You and I have a very deep and very special connection okay? It’s called THE INTERNET and we’re both on it right now.
Which means we’re connected. And chances are, if you’re reading this post, you are most likely online quite a lot because you are (a) a blogger, (b) a ferocious bookworm, (c) a random robot from the Arctic but I still appreciate you ok, or (d) you stumbled here while googling how to take over the world. Except, spoiler: you can’t, because I am.
But the fact is: we quite like the internet. We exist here. It is the home.
When one has a very vivacious online life, you begin to notice just how WEIRD it is. It can be good weird! Also just weird weird. And when you try to to explain it to someone who’s rarely online they give you this sort of blank look and then say, “ARE YOU ALRIGHT THERE.” Which is a question best left unanswered.
Today I want to talk about the weird things about your online life. And obviously if you’re here, you’re weird. It’s just a fact don’t fight it. Anyway! Prepare for me to twist your minds while I point out that, outside of blogging and twitter and tumblr…we don’t even make sense.
1. PEOPLE KNOW YOU SO SO WELL. DESPITE…THE FACT…YOU’VE NEVER TALKED TO THEM.
This is actually pretty cool! It can get kind of weird in a slightly disturbing way…but mostly IT’S PRETTY COOL. I’ll have people comment and say “I’ve been reading your blog for 3 years and love it so much and relate about this and this and this!!” For me it’s like wow I’ve never spoken to you before so this is an unfair advantage — but also great. HELLO, NEW
I get this with authors too. Like once you’ve read 12+ books by an author you learn a lot about them! Their humour, their style, some of their beliefs, what kind of people they admire, what the think about unicorns, etc. etc. Important things. They become like your BEST FRIEND…who…doesn’t…know you exist. It’s especially when writers often put some of their actual soul into their work and here you are, a mulberry of nobody, knowing an author’s heart….AND THEY’VE NEVER MET YOU.
2. NO MATTER WHAT COUNTRY YOUR ONLINE FRIEND IS FROM, YOU STILL EXPECT THEM TO SOUND LIKE YOU.
Every time someone does a vlog or a a video and you hear their voice, the #1 reaction is: “WOW I DIDN’T EXPECT YOU TO SOUND LIKE THAT.”
I don’t actually go around giving everyone accents intentionally, but I suppose I subtly assume everyone talks like the people around me?! (IS THIS JUST ME?? SOMEONE PLEASE ASSURE ME I’M NOT ALONE HERE.) I’m Australia so guess what: when I’m reading your comments, it just happens in an Aussie accent!
I’ve watched vlogs of my friends and had a very small existential crisis over hearing their voice is deeper or higher or has different inflections to what I originally thought.
No, Cait, not everyone is Australian. And that’s why people keep saying “Anna” and “Banana” rhyme when tHEY DON’T.
3. AGE MATTERS A LOT LESS.
The other day I was reading a blog I’ve visited a fair few times and suddenly realised the blogger was…like…12. AND I JUST SAT THERE FEELING REALLY OLD. I’m 23. Look at all these baby bloggers. They are like little hatchlings that need protection and love and I’m suddenly their big old ancient sister.
Which is fine actually! If you are a baby book blogger hatchling who needs adopting, I will take you and feed you soft cinnamon scones and eat people who bother you. I’m both terrifying and terrific. *
I actually think age matters less online! And in a good way. Not in the “woah you’re an 87 year old axe murder gnarly dude” way…that’s gross and I don’t think it happens as much as your mother thinks it does. But just that I have blogging friends who are 12 and some who are 35 and like I DON’T EVEN CARE. We all fangirl about books and wish for magical capes and overuse emojis.
It’s lovely. Books bring humans of all kinds together.
* No seriously, baby bloggers! My inbox is OPEN if you need to ask advice. I am less scary than you think and bite only once or twice.
4. YOU REMEMBER PEOPLE 3% BY THEIR NAME AND 97% BY THEIR USERNAME OR VISUALS.
I tell my internet friend apart by (1) their actual name, (2) their username, and (3) their blog visuals or profile picture.
Like I am CAIT > PAPER FURY > BOOTS ON GREEN FIELD. That’s how I remember me. * I haven’t changed this in 5 years, so. I’m nothing if not consistent.
There is a 99% chance I’m referring to you by your blog name instead of your actual name. THIS IS OKAY THOUGH RIGHT?! Call me Paper Fury. That’s fine.
FUN FURY STORY TIME! If you know Cait @ Page With a View who is super lovely and also a book blogger, you’ll notice we share the same spelling of our name. Not too common! A while ago she told me someone sent her a book package addressed to Paper Fury. But to her address. So like literally no way they meant it to go to me — THEY JUST THOUGHT WE WERE THE SAME PERSON. I’m still laughing.
* What. Yes, I need help remembering me. You going to judge me for that???
