My social life seems to be improving again. And again, self-reminder: Get enough sleep and keep your Internet swimming time in control. Get help from friends and family and them trustworthy people if you need to.
Author’s Note: Speaking of cats, I’d like to introduce you to Mafumafu-senpai’s “Super Nuko World.”
During one rainy weekend morning, the eldest son was spending his leisure time in the Internet through the laptop on his desk. His fingers were speedily tapping away on his keyboard, pausing every few seconds as he stopped to take a quick glance at a pair of ink-slashed pages of a notebook on his lap.
The teenage son stopped and looked to the side to see the family’s gray pet cat behind an opened door (The parents wanted to conserve electricity, so they did ways to make sure that cold but natural air would enter the house more without using the air conditioner).
“Oh, hello, Terra,” said the eldest son.
And then the teenager pushed the door and shut it on the cat’s face.
“I’ll leave Terra to anyone else available in the house for now,” the overconfident eldest child said to himself as he continued typing. “I have more important things to do…like making this blog post…and oh! New Let’s Play video from a certain favorite, funny, deep-voiced, and nice guy with glasses!”
The eldest child took his earphones, which lay beside his laptop, and connected them to his ears and his laptop as he accessed the watch page of a new video of someone playing a video game.
That immersion that the overconfident boy entered led to him being unaware of the thuds and knocks on the door, sounds which were followed by the slow creaking of the once-shut door, a door which had Terra hanging on the door knob outside with his two front arms.
The eldest child was currently in a state of confusion along with the Let’s Player in the screen as they watched a human body with an electric plug for a head stick its pins into a similar creature’s backside.
Meanwhile, Terra expressed his hunger by gently swiping a paw at his favorite food delivery person.
Fortunately, the shocked eldest child did not fall off his chair or pull the laptop to the floor via connected earphones as his body jerked up.
“Whew, I’m safe, and the laptop’s safe,” the teenage boy said as he took his laptop and cradled it in his arms before shooting a glare at Terra, a confused stare at Terra and his presence in the room, and then a look at the opened door.
He needed to confirm some things before jumping to that conclusion regarding how Terra entered the room, so…
“MOM? WHERE ARE YOU?”
“A’HM WESHENG THA LUNDREH, SUN!” the mother shouted from the kitchen.
“DAD? WHERE ARE YOU?”
“I’m feeding the dogs, Stick!” the father shouted from the backyard.
“SIS? WHERE ARE YOU?”
“No response, probably in her room, then. And I can see bunso in his room, rewatching a bunch of Home Alone sce–OW!”
The eldest child, Stick, immediately lifted a leg and shot another glare at the gray cat that had swiped his paw at Stick’s leg again. Then, Stick sighed, took off his earphones, and stood up from his fluffy chair.
“Come on, Terra,” Stick called to the cat as he walked to the first floor to feed the hungry cat.
The cat looked up at the tall human with widened eyes as he rubbed his head and body around Stick’s legs.
“I’m gonna feed you already, Terra, just wait…”
Terra carefully hopped down each stair step, alternately moving to the sides as he and his favorite food delivery person went down to the first floor.
“Stop blocking my feet on the stairs, Terra…”
Terra scurried to his dining corner by the kitchen doorway, where the washing machine was working its magic on a bunch of clothes while Stick’s mother was handwashing another bunch of clothes.
“I’m getting the food and water now, Terra…”
The hungry cat meowed even louder as he smelled the scent of those rough-looking pieces of fish-infused cat food. His eyes followed that plastic container being carried by the food delivery person. When the food poured out into the cat’s metal bowl, Terra dived his head in to reach for the food, but was interrupted by Stick’s slightly awkward attempts to put in more food into the bowl.
“Here you go…Terra…”
After he put the usual serving of water on the other metal bowl beside the food bowl, Stick went back to his room, but not without telling his dad about Terra.
“Oh, and Dad?”
“Yeah, Stick?” the father replied as he went past the kitchen doorway.
“Terra managed to open my door,” Stick told with an amused smile.
“Oh, that. I know about that.” The dad wore a small smile, but with a slower and deeper voice. “He’s been doing that a lot along with making noise, usually when he’s hungry. Your mom’s been really irritated at Terra because of that habit of his, so you better feed him regularly, okay?”
“YAH BETTA FID THET KET UN TEHM, SUN, UR AH’LL SEND ET AHT FUR ELL THA NAHZ ET MEHKS!”
“Alright, Mom and Dad, thanks very much for the reminder…” obeyed the eldest son, who comically bent his upper body to the side as he received his mother’s shouting.
After a rush up the stairs and into his room, Stick went back to writing a blog post, setting aside that Let’s Play of that weird game, as he had promised himself that he would make one proper blog post per week. He managed to finish the post, an achievement which inspired him to do a little circular march in his room, a march which was combined with the rhythmic shaking of his hips and a repeated “Oh yeah!” He finished the dance by letting his body fall back-first on his bed.
Suddenly, while Stick laid on his bed, Terra was now on the teenage boy’s abdomen.
