|Morning coffe, by snatti89|
At times I'm so socially anxious I can't even properly engage in internet conversations with strangers. Though I never normally seek to talk with unknown random people on the internet, when I'm feeling lonely and particularly needy of human contact (even if solely virtual) I search for chat rooms on google and see what I can find. Often it's just full of perverts and weirdos or just plain awful people; but again, what place in the internet isn't? Anyway, back to my inability to have normal and interesting chats with strangers online. Okay, maybe normal is too high of a goal to expect on the web, but I do think that for a conversation to be considered successful it has got to at least be interesting. That's the hard part. I can usually not think about anything other than ask how the weather is on their side of the screen. Because I often am interested in knowing that. Because I am that boring.
Though if you're lucky enough you might still end up finding a cool person to talk to. I remember once bumping into a russian girl on Omegle (in good ol' text-chat, not video-chat). I was maybe 13 at the time but I lied and said I was 18. She was 19. It was a very nice and amicable talk, and I cherish little spontaneous encounters with strangers like this very dearly. It's kind of weird and a little despairing when someone diagnoses you with social anxiety. "Oh! So that's why I've been avoiding going out with my friends [or with anyone, really] ever since before high school! Interesting." Although I'd admit my anxiety has improved a lot, I still get uneasy and very self-aware when in a group of more than 3 people, and if I have to interact informally (that is, socially) with somebody new or whom I don't yet know very well, then it's particularly unnerving. But most of the time I wouldn't say social anxiety is a disease. It's definitely unpleasant, and it definitely has damaged my social life and overall happiness, but it's not like a disease in any conventional or traditional sense of the word. It's more like a pattern. A pattern of both covert and overt behavior. Something that truly feels like part of who you are – for now, at least.
It's getting very late and I need some sleep. And I've been learning Japanese now! How cool is that?!