A Self Indulgent Entry in Book Six: Trying to Hold On 2019

  • Dec. 16, 2019, 12:19 p.m.
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  • Public

Sometimes, I come here and think

I should stop writing in here. It provides the illusion of friendship and social interaction; but that is all it is. An illusion. Ultimately, all this is, this Prosebox space, is a place to throw your words up… and some people may have words about it… or not. And you may read other peoples’ words and you may throw words at those words. But in the true heart of it all… Social Media and Prosebox and all those places like it… it doesn’t count. It isn’t a person you can call up and spend time with. It isn’t someone with whom you could grab a coffee and commiserate. You can’t go shoot a round of pool or have a friend act as backup at a club. You can’t get a hug when you’re grieving. The digital space is a palliative; a hollow panacea that tricks us into thinking that our social circles are larger than they really are.

Imagine it, for real. Lets say that in trying to fix my buggy internet, the internet company shreds the connections. I’m without internet connection for 2 weeks. Yeah, I could argue the flaw in this. When I lived in Tiny Town I lived in a house without internet for months and simply used the net at work. But lets try to imagine a two week span with ZERO internet connectivity.
My entire circle would be:
- Bro/Sis: 1 hour away
- Parents: 2 hours away
- Jane and DM Friends: 2 hours away
- MBFITWW: 90 minutes away
- Local? Martha, Victoria, and Remus. That’s about it. My entire social circle within a 50 mile radius is three people; one of whom I am filing for separation from, one of whom I’ve met twice, and one of whom has intimated that she wants a Non-Emotion, No Strings sexual encounter. That’s my social circle.

Clearly… I’m worried about feeling lonely. About being lonely. It’s the season for it after all, even if I wasn’t going through a separation. People stay indoors. They huddle themselves against the cold. Businesses close earlier. The world from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. is shifted to be as silent and dark as possible.

I’ll admit. It is enough to make me question my resolve on this separation. Not enough to doubt the separation but enough to question my resolve on it. Because really- that’s the joy of being me, really. I appreciate and embrace this separation. It needs to happen and I need to learn (1) how to be okay with it; (2) who I am during/after it; (3) how to progress in my life without dedicating myself to someone else’s happiness and needs with no mutuality. I accept and support that. But I see tough days ahead. And those worry me.


One Angry Dwarf December 16, 2019

I partially agree. I was raised in social isolation and spent most of my teen years with my only socialization being via forums. I developed a lot of meaningful relationships that I maintain to this day, but when I finally got out into the real world, I realized exactly how much I was missing.

That said, I've met some actual friends through OD/PB. My best friend lives in the UK, but she's visited my city twice and I've visited her once (with plans to do so again next year). We talk via text every single day. And no, it's not the same as having someone HERE, but it's real and she honestly keeps me from losing my mind, haha. You CAN form real connections on here.

THAT said, you're right, real-world friendships are incredibly important. And I know you live in a small town, but I still think it IS possible to form friendships now. You hung out with folks from the play! You can do more of that, can't you? It might not have felt entirely comfortable/like Your Scene, but sometimes having IRL friends means compromising on perfect compatibility. Sometimes you have to work to find common ground, but it's worth it to have someone to call up and get coffee/drinks with when you need to get out of your head. And I feel like you'd benefit from forming those relationships now so they may be more established by the time you're alone in the house.

One Angry Dwarf December 16, 2019

(oh, and honestly I only have 3 or 4 good friends within a reasonable distance, but it's plenty! I've tried maintaining more than that, and it becomes a big scheduling burden.)

stargazing December 16, 2019

I'm not sure it's the illusion of social interaction. Perhaps you don't consider the ppl here your friends, but there is an interaction when we comment and you reply. Is it the same as talking to someone in person? No. Probably not. But it is an interaction. Honestly, life is at the point for me where if I didn't have this, I wouldn't have anything. I'm beyond lonely. But I feel betrayed by nearly everyone in my life right now, so for the moment, lonely is preferred.

DE_KentuckyGirl December 16, 2019

Wow someone is grumpy today.

