Friday, September 4, 2015

I'm done with the stream

My blog (I was about to say "Xanga", haha, old habits die hard) is really such a better place to post anything and everything...there's a sense of permanence that is sorely lacking when I just shout something into the ever-present "stream" of the usual FB/twitter/G+ culprits.  I'm not sure if I'll get into that habit for photos though--I have to admit that the FB photo album flow is pretty nice.  Ironically it feels like photo uploads for FB have more permanence than image posts to a blog, though I know that's just a preconceived notion.  Still, I'd like to just do away with most of the status updates and such and just make this my new home, with the notable exception of announcements.  The "stream" is great for announcements and advertisements; I'll give you that.  I guess it's true what they say about social media being more focused on clickbait, ads, and consumerism.  I hate that the only things I see nowadays are just articles being reposted.  I don't really want to just read articles that other people have written...I want to hear about YOUR life, YOUR feelings!  Someone should make an "If we talked to each other like we do on Facebook" video...

Maybe I just need to be more selective about what the stream shows?  It's hard when you don't have that much active control over it; most of your power revolves around just excluding people entirely, which I guess is a useful thing.  I'm still missing the community of yesteryear, back in '05 when, you know, we actually talked to each other.  Well, I guess the only thing I can really do about it is stick to what I do and what I believe in.

Work continues on Melody Muncher Deluxe!  I'm really going all out with this, it's actually shaping up to be my biggest game EVER--it's actually a legitimate rhythm game with easy, normal, and hard modes, different enemy types, many levels, backgrounds, particles, etc. etc. etc.  Pretty awesome!  Here's some more screenshots for ya:

New song select screen.  With detailed stats on each song!

Yep!  We've got long yellow centipede enemies now--you have to hold down that direction for the duration of the centipede in order to score it correctly.  Don't worry--this is an expert mode only feature!  I'm still experimenting with how to stepchart these hold notes...they can really trip you up, especially when you get to stuff happening across both sides at once!  I really like that the blue wizards focus you to consider both left and right sides together, as opposed to being able to just treat them as separate channels.  I'm still working through all of the expert mode songs...after that I'll be mostly done, just a few touchups!

I suppose I should put links and linkbacks in this blog too? - bbriggs just released a bunch of royalty-free music for use on twitch streams and youtube videos.  Twitch and youtube video content has actually become a big source of attention and usage for us musicians I feel like, so it's pretty sensible to market something directly for that purpose.  Nice job ben :) - The trailer for The Danish Girl promises...well, an emotive portrayal of a transgender experience, probably through a significantly different lens than that of Hourou Musuko.  I wish it the best of success; I'm sure it will do just fine and I'll bring a small box of tissues to whenever I catch a screening of it.

It's a little weird having personal and social presences linked; I guess I can understand why people choose not to, but I think as a person I can't really seem to separate the two (ironic when you think about Sayuri, haha), I think I feel that my announcements and thoughts about music and my projects =are= part of my personal life; shouldn't it just be all together in the same package?  Still, it's slightly unfortunate because there are those days when I just feel like running away from the world; that no one should see me because ugh, I just want to get =away= from everything, to unplug, to hide myself so that no one will see me.  Which, of course, is funny, because out there in the aether of "the stream" no one actually =does= see you, so long as you don't cause a ruckus, and your presence won't be noticed, much less missed.  What a f*cked up sense of "friendship" that is.  And perhaps that is the saddest thing about the herd of today, that I can't have a dialogue or a conversation with someone, that in the world that I remember, I actually felt =friendship= in my online interactions.  Nowadays, I feel a lot of advertisement, LOTS of pointing fingers, a bunch of clickbait articles, and an unhealthy dose of negativity.  Since when did my online social space become invaded by tabloids?  Sure, it's important to hear about things that are happening, but....not like this.  Not like this.

