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Reflecting on my past words

1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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6/6/2016 8:11:41 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
I talked to a friend from the site today who left a while back. It's been good to talk to him after so long. I've been telling him about what's happened in the time he's been inactive, and I thought of a specific thread I wrote when I hit the year milestone (in terms of active usage, not account time). I wrote that thread to think about how the site has affected me - and I just gave it a read again. It's over eight months old now, and a lot has changed since writing the thread. Without further ado:

At 10/7/2015 10:17:20 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
So I've now been around here on DDO for an entire year - and the time has really went by quickly, and DDO has also made quite a difference in my life. I wouldn't have thought this is how my time here would look like after a year, but here we are - and the time here has been a relatively bumpy road. That said, I don't think I really avoid ups and downs in just about anything in my life, so it's nothing new: I can deal with it.

Yep. Nothing to say here.

DDO was certainly been a great way for me to escape my day-to-day life. I say "was", here, because it's taken over my day-to-day life. It's where I look to for positivity - and I value my relationships here immensely. I visit the site during school, I visit it on bus rides, and I obviously visit it at home.

So how can I ever leave the site, feasibly?

I probably can't. Despite any disengagement and mixed emotions in regards to the site I've felt over the past few months, I'm too close to leave. Sometimes I think I should, but at this point: it's probably not the best idea.

It's still not the best idea, despite having perhaps increasing desire to leave since then. I still value my relations here outstandingly, and I can't do without them - for better or for worse.

I can literally say I am addicted to DDO. I am telling the truth when I say this: in the past 365 days, there has not been one where I did not log onto the site. Sometimes I didn't post anything publicly, but I still came online to PM people. And that, I think, shows how close I now am to the people here - I cannot go a day without talking to someone here.

Still true.

Someone once said to me that taking part in Hangouts made everyone worse off. I think that may apply to some people, but I have no regrets in my participation in the Hangouts of DDO. Personally, I think it's been a positive for me. I've gotten to talk to people I otherwise wouldn't have, I've had more consistent interaction with people as a whole, and I think that's been good. There have definitely been bad times on there, but this is the nature of the site. If you want to have good experiences here, you must have bad experiences to go along with it.

Yep.

But there are definitely other uses of the site. I obviously appreciate the type of discourse that takes place here - or else I never would've joined. I am an argumentative person - especially on political matters and increasingly in regards to philosophical matters.

This site really takes a toll, though, on my ability to relate to people my age. I hear 14 year olds (try to) formulate arguments and I almost implode in bottled frustration. Really: having most of your interpersonal contact with people about 5, 10, 15 (and so on) years older than you, on average, when you're 13-14 can really spoil you when it comes to the mental and intellectual maturity of people you talk to regularly. I've had people ask me what a "Neetz-chee" is when they've seen me write Nietzsche's name down.

That last bit might have been purposely humorous but it is 100% true. It did happen - and I have all of those feelings listed above, still.

So yeah, there's some real-life implications for the site. Another would be people who know me off the site seeing things I've said to others on the site from taking my phone or computer. That would be incredibly problematic. And again, it shows how close I am to people here. In fact, I'd say that I'm emotionally closer to a few people here than anyone else. Some people may think that's unhealthy, but I don't care. People are people - and if people understand me better here, then I'll be closer to people here.

I've tried to make that at least somewhat better in regards to lack of emotional closeness among offsite friends. Yet, I still feel the same.

I think I've really gotten better as a user of the site, and I think people like Max would agree on that point. I was very...unrefined...when I first used the site. I'm still blunt and somewhat fiery, but I'm definitely less fiery than when I came here a year ago. So I think I've improved in that regard. People might think I'm still an a$shole, but I'm not the a$shole I was a year ago.

Haha yes I was extremely unrefined when I started using the site - and I have gotten better...even better than when I wrote this thead. I sort of stopped giving a sh!t for a long time starting in January this year - it helped to keep me out of a lot of BS. Recently I've been forced to give a sh!t, more or less.

A lot of memorable things have happened over this time. And I can't believe how long ago some of the things happened. It's been 11 months since I came out to someone for the first time, it's been 8 months since that glorious and flameless day I came out to DDO entirely. It's been 9 months since Mikal resigned from the Presidency. It's been about 10 and a half months since I reached 1,00 posts. It's been over 11 months since I signed up for my first beginner's mafia game. It's been almost 11 months (about) since I got into my first flame war...

Time still flies. I'm also still sardonic - way more so than previously.

I think it was a good choice to end my period of unknown inactivity and start using the site, looking back.

I agree with myself.

To round out these thoughts, I'm going to say a few things directed at specific people.

Oy vey...

YYW: I don't know if you remember this, but you called me "dim" at our first interaction - less than a week after I had started using the site. I had made it a sort of goal of mine to show you it was just me being new - and not an idiot, so that's why I tried talking to you. Then you ranted about postmodernism, and everything else happened in those 11+ months. Really, I think I would've left had I never talked to you. Until about December 2014, you made up roughly 90% of my personal conversation. And in that time, you were probably the only one I could call a friend on the site.

Bsh1: You were the first person I told I was gay, and I know you remember that. But I don't know if you quite understand how important that was for us talking in the long-term. We talked sporadically, at first. The next time I had wanted to say something to you, you made a picture of Nikita Gutsu your profile picture. I used that to start a PM with you, and that's pretty much why I talk to you regularly.

Annie: You only ever talked to me because Brian told you too. If I never told Brian that I'm gay, then I would've never talked to you.

Yep...that was a bit painful to read.

It's pretty weird, I think, that my three most talked to people on the site have only been talking to me for the past 10-11+ months because of what should've been rather little things. If I had been called "dim" today, I would make no direct effort to correct that opinion. If I had continued my streak of bottling things for maybe a couple more months, then I never would've talked to the other two people listed above. Without those three relationships, I would not be here. So blame them for my presence.

This is true. You can still blame them.

On that final note, I look forward to another year well spent on DDO.

Almost there.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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6/6/2016 8:15:52 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
A lot has changed since I wrote this. Sometimes...or nearly always...I wish things were the way they were long ago. It's interesting to see my take of my time then...but I was too optimistic. Things were not going to be the same, no matter my efforts. I've given up on that. Things could have been different, but they weren't.

The site will continue to evolve, and I want to help guide it in the best direction imaginable. We gave something up on this site - our strong sense of community and the network of friendship we had for the most part - and we need to get that back. The most prominent users can't have be in the same room, let alone have good discussions anymore without tearing each others throats out. That's a sad reflection, but it's what I have today.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King