Am I Bad At Online Communication?

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I mean I’ve always been shy in real life. I never had many friends growing up and outside my workmates, I don’t have any friends where I live. I barely use Skype to talk to anyone except for a few specific individuals, and that’s AFTER they convince me to talk to them. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a certain mental disability that I won’t name, but it affects my social behavior. So yeah, it’s understandable that I’m not the best when it comes to conveying my thoughts on the web.

With that said, I’m sure I’ve grown to be better at it compared to how I started two years ago. That’s inevitable when you stay online for that length of time. I certainly don’t think I’m bad at it. But lately, I’ve been having some doubts.

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Despite putting more thought in ’em than usual, I continue to get instances where due to poor phrasing on my part, some of my tweets end up rivaling a certain Twitter user who I’m just going to call Jerry in terms of insensitivity. Although to be fair, those are usually the tweets where I try to be funny, and I’ve been bad at being purposefully humorous since I was nine. Because of my ask.fm – which I’ve recently begun to regulate – I end up repeating things that most people know about me extremely needlessly. Because I cannot write on my blog the same way I write on anybody else’s the same way I can’t act at work the same way I act home, I have to regulate my behavior under the restrictions placed on me by, well, the place I enter. And that’s not saying anything of what I actually write for the blog itself. Obviously, no one’s perfect and I can’t read every conversation, but somehow I feel like I’m “less perfect” than most people, if that makes sense.

Maybe it’s because of the people I interact with. Despite not really preferring it to other mediums, not restricting all discussions to the topic of it, and not even having an avatar from it, I mostly blog about anime and only hang out with anime folk online. And most of the anime folk online have different priorities than I do. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t care for at least 90% of whatever Frog spotlights on his blog. I could give a rat’s ass about mecha or moe. Aside from The Muppet Show and a few exceptions, I really can’t stand puns. Most anime memes, vocabulary, or jokes don’t appeal to me (seriously, enough with those godawful pregnancy memes!). Butt jokes ceased being funny long ago due to white people (This is not a joke. This is something I actually believe). And just to hammer the nail in regarding how out of place I can be compared to most anime fans, I don’t like what most of the fandom tends to enjoy, elitist or otherwise.

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But so what? Anime fans are humans just like me. No matter what the hobbies, commonly accepted behavior has the word “common” in it for a reason. And I get along well with my real-life friends despite the fact that they can’t sit through The Raid with me to save their life. I loved discussing Shirobako on the most recent podcast and I couldn’t be more opposed to everyone else’s viewpoint that it’s the surprise hit of the season (look forward to when I talk about it later…or not if you defend that show to the death).

So am I really just bad at online communication (mostly written, although I’m not the most charismatic when speaking online either)? I mean yes, I’ve dipped into material that I wasn’t qualified to handle like a virgin trying to take it from behind. Does that make me an asshole? Well we call Tsugumi Ohba’s stuff sexist, even though it’s more likely that he’s just really bad at writing women. So yeah, I was definitely at fault those times. But what about times where someone says I said something stupid, despite only talking about something non-serious like…well…anime? It’s true that I get facts about the inner workings of the industry wrong, which is why I avoid talking about that sort of stuff altogether whilst ignoring the folks who take the hobby more seriously than Nicholas Cage in any role he’s in. I’m fully aware that I can’t act like the Irate Gamer in terms of the hobby because I’m using it as a tool to entertain people for my own selfish needs. Nevertheless, it’s just a cartoon, guys. They don’t exactly have feelin–

Then of course, there are things that I want and I know that as long as I continue to pursue them, I’ll never achieve certain positive aspects in this game. I noticed a bunch of people complaining about my constant referencing to stuff they never even saw, especially if it’s not anime-related. But all I have to say to those people who’ve never seen Patch Adams or anything with Robert DeNiro in it is “look them up”. I gained my sense of humor from Internet comedians like Yahtzee Croshaw, and I always loved how he’d reference a film/show/something non-video game related in his reviews so I could learn about it for myself (that’s how I discovered I Spit On Your Grave), so even if I’m not quite getting why it worked when he did it, I’m still going to continue using the formula when I find it appropriate. And there’s also the fact that I think beating up on Aria/Clannad/Sword Art Online is kind of old hat by this point (well maybe not SAO because it keeps finding new reasons to hate it with each week since the second season started), especially when there’s so many other lesser known but just-as-deserving classics worthy of a beatdown. Remember how horrible Ghost Hound turned out? Or how Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was an overwrought pile of shit, especially with that awfully telegraphed ghost twist that even the Key fans called bullshit on? Or remember Sky Gi–actually no, that’s one’s better off forgotten.

