Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I don't quite remember my first experience with the internet. I remember being around my aunties house - who was one of my first family members to have internet - and dialing into AOL with those crazy beeps and boops exciting me because I knew exactly where I was going. The Cartoon Network website and waiting around 10 min for an Adobe Shockwave game to load. I was around 8 or 9 then and it took a few more years before my parents decided to take the plunge and surf the web. In the interim all I could do to scratch that itch, was to load up our old Windows 95 PC and make my own websites with MS Paint and Powerpoint (or just try to outrun the yeti in Ski Free). Needless to say I have always been interested in tech and creating things with tech.

But its quickly coming towards 20 years since those youthful days, before the weight of the world gave me near constant back pain. A lot has changed since then, the Dot-com bubble popped, social media took over, eCommerce became more reliable and relevant and user created content became a pretty much limitless resource for entertainment and marketing.

Lately I have been thinking where I fit with this increasingly complex online landscape. There is two things about the internet that I have always been looking for with the online life; firstly a community and secondly a place to create content.

I have been part of a few different online community's from my World of Warcraft guild to the forums of Newgrounds. Needless to say either the groups disbanded or I just drifted apart. I have never really found a community I have felt truly part of. Part of this comes down to my aversion to socializing, it takes me a while to feel comfortable around people enough to become a truly valued member of groups. Also in recent times I've found a lot of communities online to have a toxic element. That's the power of the internet it can be so easy for hateful people to disrupt others lives online and then disappear like nothing has happened.  This may just cause me more woe because from time to time my neurotic personality takes over, causing me to overthink even the slightest interaction. This is not a good trait for social media! Or in life to be frank. I blame growing up watching the emotionally stunted exploits of the characters in Friends.

And this leads me into producing content. I have in the past tried creating and sticking to making content online. I love making things, I even have a degree in film arts and that's only about making things for people to enjoy. Yet again I get nervous in putting things out there into the online world. I'm positive that it's not a unique problem. Far from it, it's probably the most normal thing in the world for you to want people to enjoy what you do and not shit all over you. But that's what has held me back the most.  A lot of you will probably say that I just need a thicker skin, and you're probably right, but just like tanning leather; learning to take things with a pinch of salt takes skill and time to learn.

So what's left online for me if I find it hard to communicate online and hard to make things online? The whole point of the internet is to bring the world together, make ideas from different cultures accessible to everyone, even when those ideas are toxic and spread unpleasantness, and I shouldn't be afraid to throw my hat in that ring. I know, for me at least it's going to take time for me to feel confident doing so, but now I have got to the point where I just want to do things that make me happy, so this is my call. I'M GOING TO MAKE CONTENT AND NOT BE AFRAID TO DO SO!! I'll just hold out here in my little online bunker and if you're nice and wipe your feet you are more then welcome here.

1 comment :

  1. Great post, glad to see you've finally got your own blog up and running. Love listening to your's and Jemma's Podcast episodes too :)