who do things that seem unkind that are actually a defense mechanism of their own. So he keeps this pandemic at arm’s length by acting as if it isn’t happening at all, and wants his friends to join him in that which would support and confirm his desire for the pandemic to “not be a big deal”. So when you said, well to me it’s a big deal, that was a threat to him and he lashed out a little. It made the pandemic a big deal, a life threatening deal, instead of the speed bump he wants it to be. The thing is, of course, that viruses are viruses and they don’t care if we declare war on them, ignore them, or focus on them – they’re just going to go right on doing what viruses do. What we are trying to do – live, love, reproduce… impartially. People like you, like hubby and I, because we live with this health issue that is central to our lives look at the pandemic one way, and someone who is young and healthy and vital naturally doesn’t see it the same way. So this is a long convoluted way of saying,, I don’t fault him or anything. But… you know, someday he will be wiser and more considerate. I’m sure of it.
Meanwhile, stay home, stay safe, and consider yourself hugged.
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Island of Lita sorry that made me laugh haha. I’ve never felt I’ve had an island but I loved your metaphor use there. People believe I am friends with every blogger person which is far from true. I have those I am close with but the majority ones i consider friends here are ones who I interact with most. Your definitely one of those I still owe you a award response !! I appreciate your honesty here, At the end of day if people can’t me for how I run things on my blog or how I am a person then I don’t want to know them. Internet don’t rule me, I create my own space and that’s it.
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Thank you for your response!
My Isle of Lita thing has nothing to do with you as a person, or how I think of your blog, I think you are amazing and a super friendly person!
It’s just that I notice your discord or general talks, are always pretty deep dives into anime. I can’t keep up. I also feel like that “kid” that is kinda to old to play, so for the first time on a family day is sitting at the big table, trying to join the banter.
Like people talking about their intricate joblife and all I can say is…I got a paper route.
Individually , I really like you all and can interact nicely with quite a few of you, so it’s not anything from a dislike perspective…I just kinda feel to” green ” to fit. Which is funny because with John I am to pink to fit.
There is a reason I am still in all your groups though, I really like the energy around you and the clique.
I just noticed how there is basicly a bit three major groups people drift to
“The long time ani-bloggers , the original community builders”
“The hardcore anime fans that seen or read it all ( sort of speak) ”
And then there is the
“Anime Analysers” Who compare anime to shakespearing or experimental stage play and try to find any allegory, or test it to current issues.
I guess there is also a fourth that is kinda the “Ecchi” side people
I feel like a rookie, casual anime fan, who watched a fair few but not daily, who just likes to talk about shows but it doesnt have to be constantly about anime..
Like Me “Hey bob.. did you watch Konosuba”
Bob ” Heck yeah Megumin is awesome”
Me: ” Speaking of explosions…I had an accident in the kitchen”
Bob : “What did you do THIS time?”
I like how you run things and your style and talking personaly, I am just not sure where I fit in there. But I will find it somehow! So sorry if I offended you! I do think you are great!
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As Lynn said, your friend seem to under estimate the severity of this situation. And yeah same wave length with Lynn. Online friends are just as real, no matter the location or proximity.
I think you are the first to say it. There is a clique in the blogging community. Whether it’s with Jon, owls or irina and karandi. They forged a clique. I think it hit them square in the face, at the tail of last year when people like myself, cactus matt etc showed unhappiness towards the blogging community. In all honesty, I don’t think they’re that bothered, if you don’t fit in to their clique, hence why I stopped going to their blogs. Just my own thoughts on that matter.
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I mix well with Irina and there isn’t much wrong with cliques, we can’t be there for everyone or we will burn out.
However the problem of some of those cliques is how high the treshold can become in some cases.
Again I really adore Irina myself and her personal yet casual style, I find it very easy to access. At worst she is mostly responsive on her tweets and post rather than proactive, but I don’t think thats bad.
I am talking more how cliques are structured.
Hikari’s is for example all focussed on joined viewings or readings, thats the active content and thats not how I approach anime, I watch what I want, when I want so I dont fit there.
I’d prefer a community where talks go like
“hey Irina how was your day at work” , hey ” Mallow how are things going with what MMO friend of yours” ( as discord or twitter groups) we all talk about anime all the time on our blogs and in the comments so I would love to see a community where we can see people behind the blogs.
That way it is accesible to all as well.
Of course you arent going to make friends with everyone and there are people I can’t connect with either so regardless cliques will form. That isn’t to bad, I dont befriend everone at a con either.
I just notice how the bigger social ones out there have “additional” requirements to really blend in..which still is fine, they dont wrong me, I just do not fit there fully (yet)
As long as you don’t have that clique you can feel lost and searching, and I am still searching. No one is doing anything wrong I just have to find my island more actively.. or create my island.
That certainly is a lot to go through. I’ve dealt with my own anxieties and other things. My life has gotten so busy that I didn’t have time to post anything the past few days (okay, I do have my reviews scheduled until the middle of May on Iridium Eye though). I hope you’re doing alright now.
It seems like everything’s been said already, including the fact a true friend would never put you at risk of COVID-19, but some people need to be (physically) with other people to be happy, some people don’t. Society has learnt, over thousands of non-COVID years, to favour social butterflies for things which require groups (which is a lot – humans are social creatures) and then bam! One pandemic overthrows everything we know.
I post round-ups in an attempt to bring people together, regardless of cliques. Not everyone has to be friends and sometimes it’s impossible for people to be due to differing views (or whatever), but if I can bring new content to eager readers or new bloggers to internet denizens who want to know more, then I’ve done my job.
As for WordPress crushes, I completely get it. My hyperactive imagination made me fall head-over-heels (or something close) for a blogger’s persona at one point and I had to remind myself the guy has said he’s taken in real life. The guy has since focussed on gaming and I got over it because we’re in different timezones (and since it was all in my imagination, he’ll never know about it), but I still try to nominate the guy in award posts in the hopes he’ll come back someday…
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It’s a bit of an older post so most issues have been resolved for me by now! Things are a lot more stable now! The crush fased away! So that is all good.
I learned that friendships online have their own unique value but they are friendships I have to put against different expectations. Friends are more than just the Hollywood concept for friends we all think we need to have. A friend can be something as simple as someone who helps you out a few times or offers you advice and helps you grow and is there for you in that way!
Thank you to for what you do!