Stick smiled and gently rubbed the head of the cat that had quickly went to sleep.
“Well, time for a break,” said Stick as he left the computer to eventually go standby and then hibernate, a cat curled up on top of his body as he slept.
This morning, my dad told me off for using the computer without asking for his permission and for using it very early in the morning, especially when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. When my dad told me off and asked for my laptop, I felt really annoyed. It’s like my stomach was slowly twisting and turning itself into knots, causing pits in it to appear in the process.
I guess that’s how I end up feeling when I find a lot of friends in the Internet and not much in face-to-face interactions outside the Internet. In the outside world, the worthwhile people seem to be non-existent. I think “hard to find” would be a better term for them, but it’s not like I have enough willpower to try to find one in the outside world when I have homework and so many other responsibilities to deal with. I do find it important to be in the outside world; after all, I have dreams that need to be fulfilled that require doing that.
But life has taught me that I need a trustworthy companion to keep me in line everyday. Indeed, self-reliance is important for it can make work more efficient, but that does not mean that relying on other people is unimportant. Self-reliant people don’t reach a sufficient level of self-reliance by themselves, you know. Trustworthy companions are important, alright. I love my family, I greatly appreciate my friends, I don’t like underestimating acquaintances and colleagues, I like teachers and superiors who do their job well, I don’t mind getting married to the girl who’s right for me someday as well, and I don’t like hating any person’s existence.
There’s something that I’d like to say, though.
If only I had some interesting companions nearby everyday. Not just in the Internet, but outside the electronic sea as well. Thing is, I’m socially Internet-sighted. You remember the second paragraph? That feeling where worthwhile companions seem non-existent in the world outside the Internet while the Internet seems to have all the worthwhile companions? You can call that social Internet-sightedness. It’s probably not in the dictionary, so just remember near-sightedness and far-sightedness and I guess you’ll understand what I mean.
So yeah, I think I’m like that right now. And I think it’s definitely a problem, even though some stupid part of me thinks that it’s okay for me to live with it. I got dreams that require social interaction outside being in front of computer, stupid side! Freaking sticks, go kill yourself already, stupid side…
Anyway, I’m socially Internet-sighted, and it’s a problem for someone like me. I’m not a loner, but someone who’s mostly introverted and really selective of who I hang around with. As I’ve said, I know of the importance of having trustworthy companions, such as friends and family, but the social Internet-sightedness is getting in the way. My recent daily life has been filled with me feeling like no one outside the Internet would care much about all the stuff I’m interested in, which are mostly things that I had discovered through the Internet. A lot of the stuff I’m interested in seem to be things that most people outside the Internet wouldn’t care much about. And then there’s people being greatly held by stupidity (not like the Internet doesn’t have people like that), and I guess can say that they’re a major contributing factor in the worsening of my social Internet-sightedness. It’s not like I’ve completely lost faith in humanity, though. The current social condition in my environment outside the Net is just too much for someone like me, someone who hates big loads of annoying stuff in my senses a lot.
With the worsening of my social Internet-sightedness, I have a higher risk of having Internet addiction (Wait, I think I already have some level of that in me, ugh…), and I’d probably end up a sad and stupid wreck by the time I go lazy NEET shut-in or something similar because of it. If I do end up being that sort of wreck, I think it’ll be maintained by me doing some seemingly rational but actually deceptive and irrational self-justification that would ruin all of freaking humanity, followed by humanity doing mass suicide or something gruesome like that.
I do not want to become the leader of something like Ultimate Despair, damn it. I WANT TO BECOME A SERVANT-LEADER FOR SOMETHING LIKE THE FUTURE FOUNDATION!
…*sigh*…I wish at least my family would try to know a lot about the stuff that I like, such as KagePro. And Dangan Ronpa. And Let’s Players and video games. And so much more that you’d be really likely to stop reading this post by the time you completely read the full list. That way, I guess hanging around my family in our household would be less boring, and I’d probably be more motivated in following their orders if they did some hilarious reference that would end in one or more of us family members going hammy (but not neighbor-annoyingly hammy) and then doing some proper stuff like household chores so energetically. Like, I think it would be fun if my family seemed like the main cast of some light, inspirational, and friendly family and slice-of-life comedy.
It looks like I need to lure them into my world. Not the stupid and perverted Internet addict world; that dumb world can go implode on itself right now. I gotta freaking make the good stuff that I discovered in the Internet into fuel for living life outside the Internet even more better! YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
But how to do that, though? Let’s think, Tobby.
I tend to go into interactions with people when they like talking about things I like or when we need to talk for stuff like school and work, and if they don’t seem interested, I won’t bother so much with talking to them. Thing is, with that approach of mine in social interaction, schoolwork and other sorts of work have gotten more boring. Like, is there no really no way to make the work that we’ll be doing entertaining without violating someone? I need to freaking go by a different but still good approach.
