Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh, The Internet

The internet does funny things to us sometimes. Well, fine, we do funny things to ourselves by spending too much time on the internet. One of the greatest things about the internet is that it can make the world feel like a much smaller place. But this also happens to be one of the worst things about it. As much as it can lead us to broaden our horizons and connect with others in ways we couldn't otherwise, it can also narrow our focus and feed our tendencies toward obsession in very negative ways.

(Oh, internet. Remember back in the day when you were nothing but AOL chatrooms filled with pre-teens giving each other @--8 and pretending like they sort of kind of looked like roses?)

I've been thinking lately about my online activity and how it impacts me. I went ahead and illustrated my worst tendencies for you, because I'm honest like that.

THE ENVIES

Why did that person get that deal/attention/publicity/article/praise/baby/agent/blurb?
I WANT THAT. I SHOULD HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I HATE THEM. I DON'T KNOW THEM, BUT I HATE THEM. WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT!

Usually followed by:

EMBARRASSMENT
Oh. I guess I'm doing just fine, actually. In fact, I'd bet a lot of people would do pretty much anything to get what I have. Wow. I'm kind of a jerk.

Next, we have:

PRIDE

HA HA HA! LOOK AT THIS! THE INTERNET LOVES MY NEWEST BLOG POST/WITTY TWEET! I AM SO POPULAR! I AM SMART AND FUNNY AND WONDERFUL AND THE WHOLE INTERNET WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND!

Followed quickly by:

PANIC AND STRESS
But how do I top that? Now they have such high expectations! I haven't posted ANYTHING funny this week! They're all going to stop following me! THE INTERNET IS GOING TO ABANDON ME I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING I HAVE TO WIN THEM BACK INTERNET DON'T LEAVE ME PLEASE I NEED YOU!

Then there is the one I'm most ashamed of:

INDIGNANT RAGE
I don't know these people, and this issue has never impacted me personally, and is probably a misunderstanding/miscommunication/thoughtless mistake BUT I AM SO OUTRAGED! WE CAN ALL BE OUTRAGED TOGETHER! THE WHOLE INTERNET SHOULD BE OUTRAGED WITH ME! ATTACK!!!

Always followed by:

Umm, Whoops

Maybe I should have gotten the whole story. But the whole story doesn't even matter, because it never does anyone any good to put more negativity into the world. Besides which, who's to say that the poor idiot who wrote the wrong thing won't be me someday? CRAP CRAP CRAP please let that never be me that my little corner of the internet turns on, I'm sorry, I'll never indignantly rage again! IT IS ALL SPARKLES FROM NOW ON.

So, I guess where I hope to be (and I trip up a lot, but I'm working on it) is past the thing I do where I am constantly

WORRYING ABOUT THINGS

and to the part where I am actively

CARING ABOUT PEOPLE

Because in the end, that's the best thing we can do with the internet. (Besides Bejeweled Blitz, of course.) So, my goal is this:

HAPPINESS AND COMPASSION
Oh, hi there, internet! I remember that you are all people behind your icons and computer screens, and I'll try my best to make your life a little happier if I can. And I'll definitely remember that the world doesn't start and end on this dumb screen, and that you don't actually need me for anything other than the occasional smile. So here. Have a unicorn!

47 comments:

Angel said...

You are a ROLE MODEL for life.

twimom101 said...

what a good post, I'll take my unicorn now :)

Kristan said...

Lol love these illustrations.

And yeah, I can identify with this series of feelings. (And I'm not even an NYT bestselling author. :P)

The problem with the internet is how easy it makes it to compare our lives and selves to others. But the internet doesn't show us the whole picture -- it usually just shows us the best (or worst) parts.

As you said, we all have to (a) be more than the parts of ourselves that we show on these screens, and (b) remember that everyone else is too.

rockinlibrarian said...

Actually, you made me a little teary-eyed with the beauty by the end there. And I'm not even a unicorn person.

Katie said...

Thank you for this. I needed the reminder.

Lady Gwen said...

I think you just described every one of us, LOL! Thanks for the laugh:) Now be and have another one for us tomorrow - no pressure.

Julie said...

This cracked me up!! Great post. :)

Kathryn said...

If you ever decide to say goodbye to writing full time, might I suggest a career in Paint? Your unicorn is marvelous. Plus, I think you'd be the first person to ever have a Paint career. :)

Great post!

Karen Adair said...

Oh my heavens this was great! You have definitely filled your witty quotient for the week! :) Yet, I totally get everything that you're saying. And yes, I would love to be you someday. And not just the published part. I write something funny that makes my sister laugh and I say, "I know! It only took me three weeks to come up with that joke." Bleh. Congrats on all your exciting news. Wishing you even more good news in the near future. :)

J said...

