Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Relationships

Sometimes I wonder how I will feel about this time in my life, when I look back in twenty years. Will I regret the time I spent on the internet? Will I feel ashamed then, as I do not now? I can't say for certain. I think, however, there is a likelihood that I will regret the time I did not spend with my family and loved ones.

I have a boyfriend. I wonder sometimes how he feels about my addiction. Does he wish he had a partner that had a more outgoing personality? Does he think less of me because I get emotionally invested in message boards and messenger services? Does he resent me for all of this? Will he leave me for a more active woman? My mind never shuts up about it, and it changes the way I interact with him. I can honestly say, that being with him is the only time I feel any amount of shame for my interests. I feel like I am not enough of a woman for him, because of my love affair with the World Wide Web.

But my boyfriend isn't the only one.

I have a mother, and a brother, and a sister. I have a child as well. Am I neglectful family member? Certainly not. I read books and cuddle with my child, and I go out with my family members whenever I can. Nonetheless, while out and about I am checking my phone, updating my facebook or reading emails. Sometimes I'll check ESPN or CNN, all while sitting at the dinner table.

I know that this is incredibly rude, and I am a giant hypocrite. I know that if they were doing the same exact thing, I'd be offended. So why do I do it? Why do my hands twitch when I'm not clicking buttons, why does my mind wander when I'm not doing four things at once? What is my problem?

On my favorite TV show of all time, LOST, Jack says

"If we can't live together, we're gonna die alone."

The internet will not be holding my hand when I go to my peace. So who will be?

For The IMDb Soapbox:

Bullies, violent criminals, teenage runaways, drug addicts.

When I was a teenager, I had to go to what I will call a "behavioral unit." My parents’ messy divorce was the catalyst for my Bipolar, and I was a mess. My mom admitted me so I could get a sense of what was going on, and get on medications and learn coping skills for my anger and suicidal tendencies.

While I was there, I got to know teenagers just like me, and some completely different from me. At night, new kids would be brought in, completely high, and taken to solitary to sober up before they could join the rest of us.

Kids arrested for assault were also brought in, in addition to, or a substitution for, going to juvenile hall.

Everyone was always so tough. So cruel to people outside, and within, especially when they first got there. They pretended to be apathetic about their parents’ struggles, or that of their victims.

Every night, though, we had to go to "Relaxation." It was a dark room, with windows that opened up. We could see the fireworks from Disneyland through them. We would listen to mellow music. We could sit in there as long as we wanted, until we were ready for bed.

All of these bullies who acted so tough would cry in the dark, because nobody could see them, and there was no way to tell who it was that was crying.

I won't be too mean to anyone here, because I'm willing to bet that those of you with vicious socks, those of you who stalk posters just to insult them, or make them feel bad...

You're crying too. We just can't see it.

I didn't post this directly on the Soapbox, because I'd get a whole bunch of "LOL YOU WERE ADMITTED" or "tl;dr" from the trolls this post addresses, and I really didn't feel like giving them the pleasure.

Am I Really an Addict?

I've asked myself this many times. I suppose the first clue is: I'm beginning the first post of this blog at 1:20am. That can't be a good sign.

I've been exploring the internet for years. When I was very young, my father set up with a Kids account on Prodigy, and I would play games online for hours. When I was 11, I started playing the MMO Ultima Online, and I started interacting with other people from around the country, even around the globe. Thus began my love affair with online roleplaying, and I joined AOL and MSN RP chatrooms. I could be anybody I wanted online. I didn't even have to be human. It was thrilling to be someone else. I could pretend to be anywhere on the planet, and other people would feed my fantasy willingly and earnestly.

Eventually, I started going to message boards, including Beliefnet, and I started meeting skeevy people online. That was a very dark time for both myself and my parents, but I'll talk about that in a later post. I also began taking out my Bipolar disorder (as of yet undiagnosed, and untreated) on strangers online. Yes, I was a cyber bully.

Nowadays, I play on message boards and occasionally play World of Warcraft. I spend upwards of 12 hours a day online, due to my social anxiety and the horrible job market. I spend about 80% of that time multitasking between job hunting, message boards, Facebook, and Wikipedia. I have bitter rivalries and profound friendships with people I have met online, and I am eager to make more. It doesn't matter which one. Friends. Enemies. I can party with both.