Now, we need to do some concrete moves if we want to get more worthwhile companions, Tobby. As of now, trying to find friends in the outside world is like trying to do the Aussie walk in rappelling (which is, in my mind, currently a rappelling method of the world of nightmares), and right now, the Internet seems like the best way to get more of those potential outside world friends to approach me more, so what I do need to do?
Get someone to share your works and the stuff that you like, Tobby. Be more persistent (don’t be rude, though) with getting people to check and share your stuff out. People who would probably be the least annoyed when you increase your persistence would be your parents and that one close friend of yours who lives in the neighboring city, who we shall call Shirokage for now. Oh, and maybe that one classmate of yours as well. But still, you gotta step into the courage zone. Keep on trying to properly convince people to check out your work, give honest feedback on them, and share it to their social circles in the Internet! And don’t forget to do your best with making your work, Tobby! You gotta do your part, you know!
And I think trying to get Mom and Dad into some of your interests while trying to get into some of theirs would be great as well! Maybe they could have some more entertaining and inspirational days knowing about KagePro with them, and maybe you’d even have entertaining and inspirational days doing their favorite physical exercises and sports with them! Get into their interesting hobbies, and try to show them that your hobbies can be worth some of their time! With that, I think both sides would find more effective ways to convince each other to do good things. Like, I think we can use KagePro characters to inspire each other to do something good, like, “Remember Momo?” or one of us sings Otsukimi Recital or something like that. I guess your days would be less boring if you got them in your hobbies, and I guess their days would be less boring if they found your hobbies worthwhile.
So yeah, start with your parents. Or your second and third siblings. Or the people near you that you can talk to about your hobbies and their details comfortably. Once you succeed, I think you’ll gain more confidence, especially with those people surely backing you up in living life properly even more!
And eventually, if you do it right, that social Internet-sightedness of yours will be vaporized, and we’ll all be happy and dance in fields of harmless flowers as we see that disease get murdered by our rays of friendship and goodness. It’s going to be beautiful…
Now, get to work, Tobby! Makoto Naegi, Madoka Kaname, and Ayano Tateyama surely believe in you! GO, YOU FREAKING CRAZY BEAR! GO AND BE THAT MORALLY UPRIGHT AND FRIENDSHIP-LOVING HUMAN WHO CLAIMS THAT HE’S A BEAR IN THE INTERNET BECAUSE HE ALSO WANTS TO BE MORE APPROACHABLE!
Operation: Kill Tobby’s Social Internet-Sightedness, Phase 1, begin!
Author’s Note: I need to be more patient and more of a role model towards my youngest sibling as well…
One afternoon, the son, seated in front of his laptop, started surfing the Internet for leisure after finishing a tough load of homework.
“And we dive…” He typed a Web address on the URL bar, tapped the Enter button, and… “…into the Net!”
The sudden familiar shout caused an eye in the son to twitch. He wore a crooked smile as he looked to the door of his mostly dark room. “WHAT IS IT, MOTHER?” he shouted back.
“GIT DUWN HIR, SUN!”
“Oh, come on,” the son grumbled as he stood up from his fluffy chair and went downstairs to talk with his mother. “I need a nice break after all that homework…”
As he neared the ground floor, he tried to hide his irritation under a calm expression (He doesn’t have much skill in masking his true expressions, like the frown that was twitching out of his face at that moment, though) when he saw his mother carrying her handbag while gently talking to a certain annoyance that was holding her smartphone.
“Bunsu…Mummeh nids hah phun…Steh weth Kuyeh end behev end yah’ll bi ebol tu yos et lehter, ukeh?”
“Okay, Mommy,” said the short annoyance as he reached phone out to his mother, who gave him a “Thenk yah, bunsu” before turning to her eldest son.
“End yah, pengeneh,” she called.
The eldest son knew where this was going as he inwardly groaned.
“You want me to watch over him while you’re out buying groceries or something, Mother?”
“Well, yar Ded’s un uvertem, yar sestah’s trenen en swemmen, yar utha brutha es ot thar beng en edeot, end tha helpah’s et skuhl, wetch levs yah hir. Enless yah wunt tu beh tha gruseres, wetch wod beh gret, yah’ll hev tu wotch uvah bunsu hir.”
“Alright,” he complied, but not without letting out a loud sigh.
“Jest kip hem antatained, pengeneh. ev hem wetch muvis en tha Teh-Veh wal yah mek shore thet he dusn’t wetch enethen enepprupraet. Yah ken gu yas yah kumputah, bet mek shore thet he dusn’t gu ot uf thi haz ur koz eneh trubull lek deppeng tha Teh-Veh remut entu tha tahlet.”
“In other words, the usual, Mother,” the eldest child replied with a bored look at the youngest child. “Alright, alright, go buy the groceries now.”
“Thenk yah, sun! Yah shud pleh weth yar brutha thar ur sumthen, bah tha weh! Si yah lehtah!”
And then she went out of the house and drove to the supermarket.
“Well, looks like it’s time for us to–Oh, come on.”
The youngest sibling was no beside the eldest, but on the doorway to the backyard, silently peeking at the two big, leashed, and sleeping pet dogs.
