Just One Time of Many

This is just one time of many, many bad experiences I have had attempting to make new friends online, as I don't have opportunities to in real life.

Warning--this one is long and more than a little "Pity me" in tone, though I'm not seeking pity.  

I'm a member of an art site where people post all sorts of art, photography, and writing. It's my habit to browse the art at times to find new favorites to add to my collection; I particularly like pictures or art of forests, and so I search for these daily. Before, however, I used to browse the "most popular" section, and I kept coming across art by a particular artist whom I shall refer to simply as S.

Her art was okay but didn't capture my attention at first as most was Harry Potter related (I'm not a fan). I did, however, come across an original work of hers which was a sort of cast list of characters from a story she claimed to be writing. Curious, I looked it over and found that I was really intrigued by the ideas she had. I looked through the rest of her gallery for more art related to this story and found myself liking her style more and more--she draws rather oddly, but distinctively, and captures emotion very well. I commented on the picture but decided to think no more of it as she is HUGELY popular on the site. (Her page has over six million views and is the second most popular, whereas my page currently has just over 8000 views, and those mainly because I favorite other works so much, not because of my own "art"; she regularly gets over a thousand favorites on her better drawings, often within a day of posting, whereas my most-favorited piece has 12-13 faves, I believe, and that's taken months.) I figured she wouldn't give a rip what I'd have to say.

However, as the days passed I thought about her story more and more, and finally decided to try to befriend her. I was terrified, because NONE of my other attempts at befriending people have gone well--in fact, most have gone quite disastrously, and were very painful in the end. But I really wanted to know more about her story and, since I like to write, I thought perhaps I might even be able to help since her grammar and spelling aren't nearly as good as her art (I didn't tell her this part though). I hoped we'd become friends, I'd learn more about her story, I'd become a fan of it, perhaps she would become a fan of a (vaguely similar) story of mine, and we would even become writing buddies! And seeing as all my other efforts had failed, I was determined to make this one work. I'd approach her gradually, and not be too clingy or demanding like I often am, especially since she was so popular and busy. I'd be extra supportive, as she seemed terribly sensitive to criticism like me, plus she had her own share of trolls who attacked her every so often. I'd be patient since I know it can take a while to trust someone. I'd offer to be the shoulder she could cry on and the person she could trust, somebody who cared about not only her art but HER as a person. After all, it was only what I wanted from a friend, myself.

Well, I started commenting on her journal on the site, but of course my comments weren't noticed among the hundreds she normally got. Still, perhaps she was reading. I needed to do this gradually. I thought, though, that doing a fan art of one of her characters from the story would go a long way toward making friends, so I asked a question on her page, if she would allow me to do so. I got a reply, but not from her; another user informed me that I should e-mail her personally (on the site) as the comment could easily be overlooked. I was perplexed now, as I thought I had seen a comment from S. herself on another's artwork where she said she didn't reply to e-mails. I said as much to this person who shrugged and left. Then S. herself stepped forward and said, "I reply to every mail I get :( ," yet she didn't answer my question to her.

I felt crushed by this--that frowning face made me feel that I'd hurt her feelings. I was messing up already! I replied immediately to apologize...but she did not respond. I didn't know if she'd overlooked it or was angry with me. I was torn up about this for days and didn't know what to do; I actually cried to myself when I was alone. I'd wanted to be friends so much, how could I mess it up so fast? Finally I broke down and e-mailed her privately, explaining the situation, how I thought she'd been ignoring me, how I was sorry if I'd hurt her feelings, how I just wanted to be friends. She quickly replied, but I was so afraid of reading it that it took me hours just to open the mail.

In it...she said no worries, she'd love to have a new friend!

I was so relieved and happy! I felt 100% better, although still a little foolish for how I'd acted.