For me?! I've always wanted a unicorn! Thanks for yet another hilarious post, Kiersten! :)

Spinch said...

I need a shirt that says "I AM THE ANGRY" on it.

Lynn said...

The embarassed illustration made me laugh! So funny.
Thanks :D
Lynn

Cat @ Beyond Books said...

"The internet will abandon me" - LOVE IT!!

I needed this post so badly after the month I have been having. THANK YOU!!

Amy Garvey said...

This is a fantastic post, mostly because now I know you are a MIND READER, but also YOUR DRAWINGS OMG. I want one. I want several. I honestly adore them. :-)

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Yeeesssss ALL OF THESE THINGS.

I'll add on a case of obsessively compulsively checking email/Twitter/blog comments/whatever to see whether or not people have responded and if they care and if they've read my query yet and PLEASE ACCEPT ME PLEASE PLEASE I NEED THE VALIDATION!

Eep.

Whirlochre said...

Count yourself lucky you don't have whiskers to shave.

Some days I'm through to my cerebrum with the Remington...

Renee Collins said...

Kiersten, who knew that among your many talents, you are actually quite skilled with the computer paint programs?!

The unicorn is my favorite. :)

Escape Artist said...

A lovely reminder of what we should always remember, and oh so cute drawings!
I love this post!!!

Library Gal said...

pretty much think you are amazing....that is all- <3

Jade said...

That unicorn is suspiciously good, especially in comparison to the stick figures...

Gjertrud said...

That last picture made me wonder whether you have watched the renewed version of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? Because if you haven't, you definitely should

Suzie F. said...

LOVE.

Liz said...

Completely amazing.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

This post gives me the happies... Perfect end-of-the-week read.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I so want a unicorn!

Wyndes said...

Thank you so much for the unicorn! It will brighten my life, I promise. If I could draw, I would give you, a, um... hmm, not sure what matches a unicorn. Oh, a pegasus. Have a pegasus (pegasi?)!

Josin L. McQuein said...

My internet doesn't have unicorns. I want a unicorn. I want one RIGHT NOW!

:-P

storyqueen said...

Hahahahahaha!

Love the unicorn!

Okay, I an just nosey enough to want to know who YOU are envious of--I mean, everyone is envious of YOU!

Again, I love that unicorn!

Shelley

Stephanie Perkins said...

THE ENVIES and PRIDE look frighteningly familiar.

I love you.

This is epic.

Sarah said...

That was awesome and so true!

Thanks for the Unicorn :0)

Christine Tyler said...

Just about the best blog post ever.

Amanda Milner said...

Haha! Love this! And it's totally familiar, unfortunately. ;)
Your drawings are awesome!

Michelle said...

Kiersten, that looks like a great kids book. :-)

Word verification: sorse
Definition: silly horse

Anita Saxena said...

Love the illustrations!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

This is why I read your blog. For the illustrations, of course :-)

Kate said...

Okay, I am making a t-shirt with "I Am The Angry" on it! That made me totally happy! Your angel is adorable! I think I want to put it on the back of my t-shirt. . . And I love the unicorn, it has a colorful mane, like every unicorn ought to have. :)

Delia said...

Fantastic post. (But how are you going to top it?) (Just kidding.)

Erika @ Badass said...

This post is awesome :) I love the illustrations =)

Oh, look a pretty Unicorn!

:shakes head: I could never draw a unicorn like that :shakes head in envy:

lol

Erika @ Badass

Robin Weeks said...

I want to BE you. :) Just sayin. Not that I want your books (I'm writing some of my own, thanks), but dang, girl. You rock.

Rebecca said...

Perfect post. And the illustrations are too cute!

Hannah L. Clark said...

I've been a follower for a while and I just have to say that you totally crack me up--Evie is one of my all time favorite YA heroines and you are great.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I deal with this on a much smaller scale than you because my market is much smaller and I sometimes think that for me personally and my obsessive tendencies, publication in the national market would be the worst idea ever.

Also, someone may have already addressed this, but is that the stinky unicorn from Paranormalcy.

Aubrey Anne said...

This post perfectly describes (and illustrates!) the inner workings of me. Scary! But so glad not to be alone in it. :) Thanks for writing it and reminding me not to be so obsessive/self-involved today!

Beth said...

Love it! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who experiences these emotions.

heidikins said...

Yes. This.

xox

Kathryn Purdie said...

I love this post! I am totally guilty of ENVY whenever I read your blog, wondering how I can ever be as funny/smart/fast/well-rounded as you, so it's so refreshing that ENVY strikes you too. I shouldn't be grateful you have faults, but I am. Here, have a unicorn and forgive my Kiersten White envy.

Angela Felsted said...

This is so great!