“What is with my stupid youngest sibling and his habit of watching the dogs, especially when they’re relaxing?” the eldest sibling wondered as he thought about the trouble of having to close and lock the backdoor because of an annoyance that often forgets to close it when it is opened by that annoyance.
As he waited for his sibling’s usually long and boring dog-watching sessions, the eldest’s gaze wandered until he found the family’s pet cat curled up and sleeping in a corner.
“Oh, hello, kitty,” the eldest cooed as he watched the gray cat’s body slowly rise up and down as the cat breathed while sleeping.
The eldest continued cat-watching with a smile on his face, quickly forgetting about his question regarding his youngest sibling’s liking for dog-watching. He then thought of a certain island filled with many cats.
“I wanna go to Tashirojima someday…” the eldest sighed before turning to check on his youngest sibling.
Only a half-open door was on the doorway to the backyard.
“Well, looks like he flew to some other place again,” the eldest sibling said with a monotone.
The eldest ran to his parents’ room upstairs, where he found his brother holding a remote control while on the bed, focused on the television screen in front of him.
“Fortunately, he’s already where I want him to be,” the grinning eldest whispered to himself before running to lock the gates and doors downstairs, running back to his room to move his laptop to his parents’ room. Once he had put his laptop on a desk there, the eldest locked the door of his parents’ room and blocked the door with the wide sofa there. Then, he picked up his laptop and slouched with it on said sofa.
“Okay, so what’s new in my favorite fanfictions…?”
The eldest had begun spending his usually overspent time in the Internet. (That issue is another story, though).
After several minutes of silent but enjoyed reading by the eldest and noisy but ignored movie rewinding and fast-forwarding from the annoyance and the remote control in his hands…
“Well, I wonder how my youngest sibling is–Oh, come on.”
A movie was left running on the TV, the remote control for the TV was left on the bed, the sofa where the eldest sat was pushed away, and the door had been unlocked and left open.
With a sigh and a groan, the eldest hurried to leave his laptop on a desk, search for his youngest brother, and keep said brother safe.
Parents’ bathroom: “He’s not here.” Second floor common bathroom: “He’s not here, either.” Eldest’s room: “Not here, too.” Anywhere on the second floor: “He’s totally absent here.”
Living room: “Nope, he’s not here.” Kitchen: “No sign of a backyard door stupidly left open, so he’s not here.” Porch: “Oh, there he is, greeting Mom with a hug.”
The eldest let out a sigh of relief. “It was just him hearing Mom arrive again….and I thought he got into trouble…”
“And I better remember to not call him ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ ever again” the eldest added as an afterthought. “…AND I should try to be a proper role model to him so that he won’t grow into an idiot…like me…and I gotta be more patient with him and his iss–Oof! Whoa!”
Suddenly, the eldest saw his youngest sibling in front of him, hugging him at the waist with force that could have knocked him down if he didn’t hold on to one side of the doorway.
“Hey, what do you want?” the eldest sibling asked his brother, who was wearing a big grin.
“I want to use Kuya’s computer!” the youngest shouted excitedly.
The eldest groaned and glared immediately at his brother.
“Sun, gev hem sum tehm fur tha kumputah!” their mother ordered. “Yuv bin spenden tu motch tehm ther!”
“But he doesn’–”
“Hi nous huw tu pleh thus Flesh gehms ur sumthen end stuf! A’ll beh wetcheng hem, su gu du sum chers, lehk muveng end surteng thes gruseres!”
The eldest child, remembering a reminder that he recently gave himself, followed the command immediately.
And as usual, they went back to doing proper work.
Previous Part: The Overconfident Son, The Ugly-Voiced Mother, and Commuting
Author’s Note: Dear readers, I wonder how you felt when you first rode public transport alone?
During one blazingly hot summer noontime, the overconfident son strutted into his house.
“Hi, mother,” he said with a small smirk twitching out of his attempted pokerface as he stood on the doorway.
The mother was sweeping the living room floor when she heard her son. She gave him a very calm look with a very small smile, something that was a very familiar sing to their family.
“E red yur letest blug pust, sun,” she said as her broom sweeps became wider and blew more dust and dirt into various directions. “E dun’t thenk Ah nid tu tell yah whei weh’r trayeng tu titch yah, ‘cuz et sims lahk yah onderstend–Nuh, yah sim lahk yah nou bettah abaht perenting then os, sun.”
The son crossed his arms on his chest as he closed his eyes and fully showed his smirk. Before he could talk, though, a powerful broom sweep got dust into his face, causing him to cough and sneeze. He didn’t let that stop him from delivering his intended reply. “Ahem…no need for you to shout at me, mother, for I shall be leaving immediately. The suitcase over there,” and he pointed to the suitcase inside the house and beside the doorway, “contains all that I will need for living by myself. I was supposed to put the suitcase in a more convenient place, but I forgot to do that, so I had no choice but to go here and risk facing you. Besides, I prefer being direct and honest with people in order to prevent added problems. And I shall be–Cough! Cough! Agh!”