I tend to disagree with your assessment. Sure, not everyone is going to be a friend. But when you interact, and I mean, truly interact with some of those people who seem genuinely interested, a friendship can form. It's a different type of friendship, much like your neighbor, your co-worker, your best friend from high school, etc. all carry different levels and depth of interaction and concern.

I've been writing in private diary for 20+ years. I have become friends with some of the people I have met on DE. Met a few in r/l. Chatted occasionally with others, helped others with hardships (in a real sense, sending diapers and such). Can I call them up and meet for coffee? Probably not most of them. Are we anonymous to each other? Not some of us. Same with other forums. I met my husband on a discussion forum. My best friend, too, who I now have a second home next to. I've been on vacations, family and other, with several more with whom I am still close.

You can forge friendships even in this venue. But if you're just writing, and getting comments, and not necessarily interacting occasionally (or often) on your own posts or other's posts, then yes, it's an illusion. But don't underestimate the concern of strangers, even in this forum.

Purple-Haired Prick December 16, 2019 (edited December 16, 2019)

Edited

This is a journalling website though, not a social media website. There is a difference; one is used for writing down your thoughts and feelings like you would any other journal, with the option to allow people to comment, and the other is purely for seeking attention. Social media is designed as a popularity contest; journal websites are supposed to be about expressing yourself, creatively or otherwise, should you choose.

Put it like this, Twitter doesn't allow you to make your entries entirely private so that only you can see them. That's social media.

Anyway, as to being lonely, oh man do I ever get that. One of my twitter accounts has over 20,000 followers and I'm friends with maybe four of those people. In The Real World™ I have even fewer friends than that.

The internet has made us all connected whilst simultaneously pushing us further apart.

(Edited for grammar purposes)

Purple Dawn December 16, 2019

If you are to make friendships on here it takes some interaction and reading of other's entries. Ask questions, be sincere and perhaps upbeat and positive! Fake it until you make it! Take care,

Pennyworth December 16, 2019

The nice thing about being single is you can spend as much time as you want in conversation with people other than your SO. I've been openly diarizing for close to 20 years, almost all of my lifelong friends have come from this activity. Even those with whom I've never texted, chatted, Skyped or met IRL - I still have meaningful moments with people on this site all the time. For the extroverted and/or socially inclined, yeah I get the challenge, but being open and unreserved with your feelings for people here is just as valid and effective as it would be in a face-to-face situation. Probably more so, actually, because we tend to know each other on a deeper level.

I definitely understand the parallels with social media, and I keep expecting the next year to be the year that I finally throw up my hands and stop writing for such a fickle, generally unresponsive audience (of which of course I am guilty too). But the truth is there is still a lot of raw humanity on display here every single day (this entry and the previous few, for example), and it is very much still worth the energy to interact over time and slowly build these relationships. I don't regret a minute of it.

Amaryllis December 16, 2019 (edited December 16, 2019)

Edited

the loneliness is absolutely brutal. No matter how well-prepared you are for it, it's going to be so much worse than you imagine. I'm a lot more emotionally independent and closed off then you are and it's been agony for me. there was a long period of time where when I was alone in my apartment, I was crying. I used to wander through stores for hours just to not be alone. But it's necessary, friend. We have to look this horror in the face if we're ever going to grow past our co-dependent habits.

AppleGirl December 16, 2019

I only count very few people on here, or on Open Diary previously, as actual IRL friends and I’ve been writing at one place or the other since I was pregnant with my now 19 year old. It is more for me to write down my life, thoughts, feelings - good, bad, or ugly. Love when I connect with someone or even when I debate with someone, but almost everyone here is just an acquaintance and only a handful actually friends.

black and gray December 19, 2019

I’ve actually wondered about how genuine and fulfilling these PB relationships are as well.

I’ve always been a socially awkward person and making friends in real life was difficult for me but it’s easier to make friends online. But you miss that physical connection. The ability to truly hang out with them, to see their smiles and hear their laughs. Body language and hugs and shaking hands and eating a meal with these people. It’s all lost online. But it’s all I have so I keep pressing forward and hope that these online human connections might just outlast an internet connection.

Deleted user January 02, 2020

:/

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