an introduction i suppose

22 May

So I’m a thinker, and for most of my life, I have considered this identity to be a curse. Well, I never saw myself as a thinker, but rather as an artist who expressed himself and Hallmark crap like that. I had written pages of mediocre junior high poetry and a few dull high school short stories. I even skimmed through a listing of publishers, and sent a query along with a collection of poetry to the literary magazine The Gettysburg Review. It got rejected.

A couple of times, I tried to look for another magazine to send my works to, but to see that it would take months to wait for a response and if it got accepted, a few more months for it to be published, it seemed better to spend my time doing something else, like video games. Also, nobody really bothers reading literary magazines these days.

*

No one can ignore how social networks have become common and even expected. You learn someone got engaged or had a birthday party in status messages and posted photos. You see links posted to the latest Internet meme or a news story. I learned about the death of Osama Bin Laden when someone in a celebratory mood messaged me on Facebook, and to double-check, I logged onto the Yahoo! homepage. I could imagine the awkward conversation in the future when my child asks me to contribute to his school assignment.

“Well, I was sitting in front of my computer when I heard that Osama died. I was on Facebook, and I went to Yahoo. No, I don’t remember what I had for dinner that day.”

Yet, this miracle of social networks, being able to keep in touch with all sorts of people including classmates, churchgoers, co-workers, etc., does have a dark side. There is this growing unhealthy obsession to see if anyone said anything about you and keep tabs on what so-and-so is saying and doing, whether this so-and-so be your frienemy, secret crush, or ex-spouse. Even a photo from a party could cause someone to wonder why he wasn’t invited. Narcissism and paranoia become natural, and alas, I admit to being prone to them just like anybody else.

What troubles me the most that this miracle discourages people from being individuals and instead encourages them to manufacture a “near-perfect me” identity. Their self-worth is gradually being blended with what they see in a bathroom mirror in the morning and what they see in the computer monitor in the evening. So they make sure their posts and comments are tactful, polite, and at times ironic.

For me, I do enjoy using Facebook and read my friends’ status messages, links to interesting webpages, and photos of food and places I have not tasted and visited. But at the same time, I am a bit troubled of the possible long-term effect this can have on how we perceive ourselves. If we become concerned with what people think of us, how then can we be able to think for ourselves, outside of that peer pressure?

Independent thinkers are what we need more than anything right now. We are drawn to determined superheroes, courageous visionaries, and of course, out-of-the-box thinkers who dared to perceive beyond the social norms in hope of not only making a better world, but also for people to be able to understand themselves and each other, even though they may not agree on everything.

I am aware that I am a perceptive, thoughtful individual, and to only limit myself to a blog would be not enough to communicate my thoughts fully. So you could also find me on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Tumblr (visit the About page for links). In each of the social network being used, they take a different aspect of how I express my ideas. ¹So it does sound a bit overwhelming that I am extending my train of thoughts to such networks, but let’s see where this would take me.

In this blog, I hope to post substantial thoughts in forms of blog entries, essays, short stories, etc. Who are the intended readers? Anyone who is interested in thoughts from this weird guy known as D.L.

¹Crossed out on Feb 8, 2013. Crossing this out was overdue, but my focus on exploring the mentioned social networks has changed. Months later after this entry was written, I decided to focus mostly on this blog for the time being, as of this writing.
²And yea…crossed out the previous footnote on May 22, 2013 because, well, I’m falling back to my originally thesis of expressing myself in different ways.

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One Response to “an introduction i suppose”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. one year anniversary: reintroduction | danleekim - May 22, 2013

    […] but that was when I first created my account. Even if it’s only been twelve months, reading my introduction feels nostalgic and contradicting. It’s funny how at first I mentioned about being on all […]

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