“EF YAH DUN’T WENNE FALLAH THA ROLZ HIR, THAN YAH’R FRI TU GIT ATTA HIR!” shouted the mother as she angrily swept the dust and dirt to her son’s face.
“Alright, alright!–Cough!–I was going–Cough!–to say goodbye already, mother!” The son quickly stretched his arm to his suitcase and tried to keep his balance as he stumbled away from his mother and her sweeps of dust and dirt.
“PROV AHT! PROV YAH SOPIREIARATY UVAH MI AN PERENTENG!” The mother continued shouting and sweeping, standing on the doorway as her son scuttled away from her and the bounds of the house.
“Yeah, I’m better, I’m better, I know better than what she knows…” whispered the son to himself as he walked on a sunlit street, tuning out the distant and continued ranting of his mother.
Suddenly, the son felt like his stomach was twisting and turning and making knots out of itself. That was a very familiar sign for the overconfident son.
As he stepped beyond the arched border between the quiet residential district and the wide road across it, the son stopped and stared at the roads ahead. He moved to a sidewalk as he kept on staring at the streams of motor vehicles and the lines of tricycles in front of him.
“Hey, you over there!”
The son turned to face a tricycle driver who stopped his vehicle right in front of the teenager. The nervous son replied with a silent stare at the driver who was looking at him from his seat.
“You going somewhere, boy?” asked the driver.
“…n-no…” the boy answered. It’s not like I was planning to go somewhere… the once overconfident boy thought. I was planning to make a surprise visit to a friend’s place…but I don’t know how to travel via public transportation by myself…I didn’t expect me needing to research how to do that…Damn it, of course I need to learn that! I always moved around via private transport or walking around with people like my family members! But moving around alone and via public transport…what if I get held up? Or robbed? Or mugged? Or kidnapped? Ugh, but I don’t know how to drive a car…and bugging people for petty stuff has gotten me into trouble so many times…
The tricycle driver, who was once in front of him, had already gotten a passenger and left the boy who had clutched his head with both hands, fell on his knees, and lightly banged his head on his suitcase repeatedly as he realized his weaknesses, his needs, his guides, other possibilities in living life, and other related stuff.
Meanwhile, with the strangely-voiced mother, who had calmed down quickly and finished cleaning the house…
“Hi’ll beh beck suun…” she said to herself. “…Hi dusen’t nou huw tu kumyut…Hi’ll nid tu bi tought kerfully suun…end hi’ll beh beck bay…nuw.”
“MOM, I’M SORRY FOR BEING A JERK, I’M SORRY FOR BEING AN IDIOT, AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COMMUTE!”
The humbled son was already kneeling by the doorway, his usually messed-up hair even more messed up and drenched, along with the rest of his head, in sweat.
The mother smiled, turning her face into a somewhat wrinkled form of the face that once turned the heads of so many men who had never heard her voice before. She went to his son and hugged him again. “A’hm elsu surreh fur swipping dest un yah fez beck ther. Thet wez tu match. Eh, end yah lurnd yar lussuns nuw, sun?”
“Yeah, Mom…” the humbled son answered. “Please teach me to travel via public transport and all the related important stuff when we have time, too…”
“Wi well, sun, baht ferst, wash tha deshes ther en tha ketchen,” the mother said with a gentle smile as she let go of her son and stood up.
“Okay, Mom…” The son stood up and wore a gentle smile as well. “…and again, I love you, Mom…and thanks very much again for caring for me…”
“Yar walcum, sun,” the mother said as she watched her son march to the kitchen to wash the dishes. “Yar vereh walcum.”
The mother also chuckled as she saw her son still holding his suitcase while he moved to the kitchen.
And as usual, they went back to doing proper work.
Author’s Note: I’d like to dedicate this piece of fiction that I made to my parents, especially to my mother. Also, I’d like to apologize to her and Dad for being a jerk to the two of them recently.
“I do not need your advice, mother,” said an overconfident teenage son on the rappelling tower while he attached the roped eight-ring to the carabiner hanging on the sling hook on the back part of his waist. His legs were shaking as he set up the descent system.
“Sun, A’ve bin e fursh-tamur bafur, end Ah rilly thunk yah shad fallah meh edvesh,” replied the overconfident son’s mother after watching her son refuse her assistance. Her arms were crossed on her chest, one foot was tapping the wooden floor, and a frown was on her face as she talked.
“No, mother, I do not need it, for I have read and understood stuff about rappelling and the various rappelling positions–even this position, the Aussie position–during my Net surfing time.” The son made slow and tiny steps towards the edge of the tower, with his legs still shaking and a twitching smile on his face. “Oh, and where’s Dad right now?”
“Yah Ded’s aht an e merethun, sun.” The mother’s arms tightened, the tapping of her foot quickened, and her frown lowered further. “End mah vuss meh bu agleh, beht Ah lak duang wez bust fur yah kids. Nahw, fallah meh anstrashens, sun.”