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Here’s what I think personally. No matter how bad at online communication I am – barring something that I can get arrested for and other extremes like that – I shouldn’t step away completely from the online world. First off, that’ll be disrespectful to the people who do like what I have to say – and I guess the people who put up with what I say as well. Second, it goes both ways. I actually have quite a bit of disdain for what some people I know write (looking at you, Shinsei, even if that tweet you pinned is actually pretty funny) and they don’t seem to mind too much. Third, there’s a difference between knowing your limits and giving up altogether. I only follow people on Twitter I feel I can talk to – with a few exceptions here or there – and I don’t even comment on the blogs I like if I feel the fandom hates me. I stay away from anime forums apart from the occasional MAL one. Pick your battles, compromise well with your own selfish desires, and just hope for the best.

Most of all, if I screw up, then I apologize. I admit what I did wrong. Then I try to defend myself, because doing the latter first is about as stupid a move as when those gaming heads tried to pass the blame for that abomination of a video game we humans call Aliens: Colonial Marines. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve on them if you can. That’s why I’m starting to shift away from the written format a bit in order to do video stuff where tone is more apparent so that context has less of a chance to get lost. How many views do those get, anyways…oh.

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Of course, the biggest thing I should probably do is to not try to appeal to a bunch of strangers I’ve never met face-to-face and get some real buddies to hang out with. But nah, I’m too lazy.

PS: I have also been informed that there’s a certain smugness to my behavior that makes me unapproachable compared to even the most perverted of moe fans. Again, people can think whatever they want, but I don’t see how I can make it more clear that I am always open for discussion, even in cases where I’m not happy with the subject in question. Well, maybe not when reality hits me hard. During those times, I’m kind of cranky.

15 responses to “Am I Bad At Online Communication?

  1. As much as I would like to say here, I’ll keep it short…

    Most of what you said here is true for me too. I’m not good with words or talking at all and communicating with others is always exhausting, if I can make it happen at all, that is. As a result, I have few people I can actually get along with, but with those, it is fun and easy.
    But that doesn’t really matter, I’ve always just assumed I’m more of a thinking person than a talking one.
    Also, I hold views on most things that are vastly different from most people, if they even think about it. But I know if I just met someone they’ll be scared away if I give them the full spectrum of my thoughts straight away. So I keep it short, and MAYBE, EVENTUALLY, they’ll get to know me as a person and then I can talk to them as I normally would.

    The point is, I do not think something is wrong with me, rather I associate with people who can take me seriously and at face value.

    In the end, for the small amount of time I have followed you, you didn’t seem unapproachable, and I find your humour and the way you present yourself online appealing.

    Have a nice day,
    Simon

  2. Wow, that sure is personal. Well you’re not the only one who has those kinds of problem. I also have a bit of a………social disability myself, but we’re all learning to improve ourselves.

    Weird thing is i actually a little afraid more when socializing online. At the very least in the real world, if you screwed up its easier to clear up misunderstanding. Its also quite hard to read tone online.

    And at least from what i see, just like you’re blog title you’re always direct when it comes to something. Not you know, dance around making cynical sarcastic remark which i am bit getting tired off to see (though it is amusing to do and to watch i admit).

    Anyway, just keep up on whatever next thing you’re doing.

    • And at least from what i see, just like you’re blog title you’re always direct when it comes to something.

      Yeah, I didn’t exactly intend for it to happen when I named the blog the way I did, but my writing is pretty much what would happen if Daria blogged about anime. Except nowhere near as smart, because she wouldn’t screw up jokes as badly as I do. Or try to socialize to begin with.

      • Speaking of Daria, i wonder what would happen if she try to watch anime. But more specifically, i wonder what would she think about Oregairu, especially 8man. In fact i wonder what would happen when she try to converse with 8man. Hmm…..so much possibility.

