Delicate Bonds

All right, I know my last post has been a while ago and I also didn’t give a resolution to my Vietnam trip, and for that, I apologize. I’ll add the last couple of days to the list of blogs that I need to write (Akon, for example).

I decided I wanted to try out an MMO after visiting my sister in college and seeing her play WOW.

Speaking of Akon, I was perusing the blog of someone I met there (a friend of a friend), and they do a lot of audio blogs. Many of the most recent ones are with friends of theirs, and many of the friends who guest star on this person’s blog are people whom they have met online. This got me thinking about my friend, Nightmaren, who seems to have about the same number of friends as me IRL, but has a fairly large number of online friends. Nightmaren met most of these (or maybe all of these?) friends through MMO games.Now, I’ve tried a couple before, but I never really was able to get into them much. It’s not because I dislike MMOs — on the contrary, I’ve been wanting to really get into one — it’s just that my circumstances have never been ideal for playing them. Such as slow internet and low computer specs. (How am I supposed to know where I am or where I’m going when the distance all looks the same because I have to put my graphics on the lowest possible settings?!)

In any case, what Nightmaren and their friend have in common is the fact that they’ve made some pretty strong friendships with people they’ve met online. Judging from posts on their respective blogs, some of these friendships are stronger than with people they’ve met outside of the interwebs . . . and I’m kinda jealous of that. I’ve always been an introverted person. I only keep in touch with one person from my life from before college, and that’s because she happens to be my best friend. My parents have always been overprotective of me, so in elementary school, I wasn’t often allowed to spend the night at other people’s houses or hang out with them after school. I wasn’t even allowed to play with the neighbor’s kids, though there weren’t any around my age, anyway. As I got older, I just kinda accepted this fact, so that by the time I got into high school, I had the mentality that I wouldn’t be keeping in touch with these people anyway, which led to me not socializing with classmates as much as I could have. (Or at all, really.) And I was right — I haven’t talked to the people I did become close friends with since we graduated. Of course, that might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of situation. Some of you might think that I might’ve become this way because of my parents’ overprotectiveness, and maybe that’s somewhat true. But I’ve always kinda felt like I don’t belong when hanging out with a group of friends. foreveralone.jpg

Perfect-World-International

This was my second MMO experience, one that I started with Nightmaren during freshman year. Alas, my crappy graphics card kept me from playing it regularly.

I think I was lucky when I got to college. I managed to become really good friends with my boyfriend’s (at the time) roommates, and even after my boyfriend and I broke up, I still stayed friends with his roommates (which was probably really awkward for him). But even though we’re still close friends, I feel like I don’t really know them. The fact that I’m the only girl amongst them might have a part to play in it, but they’ve also spent a lot of time together without me. I admit that I sometimes feel out of place when I’m with them. But they’re also the only long-term friends I’ve made throughout my college career thus far — I haven’t even stayed friends with my own roommates, and we all got along rather well.

As an introvert, I value my alone time and am fine with having solid friendships with only a few people. However, I’ve always had this notion that it would be easier to make friends online since there’s no way to prejudge a person you meet aside from maybe their screen name or the way they type. I mentioned in another post that I spent a lot of time on Gaia Online during high school, but even there, I never made any long-lasting friends. My sister, who has played WOW since she was in college, met her fiance through WoW and has visited her WoW friends IRL. Nightmaren and their friend met IRL during Akon, and I remember Nightmaren mentioning that meeting IRL didn’t feel awkward at all. I want to experience that, but I’m always holding myself back, both online and IRL. I guess it’s kind of a self-perpetuating cycle. And I don’t know how to break out of it. Geez, I’m starting to make myself slightly depressed.

My sister and her fiance bought this for me as an early early early birthday present (to play with them), but I haven’t been able to play it because my laptop specs are too low.

At Akon, both Nightmaren and their friend felt liberated, or more at ease, and found it easy to strike up a conversation with random people because everyone was united by a common factor — the love of all things anime and manga. I’m sure many of the people at Akon felt that way. And while I admired the fact that there were so many people in one place for one thing, I wasn’t able to share in that relaxed atmosphere. Both Nightmaren and their friend see themselves as introverted, but easily struck up conversations with random people and maybe made new friends while at Akon. I know I’m more self-conscious than Nightmaren, and maybe that’s the issue. I mean, I even had a really hard time mustering up the courage to ask people if I could take pictures of them. Most of the pictures I got at Akon were from sneaking in and snapping a shot after someone else asked. I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this post anymore. I think I had planned it to be about MMOs and online friends, but now it’s warped into something more . . . reflective. In any case, judging by my progress in becoming more confident and less self-conscious, I may have to put “make a close online friend” on my bucket list.

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