“Mother, I can do this properly, there is no need for me to get help from you.” The son’s arms were shaking along with his legs and his smile as he faced away from the edge and tested the rope’s tension. He was walking in place, practicing Aussie position movements. “I appreciate your concern, but I can freaking do this.”
The mother sighed. “Ya dun’t nid mah hulp, thun?” She moved a few steps away from her son. “Elraht. Gu repal. Prov aht. Prov ya sapireiarty uvah mi an thas. Ah wun’t furs mah hulp un yah.”
“Sure, sure, alright.”
The son slowly moved to the edge again.
“I’ll be going down now.”
His legs and arms were shaking.
“Going down now.”
He was now frowning as lots of sweat formed on his forehead.
He was still standing on the edge at this point.
He held on to the top end of the rope as he swung his body outward.
“I can do th–WHOA!”
He gave his body a big outward push beyond the edge, and he was now struggling to keep himself properly standing straight on the wall while facing the ground.
“Wall, thet’s fur yur poblekleh pustod blug pust weth yur bed amateshen uf mah yonack vuss end yar ded’s vuss!” The mother was now looking at her panicking son. Her hands were holding her hips, and she was grinning as well. “End yah sed thet yah dun’t nid mah hulp, so A’ll just wetch yah hir!”
“DO YOU WANT YOUR SON TO DIE BECAUSE OF HIS STUPIDITY?” the son shouted as his shaking and bending feet started to lose their grip on the wall.
“Uhf curse nuht, sun!” the mother shouted back. “Beht yah sed thet–”
“I SAID THAT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS PROPERLY! I SAID THAT NOW! AND I DO THINK THAT PUBLICLY POSTING THAT BLOG POST WITH THAT INACCURATE IMITATION OF YOUR VOICE AND DAD’S VOICE WAS OVERBOARD! I FREAKING NEED HELP, I’M SORRY, MOM!”
“Ukeh, ukeh, sun. Nahw, streghten yur lags!”
“Pat dumanent hend on thi pert uf thi rup thet’s nir yur sad.”
“PUT DOMINANT HAND ON THE PART OF THE ROPE THAT’S NEAR MY SIDE!”
“Uh, end kell fur e ballaer.”
“BILLETER!” (“Billeter ready!” said the overconfident son’s nicer and watching younger sister as she took her brother’s rope while setting herself up for billeting.)
“Nahw, fit farst es yah wok duwn!”
“FEET FIRST! ONE, TWO, STEP!”
“Sluwleh lusen yur huld un thi rup es yuh gu duwn.”
“FEED THE ROPE SLOWLY! BIT BY BIT, BIT BY BIT!”
“Kip yur oppar budeh a lattle opwerd!”
“LIFT UPPER BODY A LITTLE! FEED ROPE SLOWLY! ONE, TWO, STEP! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The son was very near to the ground filled with small stones when his feet lost their hold on the wall.
“Wall, es yeeshel, tehm tu hulp meh sun ot thir.” The mother went down the stairs beside the rappelling tower as fast as she carefully could. Getting the humbled (yet again) son was a pretty easy task for her and her daughter, as the two women were trained in rappelling.
When the son detached the descent system from himself, he gave his mother a hug. The mother accepted it kindly.
“Yuh lurnd yur lussuns nahw, sun?” she gently said with a smile to her son as they hugged each other.
“Yes, Mom…” the son weakly replied. “I’m really sorry, Mom…again…”
“Ah luv yah, sun.”
“I love you, too, Mom…even if your voice sounds ugly and annoying…and thanks very much for those tips back there while I was panicking like an idiot…”
“Yur walcum, sun…yur walcum…”
And as usual, they went back to doing proper work.
Upon my father’s suggestion–no, order to do something productive other than using a computer for two weeks, here I am, writing a blog post in a computer while out of the range of my parents’ senses. I know of the importance of chores (such as going to the grocery, washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, cooking my food, and cleaning my room) and exercise, for I need to eat adequately and maintain my health in order to do the work that I must do. I know of the importance of reading worthwhile books and study material, for I need knowledge in order to do my work better. I know of the importance of interacting with people, especially face-to-face, for I cannot carry out a lot of the work that I must do without interacting with another person. I know of the importance of going to school and properly accomplishing enough years there, for most of my potential employers find it hard to trust someone with a job without the potential employee having a legitimate-looking piece of paper that’s supposed to prove the existence of their awesome skills (Freaking nuts, I feel like we humans are greatly underestimating ourselves a lot lately). I know of the importance of engaging in proper work, for I and the world around me need it to progress towards betterment and to keep ourselves from crumbling into millions of sad and dysfunctional pieces. I know that I am suffering from Internet and computer addiction, as shown by my horrid time management and social skills (Remember my recurring lack of sleep and my stuttering and pausing?). I know that my parents cannot do help methods that are beyond our family’s available resources, as shown by their repeated reminders and complaints about the amounts of money and energy that they are spending for the family’s needs. And I know that my parents care for me and my siblings, as shown by them working their current jobs even though they don’t like a lot of stuff about their jobs, them willingly trying to listen to me when I ask them to have a conversation with me, and the order that I mentioned in the first sentence of this paragraph.
