I have begun to understand a few things about how my life must seem to those who aren’t me. Once upon a time, a morning of gaming and inactivity would have been perfectly normal and totally acceptable, but having it happen today has sent me into a temper. Nothing has been done, and I shouldn’t really be sitting here writing, there should be laundry hung and washing up cleared well before I get down to the business of writing… except this time, there’s points to accept first. No, you cannot live life like this any more, when other people rely on you for basics like food and support. More importantly, you ought to bloody well apologise to those who you would weigh down with the ‘oh it is so unfair, nobody understands’ tirades when it became apparent that I was the problem to begin with. Yes, I have my fair share of issues to deal with, but you don’t need to tell everyone else how fucking woeful that is.
Getting on with life is a performance for many, and now I begin to understand why.
In fact, it occurs to me that this performance is part of the point. I remember the lovely lady with whom I bonded on Twitter over photography, but turned out to be so politically active I simply had to stop listening because she’d make me too angry. Now, if that ‘friendship’ had really mattered, I could have DM-d and asked for her to tone it down. However, you know sometimes when someone’s ‘persona’ is there to make a point and not appease your sensibilities. That is the moment when you quietly unfollow and chalk the experience down to the understanding that this medium isn’t a substitute for meeting people in the Real World. Yes, OF COURSE you can have great, bonded internet friends, but those (for me) would be the ones who’d DM you and ask if they were being too noisy to begin with. Friendship, like it or not, takes two people to make it work. However much you might think you’re close with someone? Ask the serious questions, and you may get a surprise.
If stuff matters, you’re polite and can make a decent fist of approachability. However when it becomes apparent that someone’s not listening, or you simply never really connected, what do you do? I’ve been quietly unfollowing people to push my FL down to an approachable level of interactivity, and when this happens I haven’t made a fuss about it, mostly because there are always those with a guilt complex who assume they’re a problem, when often they’re the nicest people of all. If it takes you over a week to notice I’ve done this and then you complain that ‘but we were friends for years’? We weren’t. A couple of DM’s and some retweets do not forge and maintain long lasting bonds. DM-ing me to complain that I’m not responding to you before assuming that you’re blocked is another way for me to just walk away, without a fight. Your perception of me is vastly different to the truth, and I know this because I’ve been in the position where the situations were reversed. Yeah, I’ve done Twitter crushes, and it ain’t healthy.
Now, I’m faced with the understanding that certain people on my FL aren’t coping very well at present, or are so active in other subjects that my timeline gets filled and I miss relevant stuff. ‘Make a List,’ people tell me, but this isn’t about having all the numbers any more and pretending I care or that I follow everybody. I’m coming to the conclusion that if someone wants to be my ‘friend’ from now on? Twitter isn’t the answer. This is a place where I won’t endorse people because that’s what others do. I will support causes only if they prove their worth objectively. I can’t reasonably expect anyone to follow all my new stuff by pummelling the same group over and again, it either happens or it doesn’t. That also means that some people will undoubtedly be sad in the weeks that follow when they realise that our ‘relationship’ was very little to do with me and an awful lot more to do with them. Of course, if they’re able to look past this? I’ve clearly done them a disservice, but the fact remains a friendship is not where we are heading.
This should also be the point where I state, for the record, that getting better at shit isn’t easy. In the end, all the support in the world means nothing if you are not prepared to make effort alone. Wanting to do that means surrounding yourself not with people who understand or those who sympathise, but those who can be cruel. I don’t take this as mean, violent or unhelpful individuals, just those who love you enough sometimes to ignore the emotional and just focus on the facts, as they stand. You don’t need sympathy, and often understanding is irrelevant. What matters most is those people who’ll say it like it is and not worry if your feelings get hurt, because amazingly that has to happen sometimes for change to be affected.
The truth is dangerous, and sometimes it is up to you to stop being a fucking twat and accept your shortcomings.