I was playing around in the AOL Chat Rooms in 1996. If we wanted to grasp at straws for purposes of longevity we could say that I have been on the Internet for 20 years. A couple years after my first AOL experiences in 1996 I decided that I could live my life online and really “make something of myself.” While others were still deceived that they could make it offline, I already resigned myself to a digital existence.
It was because of people like myself that the users now find themselves living a digital existence. These days the more online you get, the more offline I go. I am uninterested in what the Internet is today and it is not news how much I dislike normals crashing the party. Any party.
Back in the day, I thought I might be famous one day. Like groundbreaking internationally famous. I thought one day I would be welcomed onto the Hollywood stage. They would fire up the spotlights and welcome an Internet Superstar onto their non-Internet awards show. The audience would Oh and Ah at the groundbreaker.
Hollywood joined the Internet instead of sampling from it and making my sordid fairy tale come true.
I used to wonder why I never made it Big Time. Then I decided it was better that I hadn’t. In my opinion, Chris Crocker was the perfect example of that. He was an Internet Celebrity who popped his head into normal Hollywood and the two didn’t fit. Watching that unfold felt like an awkward rape scene. Since then we’ve had several old school Internet Celebrities do the same and it’s always an awkward scene. They are too real or a new brand of too fake.
I’ve always had this little following of folks who knew me, knew of me, and heard about me. That gathering whom appreciated the things I said or did. They glanced my way and acknowledged me like just another animal in the zoo. The animal that looks interesting, but not as interesting as the chimpanzees fucking in the next cage.
While I have never held my opinions back they have never seemed to really stir things up like other people’s. It took me decades to realize that nuance was my blessing and my curse. I’ve always been able to come up with a nice way of putting things.
Nuance. It’s subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound. I truly believe in the nuance of my presentations. There is good and bad in everything. Nothing should be overlooked.
One by one I see some of my better friends appearing on E!, MSNBC, and writing for global publications. They aren’t saying anything I haven’t already said. They are as glamorous as I am and speaking just as eloquently. Yet nobody ever asked me. The only difference is they have taken a side. They do not live within nuance.
It is that which I believe makes the masses neutral to me. I never get on YouTube and start yelling. Even when I was passionately one-sided I still fraternized with the enemy’s point of view. “I completely believe in this but I totally understand why someone believes the opposite.” This always helps to disarm the argument. I think for the most part I rarely ever stated people should stop doing whatever people were doing. People are, for the most part, willing to accept that you don’t agree so long as you agree that they shouldn’t change. Swimming delicately in the waves with nuance.
I am now quite pleased to keep to myself and not become all of the things I wanted to be on the Internet. In fact, now I want to do things that are even more off the beaten path than ever before. Your approval is not desired nor required in ways that I never thought possible. I still want to share my vision with the world, but it’s going to have to be a very different vision.
When you become all of the rage you are then requested to pick sides. I do not desire to be on anyone’s side. I want to sit on a bedazzled throne in my backyard and have a party. Outside. Offline. A place where people leave their phones in a box by the Welcome Mat.
For the most part, I have left the digital building. I’ll always be a digital geriatric because everything is ancient within days “in Internet years.” They took my circus and killed my monkeys. Kids these days…