An Essay on Changes & Identity

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An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 2:45 am

Hi there, I'm new here. I've only been here for a few days, so I apologize if this isn't the right place for this. I also apologize for the pretentious thread title, but that's just sort of how I roll. :p

So basically, about two hours ago, I deliberately got banned from a site I've been a member of for almost three years. Said site is tvtropes.org. I'll make something clear quickly, I have nothing against the site and never will, this thread isn't about the site itself so much as my experience with it. More specifically, their forums.

Like I said, I was a regular member on their forums for three years (under three different names; El the Daze, Spain Sun, and Blixty Slycat), and today, I quit. I'm not sure if I'll be gone from there forever, but I will be gone for a long time. And basically, that fact has kinda been tearing me up this evening (or this morning, if you're in my timezone. Hi, fellow east-coasters). To get to the point of why this thread is called what it is, I feel like having quit, I lost a part of myself. But then I realized something, for the past three years, probably longer, honestly, I really haven't known who I am. I've said contradictory things, lied to people just out of habit, and basically been a total dick (we're allowed to cuss here, right? I'll remove that if not) to even my best friends.

So I'm wondering if, by removing this large part of my fabricated "identity", I can make myself a better person.

What are your thoughts, SmackJeeves? Have you been through anything similar? Is this common among people who leave the first website they're really a part of (TVTropes was indeed mine)?

I'm just curious to hear your thoughts, is all.

I apologize if anything in here is inappropriate/frowned upon. I haven't quite picked up the etiquette around here yet.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby blankd » January 15th, 2012, 3:30 am

(Cussing is allowed in moderation, so don't worry about it.)

In terms of having "lost a bit of yourself" I think it's because you might be feeling the void from having your time being freed up from something you were probably very dedicated to, not necessarily that you've lost part of yourself. I don't know you well enough to really give a certain evaluation for how you are as a person but if you can figure out why you did those things (lie, contradict yourself etc.) you'll be able to better identify who you are as a person.

Did you lie to make yourself look better? To make someone else feel better? To make your point stronger in an argument so that you'd win? Stuff like that.

As for being a dick to your friends, I have no idea what you've done or consider "dickish" behavior, so I really couldn't tell you. Since you consider it dickish behavior do you find any motivation to change that part of yourself?

I can't give you a definite answer about if "quitting" TV tropes will make you a better person since I really don't know you, but you'll definitely have more time for yourself to meditate and evaluate who you are as a person- what you want and what you see of yourself.

If you have more information to share because you'd like us to give you a more concrete answer, feel free to do so. Truth be told, everyone isn't always sure who they are at any given time of the day, so don't lose sleep over it, you'll find out who you are over time.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 3:43 am

First of all, I'd like to thank you for responding at all, it means a lot.

As for those questions you asked, I can't honestly answer them. That's the root of the problem I think, really. I don't know what I *actually* think about anything so I just make stuff up. I don't know why I lie or contradict myself other than (maybe) because I don't know how to not.

It does genuinely amaze me that some people stick to things as steadfastly as they do. I don't know how to do that, and kind of wish I did.

edit: sort of off-topic, but I bring it up because I feel it'd help me a bit. Is there a thread here where I can like, just sort of jabber about nothing in particular with people? A random conversation thread or something? I don't see one, but I do like those.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby blankd » January 15th, 2012, 5:40 am

Well, surely you must have some kind of negative/positive, try to narrow it down, don't think of trying to explain it, simply try to put it into categories of like/dislike (or you could design your own categories).

As for "posting randomly", well there is the Thoughts off the top of Your Head thread, but that may not be what you're looking for. Try browsing around for specific topics if you can. Forum Games might also offer something for you, but yes, since it is a forum things try to stay organized.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 10:47 am

Yeah, that seems like a good idea.

Thanks for your responses, they mean a lot.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby robybang » January 15th, 2012, 12:13 pm

Just want to point out that there's a difference between "identity" and "self." "Self" refers to personality, behavior, and how an individual interacts with the world around them. "Identity" tends to lean towards race, class, sexuality, and gender and how these socially defined identifiers impact members of these groups. In articles on the subject, you'll usually see it associated with "identity politics."

As for your problem, I don't know if getting banned from tvtropes.org will make you a better person or not. People online tend to act differently than they would in real life, and even in real life, people act differently in different settings. You wouldn't talk to a teacher or boss the way you'd talk to a friend, and you might act differently on tvtropes than you would if you were actually talking to those people in real life.

But I do know what it's like to see an online community go. One of the forums I go on has been teetering on the edge of closing for a while. When we thought it was going to go, I felt what blankd described, where I felt a void where my free time went, but I also felt like I belonged there. Once you spend a great deal of time on a forum, you get to know the individual members as people. If you're all bonded around some common cause or interest, you eventually consider that commonality an aspect of your self and willing to defend that aspect against outsiders (e.g. every debate about countries, fandoms, sports, religion, or politics ever).
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby mitchellbravo » January 15th, 2012, 1:06 pm

This is kind of unrelated. But hey, I recognize those names! I remember you :P I've had my own experiences with tropes, there was one summer where I was really active on their forums, but I kept getting ticked off at people and had to make myself stop going there. I've popped in for a few weeks since then every now and again, but no longer consider myself to really be a troper.

