If public opinion is to be believed at face value, then most things I like are either crap, boring, repetitive, morally wrong or cliché. You’d be hard pressed to find a good review of the film Skyline, cause you’ll certainly find a lot of reviews that tell you what an abysmal movie it is. Of course I don’t need any review or person to tell me what I should or should not like, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m happy with being the odd one out sometimes.
Perhaps it’s the social person in me; the guy that seeks acceptance and togetherness with other people, the guy that feels the need to be with the ‘in’ crowd. A long time ago I realized that it’s not really important to be seen as ‘cool’ or ‘popular’ and it’s more important to stick to what you enjoy. In fact, the cool groups are usually composed of people with their own individual likes and dislikes. I never looked at popular people with disdain purely because popularity is gained through numbers, and the person underneath all that fame is a person with interests and fears like anyone else. With the internet, people with alternative tastes have found a way of connecting with like-minded people. It’s always great to speak to a friend or internet acquaintance about something you like, be it a game, music, movies and so on. Yet I have to wonder how with this near unlimited resource at our disposal, why does it sometimes leave you feeling more lonely?
Trust me, at this point I’m beyond feeling sorry for myself about how no one likes what I like. I’ve gotten over (for the most part) getting upset whenever I see negative youtube comments, I’ve tried to ignore articles that bash the games or anime I enjoy, and I’ve matured enough to deal with people who disagree with me. While I can talk all day about how self-actualized I am, deep down I feel very distressed that I can’t find people to share interests with. Of course I’m not some morose case, first world problems entitled teenager; I’m 21 years old with a caring family, friends who I keep in contact with and a fanbase online. However, when you like something like Call of Duty, a multi-million dollar franchise with millions of fans, you find it highly disturbing that you rarely get to talk to people who like the game outside of the game itself.
A friend of mine once told me that he wouldn’t know how to cope without people there to share in his interests, to which I replied that I could do it but I wouldn’t necessarily be happy with it. Recently I did write that poem about how I don’t want to be lonely but I will if I have to, and it’s the same sentiment I keep to. I don’t necessarily need someone to always talk to about the obscure animes that I like, or the random youtube video that I found, or my crappy combo video that I made. But I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that WANTS to have someone share in my interest. One of the main reasons I make youtube content is for people to enjoy and share experiences with their friends and others, for people to have memorable bits of entertainment to talk about. I’ve enjoyed a decent amount of success with my videos, thanks in part to luck and a big part from websites like Shoryuken and Eventhubs, and it’s allowed me to get to know FGC community members better. Though when it comes down to it, when the xbox is turned off, when the forums aren’t buzzing and when there’s no notifications on my phone, all that’s left is me.
I’m not trying to earn pity as some sort of prime example of what’s wrong with social media or anything, and truth be told I believe that community conversations are the way of the future. Yet in-between the rage videos, the hate comments, the slander articles, the whole sexism in gaming controversy, movie reviews, newspaper stories and even just word of mouth, sometimes I find it hard to enjoy anything without someone in my face telling me that it’s ‘wrong’ and I’m ‘scum’ for enjoying it. Hell, it’s some kind of madness that we sought the internet and its users to find solidarity yet more often than not all we find is hate and disdain. What’s the point of Facebook ‘fan pages’ if there’s rarely ever comments from people who are ‘fans’ of the content? What’s the point of looking at youtube comments for a channel when all you see are people arguing and making irrelevant comments? I’m not naive, and I don’t think that the world should be perfect and free from dissent and rage comments, but is it so bad to expect good things to come from places that are supposed to be populated by fans?
Of course it’d be easy to just ignore what everyone thinks and become narrow-minded, or be conscious of what people say but never take it seriously, but I’ve always believed in giving fair say to what people think, otherwise how can I expect others to listen to me? Ironically it’s this open mindset that’s caused me the most distress, especially when I’m seeking for people to share in my interests. It’s not like it’s my god-given right to have someone there to discuss how awesome Crysis 2 is or talk crap about Guilty Crown with me, and trust me I’d never force anyone to do so if they don’t care. I just wonder why in a world full of so many people it’s sometimes so hard to find even one person who enjoys what you enjoy.