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August 5, 2012
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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 the n00bs!'

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.
deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part IIYou should congratulate yourself on confronting your previous problems. However, new problems have arisen, and these cause you more anxiety.
For you, deviantART has now acquired not just the status of an opiate, but of a religion (which are only the same thing if you believe Karl Marx) - you regard deviantART as a monolithic, abstract entity which claims to love you and which is prepared to punish you - by way of suspending or even permanently banning your account - if you should do anything which displeases it. As such, you feel guilty for acknowledging that you have new problems; but you can't ignore the fact that overcoming the old ones wasn't enough.
But you really don't have to feel guilty. deviantART's love conquers all: it shall be your salvation. And salvation can be achieved by joining groups which indulge your infatuation with Japanese animat
deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part IIIYou've been here for so long that you're a veteran. You've acquired a set of impressive but questionable statistics, having burned through many an account, and repeatedly promising your exasperated watchers that each account-change was the last. If only the account name-change feature was available earlier, you could have saved your friends, and yourself, a lot of trouble. You've no idea where your original account is, or in which year you joined.
You're full of tales about such defining deviantART moments as the birth of Fella, the fall of jark, and +spyed spurning his $ in favour of +. You don't remember if you witnessed them or only read about them. Because your memory's hazy, you believe you're technically not lyi

Hope you like this!

A DD?! :o Thanks to the anonymous suggester, whoever you are, and to ginkgografix!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-02-23
deviantANXIETY, A Case Study by farand is hilariously accurate. You will recognize at least some of these symptoms in yourself and many (if not all) of your deviantFRIENDS as you read.
Don't miss to read the follow-up studies as well. ( Featured by ginkgografix )

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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Writer
I feel uncomfortable with the degree to which this resembles the me from some years ago. :stare:
Super suuuuuuper belated congrats on your DD! :heart:
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:iconundomiel321:
Undomiel321 Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
haha! I like this too. Very accurate.
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:iconfarand:
farand Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Thanks very much! :D
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:iconevilscarrlett:
EvilScarrlett Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I like it. :)
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:iconfarand:
farand Featured By Owner May 3, 2014
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconevilscarrlett:
EvilScarrlett Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome!
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:iconproudtortoise:
ProudTortoise Featured By Owner May 2, 2014
Hm, makes sense. But it doesn't really describe me.
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:iconfarand:
farand Featured By Owner May 3, 2014
You should write your own take on dA! :D You're quite right to say this piece doesn't describe you - everyone's experience of dA is different, isn't it?
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:iconproudtortoise:
ProudTortoise Featured By Owner May 3, 2014
Mine is boring tho XD
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:iconrealbeastie:
RealBeastie Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
wow, this actually explains how I got ADicted... I apologize, very bad pun. :D
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