Writing this was nice, actually; as it's a wakeup call for me to think about what I can do to cultivate (or at least, "carve away") an online social space for myself that I can actually enjoy being in.  I don't want to hear about how everybody hates XYZ, and the latest fads, and those random videos of cats and dogs.  There is an entire corner of the internet dedicated to cat videos; I don't need it to be pointed out to me, okay! ;P

I understand that sometimes we need to vent and complain about our problems.  I encourage it, in fact--not only for your own mental and emotional health (too often we tell ourselves that we are "fine" when we are not), but also because there is a sense of genuineness and real human connection when someone is expressing their personal problems.  It's usually something that you can either relate to, or at the very least feel sympathetic about.  But there is a difference between venting about problems that you have, and complaining about problems that are not even yours because you are hopping on a bandwagon.  There is enough judging and hate going on in this world without having to criticize and ostracize everything that happens, even outside of your own life.  It's hard to avoid being judgmental, I know.  My upbringing taught me both to judge and to be judged--I was taught to be racist, I was told what foods I should like and not like, and I was observed every step of the way.  It's hard to get away from, even now, but maybe we need to try and do our best to not just form these immediate knee-jerk reactions and become sensationalists?

Sorry, I'm actually not sure if I fully believe in everything I wrote in that previous paragraph.  But what I do know is that I don't feel like the current online spaces we have are safe.  And by "safe" I don't mean "privacy safe".  I mean when I go online and go to facebooktwittergoogleplusWHATEVER, do I feel comfortable posting about a personal problem that I have?  Do I even feel comfortable PMing someone when I'm in trouble?  And I really don't know if I do.  When the model of communication is "shout really loud so that other people will signal boost you", do I really want to publish a note on how "wow, my life is really terrible right now and I feel like killing myself"?  When every day I see posts on "Wow this idiot deserves to die" and "@$%# people on the road don't know how to drive", do I feel confident that my feelings will be respected--that =I myself as a person- will be respected and accepted?

The internet spaces that I used to dwell in used to be inhabited by friends, who read what you wrote, who thought about what you talked about, and who talked back to you.  Imagine that!  They talked back to you!  I'm not talking about like, every once in a while they'll "+1" something that you wrote.  They actually, legitimately talked back about something that you wrote!  Wow!  What I wouldn't give for something like that!  Even now, I can go back to my archives and look at random posts and sure, it wasn't like I was writing anything especially poignant or meaningful, but people still took the time out of their day to say "Haha, that's funny, you know, that reminds me of the time..." or "Aww that sucks, I hope you feel better!"

I'm done with this "stream".  You guys can shout all you want.  I'm going to carve out a good little corner of my own and I'm going to be a good, self-respecting internet citizen and form bonds with people.

....except when I'm promoting my new games and album releases, because when it comes to advertising, anything's fair game! :D  Did I mention Melody Muncher Deluxe comes out soon?  Also, I've just finished getting all of the tracks together for The Ecstasy of Life, so I'll have that album releasing very soon too!  Hooray! (I'm being serious here, I think the "stream" is totally fine for self-promotion)

1 comment :

  1. I can relate to many of the things you've written here.

    A few of the things you said in this post reminded me of an article you shared a few years ago about how the majority of people on the Internet are consuming or sharing content, and that there are few who actually generate their own.

    I don't spend much time on Facebook now because most of the things I see there don't interest me. After getting friend requests from people who like to add everyone they've just met, I no longer felt comfortable posting my honest thoughts and feelings there (even though I know I could use privacy controls). Now I pretty much use it for advertising and saving links to articles that I might want to reference in the future. Instead, I put my vulnerabilities on a blog that only people granted permission can access. (It's more so to keep three particular people out.)

    Since people primarily post about their achievements and fun on Facebook, which gives others an unrealistic idea of other people's lives and results in people feeling worse about themselves afterward, I had the idea of going for a week posting status updates of what really was in my mind, instead of only showing the positive stuff. I haven't actually done it yet, and I'm not sure I will, because I'm afraid of showing my vulnerabilities. I'm afraid that people will secretly laugh at me because of my upbringing; my parents would trash talk about others behind their backs. Perhaps other people feel that way too, and feel like they have to maintain this image of themselves as happy and successful.

    I do miss Xanga the way it was, when there was more of a community feel to it. I've stuck around with some former Xangans on WordPress, but it's hard to make new meaningful connections now.