You've joined to become a great artist, or to show the world that you're a great artist. You've joined to ogle all things kawaii
. You've joined to dominate the forums or the chatrooms or both. But above all, you've joined to become a llama baron: you've got your heart set on a golden llama badge and nothing's gonna stand in your way.
You've added a couple of people whose art you're interested in to your deviantWATCH. Or perhaps you added them because you thought they were cute, or you liked their avatars, or they offered you some advice, or because they helped to allay the awkwardness you felt on joining such a large community by issuing you with a carefully crafted generic greetings message along the lines of (if not actually) 'Welcome to deviantART!'
The message is so
carefully crafted, you suspect that the person who's greeted you like this has greeted ten thousand other people today with the same message. But you're not stupid - you know how important it is to make people feel welcome, and you know it would be deviantSUICIDE to say to someone who gave you a deviantWELCOME, 'Oh, but I bet you say that to all
Let's review. You've been welcomed. You've deviantWATCHed others - and others have deviantWATCHed you. You've received a couple of llamas from your new friends, and are now on the path to llama Nirvana.
After much random clicking, you've finally found the forums, and you get your first couple of threads locked by a community volunteer (the people with the heart symbols after their screen names) because you didn't read the stickied threads (which appear at the top of each forum and contain help and advice - only, you didn't think you needed
help and advice, having made it this far on your own).
You've entered the chatrooms, where a CV will sooner or later inform you that you've broken the chatroom rules. Perhaps you spammed the acronym 'YOLO' or detonated the F-bomb a few too many times. Some helpful deviant will inform you that in order to talk to someone you can type the first few letters of their screen name then press the tab key. Again, you didn't think you needed this advice, but you did - and that's okay, you're still learning. And once you've read the FAQ a couple of times (you see a link to it, along with the Etiquette, Copyright, and TOS policies at the bottom of the screen) you'll be well on the way to deviantENLIGHTENMENT.
Meanwhile, you've made more deviantFRIENDS and your army of llamas is growing. And you've started to get used to the strange typography that appears everywhere, which at first glance appears to be slightly schizophrenic stroke schizophonic, lower-case letters implying whispering and capital letters implying SHOUTING. But once you've learned that 'deviantART loves you', you can tolerate this strangeness.
You're finally home - and now that you are, you start acting as such, taking part in deviantCONTESTS, ogling deviantPRINTS, and setting up a deviantPOINTS-donation fund on your profile page. But it's not all sunshine, lolly
and rainbows. You suddenly realise that you've become a deviantADDICT. deviantART now means more to you than llamas and plz accounts. (Nobody bothered to tell you what they are; you had to find out for yourself.)
You've started to get serious
You log in every day to see if anybody's replied to your forum post regarding those kawaii
things which drew you here in the first place (Google, you fleetingly think, has a lot to answer for), or to see if anybody's added any of the work that you've uploaded to their deviantCOLLECTIONS. Sometimes you log in just to leave a comment on some n00b's page: 'Welcome to deviantART!' (You try to remember where you've seen that before, but you can't - you've seen too many fanpics of Hamutaro
and Fruity Cuties
to be able to remember anything with certainty any longer.)
deviantART has become your deviantOPIATE. And it's no coincidence, you paranoidly think, that deviantART and deviantOPIATE kind of look and sound the same.
You've got deviantANXIETY.
And now, those deviants whom you befriended on joining - remember them? Well, they want to know how you're doing. And they want to know what
you're doing. And they want you
to know what they've
been doing. Good heavens! What are you going to do?
You could block them. But if you did that, you'd risk igniting deviantDRAMA. You know people don't call it that; it happens so often that they call it simply 'dArama'. You wonder why they don't just call dArama 'dA' since that strikes you as being much more accurate (the pun isn't lost on you), economical (it saves time), and ergonomical (it saves the fingers a bit of work).
But deviantDRAMA is a no-no (or an iie-iie
: presumably you can
speak Japanese after exposure to so many Japanese things on here) - so you can't block people; but you can't ignore them, either. After all, you might have been here for as long as you have, but that doesn't
give you the right to be a snob - something that the few self-reflective faculties you have remaining, once the rest have short-circuited after prolonged exposure to kawaii
paraphernalia, are telling you.
You could make a new account - take the llamas and run. Only, llamas - like Premium Memberships, which you also might have acquired by now - are nontransferrable, and besides, you're now so much closer to llama Nirvana. Do you really
want to lose all those llamas? Also, you've got a kiriban
coming up, and all those page-views didn't just
come from asking people to visit you; you worked hard to get them!
So, you decide that you have to respond to these communications. You copy the text from one of them into a Word document only to discover you're having to dismantle a wall of text to the value of around 1,400 words. You think you remember that at college your essays only had to be a thousand
words long. Every now and then you save your reply in draft notes, emails - anywhere you can, really, because a powercut now would be disastrous: you'd feel like Sisyphus
pushing a rock up a hill only to have it fall back down again when you nearly reach the top, and having to begin the whole thing again.
So time is not of the essence; the comments are coming in fast. It's all getting a bit too much. You need time to think - time you'll spend smoking a cigarette or two. But you'll have to go outside to do it, because your ashtray is overflowing with tab ends.