Alright. Let me start this by saying: if you read this comic, thank you! Thank you thank you thank you. I make it because I like reading comics, and I like making comics, and I like when people read the stuff I make. The medium of comic strips is an artistic conversation I feel like I can contribute too. Knowing that people read these and enjoy them is important to me, not for the sake of vanity but rather because it feels like their purpose is fulfilled (the comic strips purpose, that is). Music is written and recorded to be listened too and enjoyed- I make comics to be read and to give people a laugh.
Alright, let the rant commence.
Actually, this comic fairly adequately and concisely expresses my feelings on the matter. If you aren’t a fan of lord of the rings movies, let me just say: the magic is draining from this world, who needs dragons when people are worse.
Social media companies are doing their darndest to give their users a pleasant experience- but toxicity is still out there. You can find it easily enough, or it’ll find you somewhere along the way. Penny arcade had a great theory about this way back in 2004 and it’s stuck with me ever since as being true. Basically, a totally normal person + internet anonymity + Audience = jerk (their language is a bit more colourful!). Of course, these days in many social media situations, “internet anonymity” has been replaced with “online persona”, but the principle still stands… Put people in front of an audience and take away the perception that there are real world consequences to online interactions and the result is: people misbehave to get attention! This really shouldn’t be a surprise.
Now the flip-side! Online communities are not inherently toxic. Sure, they thrive where toxicity exists, because outrage monetizes easily, but that doesn’t mean they have to be used in that way. There can be meaningful friendships made and maintained through this medium, that is a possibility! But like offline social interactions, it’ll take a bit of effort and quite a bit of perseverance.
Anyways, a week or so ago I thought I’d give reddit another shot, not as a media consumer, but as a content creator. I want people to read my stuff, but I also really enjoy reading other peoples stuff and feel like I should encourage other creators (especially if I’m hoping internet strangers may do the same for me- it’s only fair!). I gave reddit up for New Years two years ago because I found it wasn’t contributing a whole lot to my life… but to be honest, I wasn’t contributing anything to the conversation, I was just lurking, mindlessly scrolling through “the front page of the internet.” So- REDDIT TAKE TWO!
And- My first post back got downvoted! Yeesh! Haha. But it’s all good. I tried again- I posted a smallville comic to the smallville subreddit and people seemed to like it well enough! The internet’s a strange beast, and the social communities on it follow suit. It can be fun though, right?
The parallels are staggering. Icarus (with his wings of wax) and I (with my smartphone). Both Icarus and I were given the tools to soar high beyond what unassisted human potential could accomplish on it’s own. Well, we all know how well that went.
I’ve deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps. I’ve set a half-hour social media time limit for the remaining apps, and I’ve disabled youtube and twitter when not on Wifi. So, basically, I’ve stripped most of the functionality out of my smartphone. I’ve also turned the screen’s nightshift on 100% of the time, so it’s sorta ugly to look at anyways.
What I now have is a phone (except I really hate talking on the phone) and a GPS with live traffic tracking (which is pretty much the only reason I have a smartphone).
I gotta say- I’m not missing it! EXCEPT on the odd day (like today) where for some reason I accidentally use up all my time limits within the first half hour of being awake, because now I’m just holding a brick all day long on the off chance that someone needs to get ahold of me. Bah!
this is but one of many conversations overheard on a weekend at a camp spent with a couple hundred teenagers. Modified, of course, as teenagers no longer know what “unsolved mysteries” is, but the heart of the conversation has been left intact.
was I ever THAT awkward? am I still that awkward? oh man!
Today would have been my Grandpa Shauf’s 100th birthday. I only have one regret in my whole life, and that is when my Grandpa died, I skipped his funeral. I had some college thing… i don’t even remember what it was. What I do remember is that I was young and dumb and didn’t know what I was doing, i didn’t realize the disrespect I was showing to my family… There is really not a whole lot worse a person can do, especially to a member of your own family, than forget. What’s the take away? Funerals are important, don’t ever skip them, unless you are a sadist and want regret to be a big part of your life.
Anyways, my Grandma had Polio, and If my Grandpa knew that people today were refusing vaccines (which, in the town I live in, has caused a measles outbreak, which is concerning to the un-vaccinated, for example, kids under the age of one, aka, many of my friends babies, and my own!), I don’t think he’d be too impressed. In fact, i assume that he’d be pretty angry.