I've never been in the position you're in where I left a beloved site at a definitive moment. My first online community was the Sims BBS in the early 2000s and I gradually stopped going there over time. Other than that I've stayed connected with the sites I go to.

If today I learned that I wasn't going to be able to post around the sites I call home anymore, I would likely feel pretty awful, I would think. There are people who recognize me and can identify me by posting style alone, which makes me feel nice and valuable.

Whether leaving the site for you is beneficial is all in your hands. If there are things you didn't like about the identity you created, now is the time to hammer out the details and start finding a new path. You have the power to use this opportunity positively and cultivate an online personality you can be proud of. (This community in particular is a good place to start :) )
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 1:12 pm

Oh, well hello, mitchell. Can I ask what your TVTropes handle was? Always nice to see a familiar face.

I wish I could respond in detail to all the responses I'm getting, but I'm kind of in a loopy mood at the moment. Perhaps later. ^_^;

Thank you for all of them though, I am reading them and thinking them over.

This place is very nice, by the way. :)
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby mitchellbravo » January 15th, 2012, 1:38 pm

I'm formingbabby over there. I mostly lurked though, so I don't have much recognition factor. I stayed out of the personal, non-trope fora (except IJBM, which is gone) so I never made lasting connections with anyone in particular.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 1:45 pm

Ah. Cool.

Well it's nice to receive so much support. :mrgreen:

I'm feeling a bit better now than I was when I posted this, luckily.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby robybang » January 15th, 2012, 1:46 pm

mitchellbravo wrote:I stayed out of the personal, non-trope fora (except IJBM, which is gone) so I never made lasting connections with anyone in particular.


IJBM is still there, it's just called Headscratchers now. Apparently, the mods and admins thought that changing the name could get people to use it for asking questions about plotholes rather than just general bitching. But all the former IJBM messages are still there as everyone's too lazy to edit out all the whiny entries.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby mitchellbravo » January 15th, 2012, 3:08 pm

robybang wrote:
mitchellbravo wrote:I stayed out of the personal, non-trope fora (except IJBM, which is gone) so I never made lasting connections with anyone in particular.


IJBM is still there, it's just called Headscratchers now. Apparently, the mods and admins thought that changing the name could get people to use it for asking questions about plotholes rather than just general bitching. But all the former IJBM messages are still there as everyone's too lazy to edit out all the whiny entries.

There's a separate Headscratchers forum? Interesting. I thought they just did away with it altogether. Or do you mean IJBM/Headscracthers as a trope index?

oh man IJBM used to make me so aannggrryy ~*BiTtErSwEeT mEmZ*~
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby BlixtySlycat » January 15th, 2012, 3:29 pm

The trope index was renamed to Headscratchers. The Forum was deleted, and some people made an offsite version on Vanillaforums. It now has very little to do with the forum it takes its name from.
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby Cave » January 16th, 2012, 10:22 am

Realization is the first step to.... "recovery"... I hate to use that word, but you get what I mean? If you want to be a better person, first thing is realize what's "wrong" (bleh, again, not a word I really want to use here but I don't have time to think of another since I need to leave for work soon ><).

I feel like I had a slightly similar experience to yours though cause I was playing an MMO constantly for the past two years. I started just wanting to play with my boyfriend, a fun activity together, and I was putting stuff off to play. I didn't draw much (why my comic was on hiatus for 2 years) even when I tried and just wanted to play. Then the game became increasingly frustrating for various reasons (mostly because the game actually sucks and the people who make it could care less about the players). My boyfriend and friends who were the reason I played, stopped playing. I continued but eventually I just quit cold turkey. And now I feel better for it. ^^

Well until Guild Wars 2 comes out. lol But I will keep myself in moderation. (My New Release resolution?)
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Re: An Essay on Changes & Identity

Postby corruption » January 17th, 2012, 2:29 am

You may of been hasty dropping those forums, or not. I don't know.

To me it sounds like you figured you wanted a changed and decided to drop the old stuff all at once to make a clean break. You lack direction, and thinking about those forums make you think about all the enjoyment you had there.

I recommend trying to pick up those forums again if possible, and easing out from there. However, instead of letting them take up all your time, ease out of them, and find other things you like. Try to make amends with those you wronged, or at least apoligise to them. That way you and they will get some closure.

About lieing to people and being someone who you do not like, you have to ask yourself why you did it in the first place. Some people wear a false identity like a mask so well that the mask takes on a life of it's own, and the person who wears it may lose themself to it. You have realized what you were doing was wrong, and that is good. learn from this and change who you are. You will be less likely to act like that again.
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