In the light of day


In the light of the next day, I’m not the mess I was yesterday. I know the cycle pretty well. Even had I not posted this yesterday, I would probably feel somewhat better today because I can only beat myself up for so long before I have to get on with life. And I learned a few years back not to beat myself up too much. (Maybe I’ll share that story another day.)

One thing I’ve realized is that I need to examine the huge sense of guilt I (still) have and understand it. That will help me in the future.

I do know that the guilt stems from the fact that I do actually value the acquaintanceship (if not friendship) of those people that I thought might feel hurt by what I had to say. And I don’t want to lose it.

I don’t consider it pathetic that I put so much value–give so much of myself–to people I’ve never even met in person, either. There are people who believe that the relationships you forge online are not real and you shouldn’t invest yourself in them. While yes, there are those who may burn you for doing so and so a measure of caution is always warranted, I’m just not one of those people who can keep that in reserve.

There are people who will try to say that you should go out and find “IRL” friends instead of “wasting your time online.” Those people don’t understand that for some others, the time they spend online is more of the real them than they can put forth in person. (FWIW, I do not consider myself that way, but I know those people exist. I’ve met them in person too.) Those people don’t understand that it’s not a waste of time to connect to someone via a medium where the emotional is required to come before the physical understanding, attachment, or attraction. Those people don’t understand that “IRL” doesn’t always mean things will work out and “online” doesn’t always mean they won’t just because you’re not in the same physical location.

Having and valuing online friends over or in addition to real ones does not mean someone is pathetic and cannot handle a “real relationship”. It IS a real relationship. It’s just different.

So, I think that’s where the sense of guilt comes from. These people matter to me even though, in truth, I barely know them. Their opinion matters. Hence the need to hear them say “it’s okay. You still matter too.”

Maybe more on this later. I’ve got to get to work.
(Comments are moderated unless I’ve approved you to post a comment already. I won’t be able to approve comments while at work today, so some of them may not show up until later tonight.)

~ by Adara O'Hare on April 2, 2012.

2 Responses to “In the light of day”

  1. Finally noticed I could log in through twitter, not wordpress

    I very much agree with you – I’m inclined to treat online friends much like RL ones because that’s how I do things. And sometimes it’s easier to talk to online friends – if I’m having a bad day, I’m upset and weepy, I can still type. I can still talk to online friends even though I don’t feel up to phoning anyone or asking a friend to come round.

    I’ve been talking to people online for a long time; I used to play World of Warcraft (online computer game if you haven’t come across it before) and whilst a number of the people I knew in-game were also real life friends, there were a great many people that I only knew from the game. As the game allowed voice-chat, and for raiding we used ventrilo, I did speak to some of them. Others I just chatted with by typing.

    And although I haven’t played Warcraft for over a year now, some of my old guild started playing the Star Wars MMO, as did one of my partners. And some of them asked how I was doing. They’ve never met me, we’ve only chatted over Vent and in guild (typed chat) but a year on they still remember me. And that’s a nice feeling.

    • My husband has played WOW (he also wrote articles for WOW Insider a couple of years back) and Star Wars Galaxies and the current Star Wars MMO. And we met on a Star Wars based MUD (text-based multi-player games) which I started back in 1998.

      I’ve met literally over 100 acquaintances from online at different gatherings and conventions, some big and some small. A few of those people I even call friends. (And only one of whom I even vaguely considered creepy. Lucky me.) Heck, one of them helped me get a job in the city we now live in. That was more than 12 years ago now. I’ve known him for 17 years, and we started as online friends.

      So, yeah, I totally get it. =)

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