this is what happens when you take my internet away

…Okay but actually I’d like to say that the whole anti-internet anti-texting “technology is isolating us and destroying civilization” attitude is… kinda ableist?

Like. I’m on the autism spectrum, AND I have an anxiety disorder. I’m almost never nonverbal, but text is so much easier for me than talking face-to-face is. It’s so much less stressful, even comparing interactions with friends. You wanna talk about how bonding with other people is essential to being a whole and happy human being? That is absolutely true! You wanna talk about how socializing is important and beautiful? It super is. You know what happens when you take away my internet? More often than not, I become a sad lonely lump in my room. I have never spontaneously transformed into someone who starts conversations with complete strangers on the bus. If forced to limit my interactions with other human beings to spontaneous bus conversations, I would cease to interact with human beings at all and probably go crazy (eh, crazier) and die. And I don’t think you have to be autistic to appreciate what the technological advances and ensuing cultural changes of our generation have done to further interconnectedness and meaningful communication. Lots of people, for lots of reasons, need or benefit from having multiple options when communicating, whether in an academic context, in a casual social context, in a community organizing context, etc. I got out of an abusive home because of the internet. I have friends because of the internet. I have hobbies, in part, because of the internet. I recently sent a huge stuffed animal I made myself, mostly by hand, to a tiny girl I would not have known or cared existed if not for the internet.

I think the people who claim smartphones will be the end of our ability to love and feel are coming from the same place as the people who claim autistics can’t love or feel. In both cases they’re encountering forms of interaction that are not theirs and are not familiar to them, and are concluding that neither interaction nor communication actually exist. These are people who look at technology developed specifically for communication, which has practically no other applications, and say it prevents communication or can’t actually be used to communicate, which is just. Mind boggling.


anonymous asked:

This is a weird question, but do you ever get envious or jealous of the successes of other writers (including your own friends)? For instance, when they announce on Twitter that they've hit the NYT list or get a new huge book deal? The writing business seems so competitive at times where you always know what everyone else has and can't necessarily avoid it. How do you keep everyone else from making you feel bad or sad?

Okay, so this is a really, really, REALLY tough question and I almost wanted to wait until I got finished traveling to answer… But 2 weeks seems to long to put this off.

Look: envy and comparison are something all writers face no matter what stage of the process you’re in. Comparison is so hard, and it’s even HARDER when people constantly blast their good news across the internet.

Of course I feel jealous or sad sometimes. But how I deal with those feelings has definitely grown and changed over the years.

First off: I remember that no one can make me feel bad about myself except myself. Feeling crappy and comparing ourselves is, at the end of the day, a choice we make.

I mean, when I see someone’s amazing 7-figure book deal, it’s my CHOICE to feel shitty. No one came up to me, punched me in the face, forced me to feel pain. I’m the one filtering that author’s awesome news through my own crappy personal filter of fears.

That’s pretty empowering, though, right? When you realize that it’s YOUR choice to feel bad or sad or happy, then you’re taking that power back.

And sure, it’s easier said than done, but the more often you CHOOSE not to be upset, the more naturally that reaction comes.

Second off: I see other people’s success as fuel instead of letting it feed my fears. I have a whole series on this over on my blog (about dealing with the fear component of being a writer), but one of the posts is all about viewing your fears as motivation instead of hurdles.

When I start to feel that jealous bug scuttling up my spine, I look it in the face and say, “Hey you! I know, I know–you really want what they have and feel like you must not be good enough because you DON’T have it. But let’s just say that’s true. Let’s assume you AREN’T good enough. What would you do next?”

The answer to that (for me) is ALWAYS that I will work harder until I am good enough.

So I want a 7-figure deal? That’s totally out of my control. But the author that GOT that deal must’ve written an amazing book. So I will write an amazing book. And I’ll revise it and polish it and improve my craft until I know the book I’ve written is as good as I can possibly make it.

And oftentimes, just throwing myself wholeheartedly back into into the words and the work is enough to send my envy and sadness packing. :)

Third off: People don’t share the bad shit. You have no idea what is happening in that other writer’s life. How many years did it take them to write that book that sold for 7-figures? What sort of dire straights might they have been in when they got it? Or what personal demons and hell might they be living through EVERYDAY that will never get shared on the internet?

I mean, my grandfather passed away last week. It was sudden and shittttty, and I had to travel cross-country to get to the funeral the very next day. I was really emotional, felt really unsteady, and was so jetlagged/exhausted I spent all day Sunday just sleeping and recovering.

But did I mention any of that online? No! Of course not! I was my usual sunny self because 1) I don’t want to bring people down or seek sympathy, 2) shitty stuff is often FAR more personal and not something that I (or other people) want to share publicly, and 3) I strongly believe that online is NOT the forum for Real Life Stuff or my family.

Plus, remember that it’s human nature to want to seem strong. To brush over anything that makes us look weak. So most people aren’t going to go online and shout about their fears or their miseries or their private struggles. We get online and we share the good, hoping in turn our followers’ excitement makes us feel better about those triumphs.

So next time you feel this way, I want you to take a really hard look at WHY. What fears are these awesome news blasts awakening in you? And what can you do to help assuage those fears? How can you transform the fear into fuel?

Additionally, take a close look at your behavior. Are you actively seeking it out? You might not think you are, but…more often than not, people ARE. We scan our social media feeds, check reviews of our own books, compare our follower counts to other people’s, and we ACTIVELY put ourselves in situations where we know our fears will wake up.

Try not doing that. Even just for a few hours. ;) You might be amazed at how much more centered you feel afterwards.

God forbid im on my phone more than ten minutes a day God forbid i miss one homework assignment God forbid I forget ro walk the fucking dog I do any of this and i get stripped of my privilege of seeing my boyfriend and having any internet access until its “rectified” But my fuckin sister runs away to fuckin Illinois with a boy she met on the internet and my mom gotta drop 6000 tears and hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and taking time outta work to collab with police on her missing persons report and you know what my fuckin mom does She almosT fuckin took her to fucking EPCOT AMUSEMENT PARK and when she comes home sis gets 0 punishment and goes right back to school like nothing happened?? Im so raged right now Im not allowed to talk to any friends after 9 pm even on weekends because “i dont NEED to” I cant get below a B in class because “you can do BETTER” WHERE IS THE FUCKING JUSTICE