Stop Freaking Out About Weirdness On The Internet
Recently, during my habitual Tumblr stalking, one particular blog came up on my radar that seemed to be causing quite the internet uproar. In customary self-indulgent Tumblr fashion, the two bloggers’ bios were overflowing with adjectives and descriptions (“FAAB,” “objectum sexual,” “transabled” “demiplatonic,” “aromantic,” etc. — you get the picture), all put there to give the reader an idea of their fascinating “otherness.”
But what the internet seemed to really be sh-tting its pants over was one particular post in which one of the bloggers described her inability to work, or to do a whole lot in general, due to the fact that she was an entity comprised of multiple systems (different personas living and interacting in one body), and that her parents’ request for her to work and/ or go to school in exchange for their continuing to pay her living expenses translated into her suffering at the hands of their “singlet privilege.”
First thoughts: What the hell is this even?! What kind of bleak new world order has the internet gotten us into? Don’t these people have lives? Don’t they realize how insane this sounds? Don’t they realize they need to check their own privilege before screaming at everyone else to check theirs?! God damn it, I need to drink a cocktail hug the ground and make sure this is still real life. I can’t with you, internet. You win this one.
Next thoughts: How cool, though. Had I not stumbled upon this blog, I never would have learned about the possibility of multiple entities inhabiting one body simultaneously, never would have read about what it’s like to have one “persona” who’s an intentional weight gainer and one who’s anorexic; never would have learned about objectum sexuality, never would have known it’s possible to develop romantic relationships with inanimate objects (really, it’s a thing). We all have our own brand of interesting weirdness, sure, but the internet has made it possible to get a closer look at the specific weirdness of others. How wildly interesting. Thanks, internet.
Of course, the common reaction to reading something like this is to get indignant and upset and disgusted and call bullsh-t on the whole thing. But, damn, who are we to say that what these people are experiencing and sharing isn’t real? We’re not in their heads; what they’re posting could absolutely be their experience and therefore their reality. Is it normal? Hell no. Maladaptive? Most likely, I don’t see multiple people inhabiting one body at the same time as being easy, and I don’t see many people being able to understand the concept of a meaningful relationship with a bookshelf. But does that give us the right to say it’s incorrect, it’s made-up, it’s not happening? Absolutely not — we’re not them and we don’t know.
These bloggers, however, as well as many others who describe similar “strange” experiences, are obviously an easy target for internet hate, seemingly just for existing. And this is something I simply don’t understand. It happens constantly, though: someone writes about their uncommon reality/ experience, and then an entire slew of people come along to berate and judge and tell them their experiences are impossible and unacceptable. But really, I don’t see why it matters: as long as what someone’s putting out there isn’t meant to harm anyone, what’s the problem? Aren’t we all entitled to self-expression? I mean, if you feel you are actually a crow trapped inside a human’s body, that’s your cross to bear. But I’m not about to get upset about it.
And really, isn’t self-expression what blogging is for? Isn’t that why we have personal blogs to begin with? Isn’t it because we want a place to vent, rant, muse, and join the conversation? If we really didn’t want to express ourselves to the world, we would either be designating all posts as “private” or keeping real journals under lock and key. But if we’re blogging, chances are we want to express ourselves to someone somewhere. And if what we’re saying isn’t directly attacking or hurting anyone, why shouldn’t we? Moreover, why should we hurt or attack people for simply expressing views and experiences different from our own?
My thinking is this way: as long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, it’s fine. You’re fine. You can think, believe, post whatever you want. As long as you’re not attacking anyone, intentionally harming anyone, it is perfectly okay to be your own weird self. Why not? Can you imagine a world in which everyone is completely the same? People are so insanely complex it’s almost impossible to reduce them to some blanket description; we shouldn’t judge anyone or think we’ve “figured them out” when we haven’t. In reality, no one has any idea what it feels like to be another person, so the last thing we should do is project hate — if anything, we should be grateful for having the chance to learn.
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