I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Thank you, internet

After a weekend of vacation-forced brainfreeze and dealing with immense family drama, it’s incredibly nice to get back to my life of being surrounded by intelligent people doing great things and always challenging me to become a better person.

In the “real world” outside of my closest friends, I don’t fit in at all — in far too many ways to list right now when I should be going to sleep. I do a decent job of faking it when necessary, but I really don’t understand most people, and they really don’t understand me. I feel like I’m an outsider. An observer. I’m always completely puzzled (and often saddened) about why people are the way they are and why they do the things they do. The real America, away from young people living in trendy coastal cities, is a place where I absolutely don’t fit in at all — and I marvel that anyone actually does.

I’ve only ever found a handful of people through typical real-world situations who I can really associate with. But the internet is an incredibly efficient matchmaker. The same power that enables odd fetish groups to exist also enables me to find other people remarkably similar to me. I always thought I was the only one, and I was somehow incredibly weird (in a bad way) for that. But there are plenty of people like me out there. I follow 226 of them on Tumblr alone. And when I meet them in real life, I’m blown away by how easily we connect — especially compared to how poorly I usually connect with strangers. I feel like we’ve been friends for years, even for people whose tumblelogs I’ve only been following for a few months and who I’ve only met in person for a few minutes.

The internet shows me that my thoughts aren’t that strange after all. And that’s a great thing: I find acceptance, and I’m challenged to define, refine, and defend what were previously only vague notions. I’m not just some lone weirdo thinking these odd things about the world. I can’t look around and think “nobody gets it” because I know that all of you do.

Intellectually, it’s even better. I’m attacked, defied, outclassed, and proven wrong regularly — and every time, I become a better person. All of my personality flaws are called out, dragged right into the open, by complete strangers, who are really doing me the biggest favor in the world by making me improve myself.

If such a thing exists, I certainly have an internet addiction. And I don’t care. I have absolutely no desire to be a “normal” member of society, doing whatever normal people do with their time (go upstate and drive boats in circles, then come inside to watch “the game” and grunt occasionally?). I’m very happy here, doing what I’m doing, and being a part of something so amazing, challenging, and stimulating.