5. IT’S SUDDENLY A STRUGGLE TO UNDERSTAND DIFFERING OPINIONS WON’T KILL ANYONE.
One of actually the worst parts of being online is that you can hide behind a screen and your actions have severely less consequences. Hence I talk about cake 98% of the time because I CAN’T SEE YOUR EYE ROLLS. HA! But, for the more gnarly humans, this equates to ranting or being rude or cruel and basically getting away with it. #Not #A #Fan.
I think, if we were face to face, you wouldn’t be so quick to say you hated me. But online people seem chill to say that. It doesn’t even mAKE SENSE.
We’re still people with feelings!
And honestly…like in the big scheme of things: who the heckin’ heck CARES if we disagree on that book?? Like maybe I’m just old now * but I’ve started realising a lot of things don’t even matter as much as we think they do. Chillllllllll, people. Just chill.
* Forget the big sister imagery. I am the 23-year-old grandma. You should see the little rants I throw when I am forced to squint at tiny fonts in books.
I mean one of the most obvious weird things is that I sit on my bookshelf but don’t judge me.
6. YOU FIND PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LAUGH AT YOUR WARPED SENSE OF HUMOUR.
Internet humour is WEIRD. It gets weirder the longer you stay here until literally everyone is laughing at eclipse jokes that don’t even make sense hence they’re so funny. My sister and I exchange the dark-side-of-tumblr’s gallows humour. We make the Addam’s family proud honestly.
Try saying like nearly any sort of internet-joke to a non-interneter and it’s 97.5% certain they will look at you like you need help. *
Also let’s put it out there: MOST OF MY JOKES AREN’T THAT FUNNY. But somehow I’m laughing. I’m the most amusing person I know. **
* You probably do, mate, but don’t we all?
** Suffocatingly humble too.
7. TIMEZONES ARE JUST WEIRD, MATE.
Shout out if you have apps that keep track of different time zones for your different friends! Because I do. My iPod clock basically looks like this:
So I get a rough idea when I’m trying to yell at people, what time it is for them. It also provides a GREAT sneaky way to see who’s working overtime and who never sleeps.
FUN FURY STORY TIME: I have insomnia and sometimes end up on twitter at 3am. I have Mother Hen Friends™ who’ve told me to gET OFF. And well, they’re not wrong. But why sleep. Why.
But I have never been so aware of timezones since I started being online so much. My parents will be like, “What time would it be in –” And there am I, popping out of the dark chasms of the attic where they keep the screams, saying “OH I KNOW!”
8. IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO BE PERSONAL TO PEOPLE YOU’VE NEVER MET FACE-TO-FACE.
Words are hard, okay? I find words very very hard. I would much rather type out my thoughts and feelings than actually try and spit them out.
It’s a mess. Let’s not have feelings.
Hence people I’ve known for only a short time online will feel much closer to me because it’s easier for us to share. The friends I had for like 7 years knew less about me than the humans I’ve emailed for like 2 months. I’M GOING TO PUT THIS SOLIDLY IN THE WEIRD BOX.
9. PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO WORK FOR FREE BECAUSE YOU LIKE DOING THIS.
Yeah. I like cleaning up my room so I can fit in more books — 0% chance I want to do that for your room, mate.
I’m still confused why this is so. hard. to. grasp. Book bloggers, artists, writers, designers, and really ANYONE who works hard at their talent, shouldn’t have to do it for free!! I know this can be a bit controversial to some, but it isn’t to me: I don’t think book bloggers should work for free half as much as they do.
See it’s like this: I’ve built my blog and my audience by myself. Meeeeee. I’ve put in the hours. HUNDREDS OF HOURS. And then when I’m established and have a goodly sized audience, suddenly people are like “here I can do you a favour if you promote me.” I’m just…?? I want to promote things, don’t get me wrong. I love reviewing books and advertising authors. But like…there comes a point where you can kind of feel you’re being used a bit.
Just a thought! I do love what I do.
I don’t have an inflated opinion of myself. I mean, I do but just in the world-dominating sense, excuse me and ahem. But just because I love book blogging doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely hard work.
10. PEOPLE JUST UP AND DISAPPEAR.
I’m calling this weird because it’s like you were PROBABLY abducted by some sort of alien from the Upside-Down. And then I have questions and I wonder!! The other day I was thinking of a blogging-writing-group I was in when I was about 18. And there were a TON of us and it was so fun! It all broke up eventually and we went our own blogging ways but like…it was all unofficial and I still wonder what happened to everyone.
THEY DROPPED OFFLINE FOREVER AND I HAVE QUESTIONS.
It’s weird because you can have a kind of cool online friend and then — BOOM — they go all Will from Stranger Things on you, never to be seen from again.
I, unfortunately, am like that spot of mould on your walls. I’m always there and eventually I’m so persistent we just become friends or you try to kill me with lemon bleach cleaner. But like. Hopefully friends is the first preference.