But hold on, am I supposed to think that all my suggestions regarding how I should deal with my problems are useless and stupid? Am I supposed to think that with the way I am right now, sneakily writing and posting this blog post on the Net because I find it hard to express myself via oral communication, I am completely unable to help myself? Are all my parents’ advice and commands that they use–those things that my parents think are right–for dealing with socially awkward and Net-addicted me supposed to be called right and all my suggestions wrong? Am I supposed to consider myself completely useless because I’m addicted to the Net? And am I supposed to just follow all my parents’ orders?
Sure, I would follow some of my parents’ orders. Sure, I would do chores before all the gadget time. Sure, I would exercise regularly. Sure, I would try to study and read books, finish this messed-up semester of mine with the best of my ability, transfer to the Open University, and go properly get a bachelor’s degree. Sure, I would try to engage in proper work within the range of my abilities. Sure, I would try to kill my Internet and computer addiction. Sure, I would try to uplift my family while killing their boredom. And sure, I would try to make friends with real people.
But don’t dismiss me as useless. Don’t ignore all my suggestions. Don’t think that I’m unable to help myself. Don’t think that I’m not trying to do something good for you and me. Don’t think that I’ll follow everything you say. Don’t think that I don’t want to improve myself. And don’t insult me.
Insult my freaking stupidity only, please. I think you’re accidentally insulting the wrong target, Dad. I’m not as weak and stupid as your currently dominating stupidity thinks. I may be bad at oral communication right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t express myself nor am I unable to improve in oral communication. I may not know some important stuff right now, but don’t ever forget that I can learn. I’m like my youngest brother–dumb-looking and hard to handle, but capable of learning important things and surprising stupidity-dominated people.
Don’t underestimate me, my dear parents. Don’t underestimate us children.
So, Tobby, you’ve gotten yourself in a bad situation involving Net addiction, failing subjects, bad time management, increased social awkwardness, and a strained parents-and-child relationship. Well, before we go thinking about how to deal with these issues, let me tell you something.
You managed to survive several years of bullying during grade school, you managed to report a bully properly during high school, you properly passed your basic education years, you managed to properly pass the University of the Philippines College Admission Test, you managed to keep up a blog for a personal-record-breaking one year, you can wash dishes, sweep and mop floors, feed cats and dogs, clean up your room, water plants, make people laugh, and you even have a freaking real person who’s a fan of your mostly Japanese song covers! Oh, and you’ve made some precious friendships that are still standing today. Don’t forget that.
Think of looking at that previous paragraph like it was your necessary review of your stats in a strategy role-playing game. Think of it as not just a look at your weakness, but a look at your strengths. You may not be good at everything, but you’re good at something, and that thing where you’re good at can help others be happy. Oh, and you have more than one thing that you’re good at. It may not be amazing to everyone, this skillset of yours, but someone’s definitely gonna find it amazing.
Now, let’s talk about one thing that you’ll need to learn: household chores. No, you won’t be losing Net time permanently, you crazy bear. You’ll definitely need to use the Internet sometime, considering your social skills in the outside world and what sort of work you want to do in the future, but you gotta remember basic needs. Don’t do household chores just because Mom and Dad said so, but because you have basic needs that should be fulfilled during everyday life.
And now, the thing in the way of you learning about doing the adequate amount of household chores…I think it’s your Net addiction. No, I told you that you won’t be permanently stopped from swimming in the Internet, Tobby. You need balance, crazy bear. Since it seems like your inhibitions go out the window and shatter into a million dysfunctional pieces whenever you get your hands on a computer/smartphone/tablet and a powerful enough Internet connection while no one important is watching over your time management, you should try using it when people like Mom and Dad are around. Or maybe you could go use it when they’re not around, after you do chores. But maybe the former idea seems like a better idea. Remember how tough it is for you when no one important is watching over you? Well, I think you should just talk with them about one of your parents timing your usage after doing the usual chores and studying or during your free time. And try timing your Internet usage by yourself as well…scratch that…for now, I think you should try having someone in your family watch over you and your computer usage time.
As for Internet usage, please reduce your fanfic reading and video watching. Yeah, they’re entertaining, but you’ve got important stuff to do, and some of the fanfics and videos that you check out aren’t really worthwhile for your brain in the long run. Remember how headache-inducing one of the fanfics that you’ve been reading is? Yeah, what a reminder about how much and what sort of action and complicated stuff your mind can take. Also, some videos that you watch, specifically Let’s Plays and stuff like skits and music videos, maybe you could make doing that more worthwhile by watching it with someone like a family member or a friend. Sure, maybe it can be uncomfortable at times, but you gotta remember that your fellow viewers can have different opinions, and that there are reasons behind why they have those opinions. Don’t worry, because there will certainly be someone who will like what you like. And you should try explaining why you like what you like. And as for song covers that you like watching, maybe you could go have them playing while you’re doing chores so you don’t waste time locked up somewhere like your room, checking out how someone’s singing sounds.