    • Oregairu has good ideas, but I was never a big fan of how self-referential it was to other anime tropes. Plus, the last arc kind of just ended. Granted, I saw it during a period when I was burning out on anime, so maybe I’d like it more now.

  3. I’m probably just echoing the other comments here, but I know how you feel. I also have some problems communicating with other people, especially online, and am afraid of appearing stupid or offending people. Partly due to my already pretty low self-esteem…

    Thing is that I’ve been following this blog for a while now and I think you’re not nearly as bad as this post makes it look. You’re direct, you provide a unique and well articulated viewpoint and you deliver it in an entertaining way. This includes the movie references, sense of humor and awareness that your opinions don’t always allign with the majority.

    Oh, and I also quite like the vidoes/podcasts. It gives your appearance some more personality, and you’re a lot better at talking for the camera than some of the dedicated youtubers I know. Keep it up.

    • I can never watch anime vlogs myself. I find that in order to watch ’em, you have to A) know the person B) find what he’s saying interesting. And I can never find motivation to do A).

  4. “Of course, the biggest thing I should probably do is to not try to appeal to a bunch of strangers I’ve never met face-to-face and get some real buddies to hang out with. But nah, I’m too lazy.”

    To me, it does seem like finding someone to hang out with would help you achieve a sense a satisfaction that you may find fulfilling. There are plenty of people like you (and me) who need someone to interact with on a regular basis. Having similar tastes and sharing a common ground would help on the ‘interacting’ side of things, but I think most people in that situation just need someone to hang out with, whether they’re aware of it or not, so they’ll have an open mind if someone gently reaches out to them.

    I’m obviously speculating here and I may come across as an inconsiderate douche, but could it be that your direct manner is just an excuse to justify your lack of friends and prevent you from actually trying to connect with others? Ditto with your mental disability. Yes, it might hamper your social behavior, but are you sure you’re not giving too much weight to avoid reaching out and getting hurt? Being a generally quite critical presence on the web, I’m sure you’ve used that lens of your persona to look at yourself, and I’m also confident that lead to you having similar thoughts.

    All to say, I really don’t think laziness is the issue here. Else you wouldn’t have this blog. You want to connect with others on some level. The internet gives you a platform to do so in a way that is both less harmful and less gratifying than in RL. Maybe it’s time to ‘level up’, as your favorite anime would say? Put some work in to find and connect with people. There are many in a similar predicament that would be more easily approachable. I should do the same. It shouldn’t necessarily automatically preclude you to blog. But the blog shouldn’t be your #1 pastime outside of work, in my opinion. Get a move on, even if you don’t want to, because you need to

    Ha, this ended up being almost as self-indulgent as your post. Plus I find it ironic that I used a typical anime message. Oh well. I’m off to re-watch the Tatami Galaxy

    • I just brought up my social behaviorial problems as background to show that despite having ’em, I don’t think it should be the end-all-to-all reason why I’m crap at online socialization. I never used it as an excuse in this post.

      The laziness thing is also mostly a joke. Mostly.

      • That’s true. Fair enough. I guess I projected some of my problems onto my perception of yours. Anyway, despite that, I still think getting some real buddies to hang out with is the way to go. But that’s just me

  5. “Am I Bad At Online Communication?”
    Yes, you are, but only on a personal level.

    Nonetheless, that’s not really important since your critics are generally (somehow) solid and very constructive; despite that I completely disagree with your critics most of the time, I still come back here for more.

    Also, I wish you would watch more shows (and blog about them), but sadly, you limit yourself too much to only things that you are EXTREMELY enjoying.

    • I haven’t once blogged about the shows I’m really enjoying this season. Just hit-and-miss stuff like Amagi or whatever the fuck you want to call Your Lie in April. I guess I could catch up on Grisaia or SAO II, but meh.

  6. Well, I might not agree with most of the stuff you write (or your reasons for disliking the things you dislike), but I still generally find your stuff interesting to read and I admire how you pretty much always say what you think. You don’t compromise your opinions, and I think that’s good.

    Sure, I think you come off a bit rough sometimes, but that’s a far cry from being deliberately rude or awful to people. That’s more about my personal preferences than it is about you, though.

    I think you can just keep on doing what you’re doing!