Breaking up with Social Media - Part Four - Becoming Ian

Over time I matured, and the internet matured with me.

Another huge change in my life happened that also forever changed me much like my love of the internet changed me in the years prior.

I mentioned how I had grown up in a small town that more or less repressed the person I felt I was inside. Well, in 2001 that all changed as my Dad decided it was time to move out of that small town and into a very liberal college town instead. This move happened as I transitioned from Middle School to High School. At first this felt completely traumatizing to me, as my personal anxieties have never made it easy for me to handle large changes in my life. However as I began to meld into this new school and this new life something kind of remarkable happened. I found that I no longer needed “Family” Ian while at school. People here accepted me for who I was. Being gay, or nerdy, or a weirdo were no longer things that I would be picked on for. Teachers would encourage these types of behavior and push me to be more of myself, I found new friends who were into all the anime and video games and computers I was into.

Online Ian met the real world. It was glorious and possibly the best time of my life. There is nothing more affirming than to be able to be yourself and be loved for it. This is what I got at East Lansing High School and is when the version of myself that was born and developed online really solidified into that main version of myself that I would become.

I still spent a lot of time online during this period, but almost all of the socializing I would do would be mostly with people I knew in real life. The popular method of online chat by this point was AOL instant messenger, which I used constantly when I was online at my computer. I had built my own websites before, but now I was building websites together with real life human friends that I knew in person. I began to become very self reflective during this time. Being accepted by strangers, again, but this time in real life made me start to question what had gone so wrong in my hometown, and question what was so wrong with my family. I had always loved to write and so when I found the site Livejournal I knew it was time to start getting all of my shit out.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

I started a blog where I would talk about my feelings, my thoughts, my fears, my anxieties. I had discussed these kinds of things in chats with people before but never in a long form method like this where my thoughts could fully form and develop. This was again, a very trans-formative thing for me. I met even more new friends on blogging sites that also had an interest in figuring their complex emotional shit out, and we helped each other with encouragement and support to navigate what was going on in our minds and our lives. Having a place you can go where you can go as deep as you want to into your own messy mind and be still be accepted by other people is amazing. I cannot imagine the kind of person I would be today if I never stopped back then as a teenager to try to decide who I was as a person and discover why I thought the way I did about the world. In a way Family Ian was still alive when at home and at Church, Online Ian became just Ian and that version of me would continue to develop further with these new outlets for self-analysis.

At this point a new presence was starting to take hold on the internet. The advent of social media websites was upon us, and things would change forever.

Concluded in Part Five…

The Umbrella of Doom

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Back when we used to make videos all the time, this little gem came into creation. We basically had a camera and dug through the back of Jesse's car for other props and threw this puppy together. The original version which is lost to time itself had severe audio problems which is why there is now voiceovers.

Catch it on YouTube after the break...

Dream...

Last night I had a crazy dream. Me and a few other people were supposed to check out a house for some reason. We were part of some sort of investigation but I am not sure on the details other than that.

You could tell that everybody thought this was going to be a boring job and it was treated as such. We looked around the house, took notes here and there. Then we moved to the basement.

The basement of this house was absolutely amazing. It was dark and grim. There were passages that led to even lower levels beneath the basement. Nobody expected to find something like this. We were excited to explore.

One of the fellow investigators was a woman and I had been working closely with her all night. We were trying to figure out what sort of stone the walls were made of when she felt something on her leg.

We both look down and see a splotch of blood on her left pant leg, the blood stood out very well due to the light color of her khaki pants.

The first reaction was that she had wounded herself somehow, but she felt no pain. It did not take more than a few seconds to find out where the blood actually had come from. Drops of blood started coming down from the ceiling. Looking up we could see that the entire ceiling was soaked in a redish tint.

Blood began to drip down everywhere. The walls themselves started to bleed. Like a chain reaction everywhere that we looked we could see a new source of blood pouring out. I was amazed. I stood and stared for a moment. I had never seen anything like this and it was wonderful. The others panicked, and rightfully so.

So we began to move out, we found an exit that led to the backyard of the house. The residents of the house were still there in the backyard having what appeared to be a family gathering. In an attempt not to shock them only two of us went out, to see if we could find anymore clues.

It was me and Nathan Fillion who went out into the backyard. For the most part everything seemed normal. That was until we found the tree. The tree was more towards the back of the yard. It looked like there was a half circle around the tree in the yard, set up so people could sit and view it. There was a wooden stage against the bottom of the tree. On the tree itself was the terrifying part. What appeared to be the shape of a human with outstretched arms was burned into the bark of the tree.

Beside us suddenly was a little girl.

"That is where we burn our dolls," she says.

An eerie feeling creeps over us. These are not dolls being burned, they are people. This family is some sort of murdering band of psychopaths. Nathan Fillion grabs hold of me and we begin to move about the party. He has his arm locked with mine.

"Are we attempting to blend in as a gay couple'" I ask.

"Not at all, just go with with it for a minute," he replies.

We are being stared at by everyone now and attempt to move back towards our group inside. Nathan is holding me in front of him, his arms around me. The feeling is both comfort and safety.

"Well thanks for keeping me safe at least," I remark.

"Its not what you think," he replies "I am just trying to protect myself, can't expect to get out of here alive without you leader."

I realize that I am being used as a human shield and feel a bit less safe and comforted. I also realize this is the exact response I would have expected from him. (No doubt due to the characters he plays on TV)

We try again to move back toward the house. Before we get there we are attacked. Nathan is killed just like he thought he would be. Myself and the rest of our group are taken prisoner.

The dream gets kind of hazy here. The rest consists of trying escape the madmen.

I guess the part that is most interesting to me is, that I was not scared during this dream, instead I found it to be exciting and a little bit funny at times. What does that mean?