Oh, and remember your song covers and all that art stuff and writing stuff? Share them to your Facebook friends. Share them to the Internet. Make them properly and make them worthwhile for your audience. Kill their boredom while uplifting their souls! Remember not to spend too much time on making and sharing those stuff, though. You got basic needs that you need to fulfill in everyday life, you know!
Ah, and school. Yeesh, the state of your academic affairs reminds me of Hibiya Amamiya being smashed by a truck. Or the Mekakushi Dan while facing the Wide-Awake Snake personally. In other words, your performance in school is a wreck. Your absences in classes seem to be reaching a point where you’ll fail because of going over the absence limit. Well, if you can still attend some classes, do what you can. Learn what you can while you prepare to transfer to the Open University. I feel like you’ve been undertrusting your professors and classmates. You seem to be like Marry Kozakura while being in despair because of the Wide-Awake Snake’s cold murderous rampage, both unaware of Ayano and Shintarou’s saving presences. Take it step-by-step, Tobby. If you fail this semester despite doing what you can do, then try again in the next semester. Any rage involving reimbursements to be paid back because of failure in the semester is understandable, but should not drag you down from trying to be better.
By the way, don’t stop blogging. Don’t stop your work here in the Net. Don’t stop writing those pieces of fiction in your mind that are waiting to be developed. Remember, you need balance. You need enough. You can hang out with your precious friends and make more precious friendships here in the Net, but remember that you have needs that involve being outside of the electronic blue sea. You can do well, Tobby. Kill boredom while uplifting souls. Do your best, have fun, keep calm, look at the bright side, and friendship for the win.
I’m introverted and socially awkward. When I’m outside, trying to interact with people, I’m usually a stuttering, pausing mess who spends most of his response construction time thinking that my listener is looking down on me. It’s hard to find trustworthy people outside.
So here I am, in the Internet. People reveal sides they don’t usually show to others in the outside world. Even though people can easily hide themselves in this electronic blue sea, people can also easily reveal themselves and easily find other people here. Combined with faster processing speeds, finding someone to form a friendship with became something that I really liked.
Yeah, I guess I really like forming friendships without having to go out of my room, without going out of the comfort zone. But I already know that that’s stupid. I’ll need to go out sometime. I’ll need to face conflict.
But when I try to train myself in the outside world, in school, I easily find myself in difficulty. When I end up having an awkward conversation, or a conversation that didn’t go as long as I wanted to, or when I fail to do something like homework right, I start feeling like I shouldn’t show myself to my classmates and teachers. When I think about it now, it’s like when I try to exercise. I try to do it because I know that it’s important, but when I try to make a habit out of it and I encounter difficulty, I easily give in to weakness and I start sinking into a pit of freaking misery, butt-biters, and paranoia.
The number of people who seem trustworthy to me in the outside world feels like zero, so here I am, in the Internet. I had met and made a close friend here, and even if we’ve had some conflict, we’re going along well. And I’ve found more people who I can talk with about stuff that many people in my home, school, and local community wouldn’t care much about. I feel like my social skills are getting better there.
Still, I have this paranoia, the feeling that my listener is looking down on me, that comes up a lot whenever I talk to a person in a face-to-face conversation. And I need to have decent oral communication skills, and I think I can improve, but I feel like I can’t.
So here I am, in the Internet, trying to find a way to improve myself and my social skills.
And then there’s this bad habit of me procrastinating on many things, including sleep. I try to ask my parents and friends for help, but my friends aren’t there for me all the time, and when my parents try to remind me, I glare at them and grumble and ask for more time with my gadgets, especially when I’m in the middle of something fun in my electronic blue sea swimming time.
So here I am, in the Internet, trying to ask for help.
My condition in school hasn’t been going really well lately, considering that I’ve been procrastinating a lot and that my social awkwardness is giving me a hard time in social interaction and group works. I’ve gone absent from classes for more than a week now, and I feel like transferring to a distance education program.
And here I am, in the Internet, wanting to be a hero.
But I’ll need to go out of my room, out of my house, and go meet people face-to-face. I’ll need to stay away from my Internet connection, lessen time with my computer and smartphone, cut off my only way to effectively interact with other people.
But I don’t think I can handle being in the outside world, so here I am, in the Internet.
I want to improve my social skills. I need to interact well outside the electronic blue sea. I need to go out to get what I want. I want to be a hero, to be happy, to make others happy.
So I need to take some time away from the Internet. I won’t stop connecting to it permanently, but I’ll be out for a while.
So here I am, in the Internet, writing a goodbye to the electronic blue sea as I go get my broken self repaired.
I’ll be back, Internet. Maybe once or twice a week, I don’t know…It depends on what my parents and I will agree on…
And I’ll make sure not to drown in you next time, Internet.
Meanwhile, I should spend some exercise time on swimming in actual water…