I was determined to set things right. I saw how the trolls were still giving her trouble, even going so far as to write an entire article about her on a different website dedicated to insulting people who cause too much "drama" on the Internet. Hoping to make her feel better, I sent her a transcript of how some trolls had flamed me and my own story without even reading it on another site, just to show her that it happens to a lot of people and I knew how she felt. She replied to this with, "I couldn't read it all but it looks good. XD "

That puzzled me. "It looks good"...? It was an account of how I'd been insulted and trolled online; what about it possibly looked "good"? :/ I decided to assume that I was just jumping to conclusions, and it was silly of me to expect her to read such a long mail so quick off the bat. Oh well. I asked if I could e-mail her at her personal address and she said yes. When I e-mailed her at her Yahoo! address she said, "I look forward to getting to know you!"

That was such a good sign! I replied, but didn't hear back from her for a while, despite seeing her online almost all the time at the art site. I waited, and waited, and finally contacted her to ask if she'd gotten my mail or if I'd upset her? She replied to say that I had to learn to be more patient because she literally had thousands of messages from trolls to deal with. Included was another " :( " Feeling embarrassed (there I was, being too clingy again!), I decided to offer a bit of help and sent her an e-mail with some tips on how to avoid trolls and set up a private LiveJournal as that was what she was planning on doing. My e-mail was 7kb long--which by my standards is pretty short. It consisted almost exclusively of tips to avoid her harassers. I sent it along and hoped that it was helpful.

She replied and her mail basically boiled down to, "Thanks but no thanks, I find that dealing with them helps build character. Just keep your e-mails shorter in the future, okay? :3 "

...

I was floored. Firstly, based on the reactions of hers that I'd seen, her dealing with the trolls was NOT helping build character, it was just bothering her no end. Secondly...my e-mail was short. And it was nothing but advice on how to avoid the trolls. If she thought THAT was too much to read...how would we ever get to "know each other" as friends? Because friends tend to write to each other a lot, don't they? What was I expected to do, keep every e-mail to one sentence only...?

This just seemed incredibly rude to me, especially to someone offering to be a friend and offering advice on how to avoid the people who were causing her so much grief. I couldn't think of a reply, and in fact, I was so astonished by her callousness that I never did reply. Suddenly all the insulting comments I'd read about her on the insulting website and elsewhere didn't seem so farfetched!

I did, however, continue to observe her on the art site, and kept checking out the insulting website for more info, as she was always quick to delete or hide things that cast her in a bad light. And it just got worse and worse. I quickly discovered just how shallow, whiny, and self-centered she really was. I admit that I myself am often shallow, whiny, and self-centered--especially the latter two--but I try hard to keep it to myself. This girl, however, seemed to bring all the drama upon herself everywhere she went. She would post whiny journal entries and then delete them a day later if everybody didn't agree with her. If anyone criticized her art, even in a helpful way, she'd take it as an attack and hide the comments and then go cry about them. She would even go off on her other supposed friends every so often. She would sob about what a lousy artist she was, then, after getting hundreds of comments from her literally thousands of fans about how good she really was, she'd get angry again if somebody pointed out a flaw in something she did. She saw her work as awful but heaven forbid anybody ELSE should even call it mediocre, she'd be all over them in an instant. Oddly, I found that she almost never replied to any of the POSITIVE comments she got (which was many), but as soon as a negative one showed up she was right there to snap back. Hence her claims of sometimes overlooking comments seemed kind of false. I came to believe she watched every comment she got like a hawk. She literally NEEDED the encouragement, and when she didn't get it, out came the tears and drama.

Things reached a head when she at last replied to one of the numerous people asking her when she was going to start work on her story (the one I'd been, and still was, interested in). I'd noticed prior to this that she was famous for not finishing what she'd started whenever it came to lengthy projects or writing. While she could do single works of art well enough, she could not for the life of her finish a series. Not surprising, seeing as she couldn't even READ anything 7kb or longer! She never answered when anybody asked where her story could be found, and I came to believe she was simply never going to work on it--it was all in her head and that's all it ever would be. She just didn't have the determination and perseverance to do it. But wonder of wonders, she must have gotten tired of all the questions for this time she finally answered the person to say, "It isn't written yet. I might never write it. I'm more interested in my other story now." (Another story which she hasn't in the least bit worked on, either!)

