Monday, February 13, 2012

An introduction to unskilled blogging

One of the most challenging things I’ve ever done was attempt to write a blog.  It can be challenging to write about topics consistently. It can be more challenging if you don’t have a defined purpose.  Without a purpose (to write about, that is), one could argue that you have no identity, blogiforically speaking of course.  And yet, here I am giving it a shot.

I don’t know exactly what it is that I hope to accomplish with this blog.  I have a couple of ideas that I’m tossing around still, but I have so many interests on my mind that it’s hard for me to focus on one.  I definitely want to use it to network with other people and hopefully make new friends.  I want to use it to share my opinion, albeit limited, on topics such as music, gaming, movies, and coffee.  I want to share pictures of my cats; seriously, they’re adorable.  I want to share my views of the world we live in today, and where we could be heading.  I want to offer hope to people who feel oppressed, abused, unloved, or unwanted. I want to be funny, while being semi-serious.

Perhaps the most important topic I want to include, no matter what I talk about in this blog, is that humans (or perhaps humanity in general) play a role in almost every aspect of our daily lives.  For better or worse, we are more or less stuck with each other.  If only it were as simple as typing out these simple words instead of actually interacting with people.  If only it were as easy to limit people to 140 characters or less. Perhaps it would be much easier if we had the power to block or ban those we didn’t want to deal with.  If only things were that easy.  I know that would be the case for me.

It is becoming more apparent as every new day dawns that we are evolving in so much as we now are able to foster deep, meaningful, and even loving relationships via Facebook or Twitter.  10 years ago we were scratching the surface of the power of social media with Myspace and Livejournal.  Today wehave grown up from the big name websites, and people are starting to focus on generating smaller, more intimate communities.  For example, I play two very socially driven games as my hobby of choice; World of Warcraft and League of Legends. World of Warcraft’s Real ID grouping is allowing people to spend time together no matter what server or time zone. In response, sites like LFRaid and Twitterland Raiding are allowing people to find like-minded (and like-factioned) people to group up with and slay those pesky internet dragons.  Wanna use voice chat with your raid? Sleepy Ham's official "Twitter Mumble" has the hookup with a mumble server.  If only there were such websites for finding League of Legends players…

But aside from coming together for a common goal of loot and achievements, these communities are allowing people to have close and personal conversations with people they may have never met.  In the same vein, people may be more willing to be more open and talkative about their personal lives.  I mean, why not?  Like I mentioned, these may be people you have never met or never intend to meet for one reason or another.  If I’ve learned one thing from the internet, the freedom of anonymity allows people to do or say things they wouldn’t do in the outside world.  This can create an interesting and exciting dynamic.  This can also create a lot of trolls, funsuckers, or straight up jerks who are intent on doing everything they can to get under your skin.

The question then becomes, is opening up to perfect strangers (or imperfect like Cousin Balke) worth the risk of getting hurt?  Is it worth the risk of judgment and ridicule to come out and say exactly what’s on your mind to others?  What great things could be accomplished if all of us were willing to take a leap of faith, hop in a mumble channel, and have an intimate conversation about Norwegian swim shorts (see edit below)?

Honestly I may never know myself.  In my desperate attempt to try and foster more and deeper relationships, it has come to my attention that I am my own worst enemy.  I have tried so many times to log onto Sleepy Hams, only to cancel and close mumble.  I read people I follow on twitter having conversations about WoW or social issues or whatever, and I wonder “Geez, how cool would it be if I got on and started talking and people liked me and what I had to say?”  I wonder what it would be like to gear up to do LFR and meet people with similar music tastes or similar coffee roast preferences.  I keep waiting for the day I log into solo queue and hear someone talking about their cute Hairless Persian (Note: I do NOT think hairless cats are cute).   I basically was asking myself in the last paragraph: what do I have to lose by taking a risk and introducing yourself to people?

There are a few reasons why I haven’t tried yet.  First, I get uncomfortable talking about politics.  People get very heated over them and I have difficulty dealing with confrontation.  Second, I get intimidated talking to men (we’ll hopefully get to that someday), and I’m happily married so I wouldn’t want to say something stupid like I tend to do around women I respect (I’m a flirt and an idiot all at the same time). Third, I tend to have distorted views of myself, and I take things too personally sometimes (working on it). Fourth, although I have more recently come to understand what a true Christian should be, saying that I believe in Christ could instantly put a wall up, and I don’t want to offend anyone ever.

Fifth, and most important, is that I have abnormally high anxiety.  I am working to get better, but because of the things I mentioned above, it’s probably easy to see why I am reluctant to open up.  I keep waiting for someone to take the first step and help me make the transition easier, but I’m an adult and I need to act like one.  So here I am; here is my attempt to open up. I think this could be good for me, and I’m hoping it serves its purpose as a tool to help connect with other gamers and cool people out there that may think I’m a cool guy as well.  There are so many people that I follow and respect, and I hope that someday you all would come to respect me as well.  Friendships don’t occur overnight, but it would be cool if it didn’t take a year to really have a good network built up, or at least be a part of one.

So hopefully next time I get to talk about my initial experiences with Sleepy Hams, gearing for LFR, or what solo queue is like as a leveling summoner.  Maybe I’ll show you the cats, or write some poetry or songs or something creative. I hope I have more positive (or perhaps more interesting) things to talk about.  I hope I can open up more and show that I’m not some cat/coffee obsessed, God-loving, married old guy with a thing for twitter and stuff.  I hope I can share my creativity and not be ashamed of who I am and what I can be.

I hope to show you I’m a funny guy too.  Did I mention I love my cats?

Edit: I have a weird sense of humor and hopefully that translates well onto this blog. I tend to get random or silly sometimes.