I have this thing where whenever someone I don’t know tries to talk to me, I feel the irresistible urge to run away. To hide my face in a paper bag and never see them again.
It’s not that I hate people. I love people. I love human interaction. I think I’m a people person.
It’s just … I’m terrified. Terrified of people. Terrified of not being good enough. Terrified of being boring, annoying, or offensive and driving people away. I’m terrified and incredibly intimidated of people.
In real life, I can’t run away. I mean, I suppose I could in the literal sense but that would be a little bit awkward … But even so, I can’t completely avoid people. I go to school and see the same classmates every week so I’m forced to somehow endure the terror of social interaction and eventually I become friends with these people and it’s not so scary anymore.
But it’s different online. When the interaction is online, running away becomes a plausible and quite tempting option.
I don’t have the greatest online track record.
I abandoned my old blog without a single warning … Just disappeared from the blogosphere.
I abruptly stopped emailing my penpal even though she’s been there for me when I needed her and we had gotten quite close at one period.
I started a business of Fiverr and forgot all about it. When two people bought my service and gave bad reviews because I forgot to deliver, I put my account on hold and vowed never to use it again.
When people talked to me on Twitter or I tagged people, I logged out of my account for three months.
When I comment on people’s blogs, I don’t always check for replies especially if I said something heartfelt or particularly meaningful to me.
Sometimes I do things online that I later regret or I write about something controversial or extremely personal. And that’s usually … relatively ok, because it’s online. I can just abandon my account, or blog, or whatever platform. I do post pictures of myself sometimes, but I have an alias, and separate social media linked with my pen name.
This time around, it’s a little bit different. I linked my personal social media to this blog, for instance. Should I have? I don’t know. To be honest, the main reason I linked the accounts was so I could have those pretty icons on my sidebar, and I didn’t want to start separate accounts for my writing persona because it’s just too much haste and too hard to maintain. And that’s a legit reason. I also used my own email for my blog.
If I ever want to abandon this blog, I could just transfer my email account so I can start a new one, but again it’s a lot of hassle. And if I begin mixing the lines between personal social media and the blogosphere, it’s going to be harder to hide.
But I mean, I’m scared. Chances are, I’m going to do something I regret and wish I could change my name, wear a paper bag on my head, and move to a different planet rather than face up to it. And I guess the truth is, online relationships don’t matter all that much to me. That does make me sound cold, I know. I guess it just doesn’t feel as important as my IRL relationships so it always gets put on the back burner and I end up abandoning online friends and personas because I don’t care enough. That does make me feel like a terrible person.
I don’t even know what my point is … I guess it’s just to say that it’s nice being anonymous and having a blog where nobody reads what you write, and nobody comments … At the same time, I do like interacting with people online. I’m just not sure how far I’m willing to go with it. And I don’t want to end up being rude and yes, I’m terrified of driving anybody away.
But I guess I’ll try … try to be a bit more brave and run away less.