I admit, I jumped all over this. The main reason I'd even tried befriending her was to learn more about the story since I thought there WAS more. Every time somebody asked where they could read it, I would reply to their comment to either link to her comment or tell them that she didn't plan on writing it anymore. After a while, S. herself (still reading the comments, despite her claim that she often overlooked them) stepped in and asked, "What did I ever do to you? Why are you so mad at me? <:( " or some such. I found this ludicrous--had she honestly forgotten me that quickly?? I reminded her who I was and how quickly she had brushed me off by telling me to "keep your e-mails shorter." "You're so busy and all, I just thought I'd spare you the time of having to answer the same question over and over again," I said.

I fully admit I was snarky with this and shouldn't have done it, but I was so angered by how she had acted and continued to act. Funnily, NOW whenever people asked about her story, and I would reply to say she didn't plan to do it, she started replying to say, "It's not done YET"--contradicting her own comment that she probably wouldn't do it (and the proof that she actually WASN'T doing it). She finally got fed up with my own short comments and banned me from commenting on her page or her art, and that's how things currently stand. Oh. I do recall that at one point before this, she said, in reference to me, "Don't listen to that f**king f**ker >:( " So, I'd gone from "I'd love to have a new friend!" to a "f**king f**ker" in the space of about a couple of months. Interesting. (Meanwhile, somebody else who was banned from her page was unbanned...after making her fan art of her characters! Maybe I should've done that after all! :P )

I've continued watching her page and checking out the other site. While she doesn't react in public as much as she used to, she does go and cry in her chatroom, as proof on the insulting website has shown, and despite many of her claims to the contrary ("I even take criticism now!") she hasn't changed much at all, attitude wise. She just knows how to keep it out of the public better. And every so often she forgets even that and posts a remarkably stupid journal entry and just as quickly deletes it. She recently posted one where she cried that she needed an art mentor; then, after receiving hundreds of encouraging comments, she posted another entry demanding that people stop commenting on it! Even some of her friends got mad at that, and she ended up deleting both. Oh yes, and months later, she still hasn't started work on either of those stories, nor on numerous other projects she claimed she would do, and I fully believe she never will. It's just too bad the people stumbling upon her page all naive like I once did aren't aware of that. I guess, like me, they'll learn the hard way when she never produces anything. Oh yes. She's gone back to not bothering to answer whenever people ask where they can read her story.

Another reason this made me so angry is because there she is, promising stories she'll never deliver, and has thousands of fans willing to wait for years; and here I am, ALREADY producing stories that are out there for everyone to see, and I'm lucky if I can get one reader to speak up ONCE in the entire time they're reading--never mind getting them to comment again. It just seems unfair. I wouldn't ignore all my fans like she does! (She has even called them "retarded" and says she doesn't want so many of them. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to have been brushed off so quickly. But what would she do without the hundreds of encouraging comments and faves that she needs? I guess she just wants the encouragement without any of the effort of reciprocation. She barely ever comments, for example, whenever SHE faves something.)

Still, despite the shoddy way she acted, I felt it was all my fault and cried and blamed myself for quite a while. I admit I still am interested in her story, her art is still good, I sometimes still wish we could've been friends, and she would have so much potential...if she just learned to focus on friends for a moment, and not on herself. That was what I was trying to do, and failed miserably. Sadly, I don't think it would go much differently if I picked somebody less self-centered than she is.

As I said, this is just one time of many. There have been times when I did absolutely nothing wrong that I'm aware of and things still ended badly...but that's for another time.

 

tehuti88 tehuti88
31-35, F
1 Response Aug 1, 2007

That was the longest story i ever read in my life.