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 lying if you let people think it's the former. While typing out your tales for the edification of the newly-joined, you peek at their statistics. You forget, or pretend to forget, that they could have been here for as long as you. You feel a kind of pride to think that you're top dog, that you cocked your leg and peed on the deviantART tree first.
Your pride is tempered by the realisation that you're not as young as you were. You consider face creams, even Botox. If any sharp-eyed deviants start asking uncomfortable questions - How come you look younger in your more recent deviantIDs than in your older ones? - you can hide their comments. If you're feeling particularly sensitive, you can flag the comments as spam and block the poster. You won't disable comments on your deviantIDs; you have a sense of fairness after all, and it tells you that if people want to compliment you, then they should be allowed to do so.
Mind you, you don't upload much artwork these days. You used to, but the inevitable day came when you said to yourself, 'I can't take this art crap any longer!' Most likely, you went to the +today page and were pushed over the edge after clocking just one too many uploads of blurred screenshots of low budget homosexual pornographic films. Then again, it could have been a hastily executed, untidily coloured-in crayon drawing of an anthropomorphic animal that did it. Or was it a love poem that looked like it was composed by a dyspeptic monkey who bravely persevered and failed to reproduce Romeo and Juliet?
Whatever triggered that traumatic incident, the mention of art makes your hackles rise. Whenever it is mentioned, you insist like an hysterical dowager empress that deviantART has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH ART!!! For you, deviantART is about thinking about your questionable statistics, and stop-offs at the forums.
And speaking of the forums - nowadays, you give farand himself a run for his money; but your distinguished foruming career began with a double humiliation. You didn't read the stickies; consequently, not only was your thread moved (you didn't think it odd to complain in the Praise forum), but locked when a community volunteer commented on it and, for whatever reason, you got into a quarrel over which of you had been on deviantART the longest. But that was then. These days, forum regulars flock towards your threads like pigeons towards scattered feed. Sometimes, while waiting for the pigeons to coo complimentary messages such as, Another excellent thread, Jimmy! (forgive me, what did you say your name was?), you visit the chat rooms.
On joining a channel, you sometimes encounter a silence broken by someone who replies, ten minutes later, with an 'I see' to a conversation that was obviously ongoing before your arrival, and which your sudden intrusion into the channel just might have finished off. (You paranoidly wonder if they were chatting about you.) At other times, a deviant tries to make you feel welcome by giving you a '' - but little does this well-meaning person know that, because you've been on deviantART for so long, you've become an haphephobic hikikomori.
deviantANXIETY, A Case StudyYou'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 greeted you like this probably greeted ten thousand other people today with the same message. But you're not stupid; you know how important it is to make
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
For a long time I've felt that the deviantANXIETY essay was incomplete. This third part is the final part, and in it we catch up with 'you' after some time has passed.
This doesn't really bother me as whenever DA becomes too much I just take some time off it. Then again I've only been a member for a little over 3 years and this is the third account I made(should be uploading more)
If anyone wants my two cents:
Never believe in your own hype. Trust me, it is really easy to start thinking yur hot stuff. And while you should absolutely give yourself a pat on the back once in a while, if you start thinking or acting like yur better than someone else just because you happen to have more pageviews, watchers, or even been on here longer then DA will start to suck REAL QUICK!
But really. I could relate most of this stuff you wrote about in this series; once I watched too many groups, and too many people, and then decided to unfollow/unwatch them because there were so many messages in my inbox it got annyoing (too many deviantWATCH messages.....).
(I once ventured into chatrooms, but got scared. Too much activity going on at once.)
I don't even remember when I first joined dA (maybe I was fourteen or sixteen.... maybe! I really don't remember! ), and don't remember the exact number of accounts I've deleted because of crappy username. I'm not going to make a new account anymore just because of ugly username (too bad username-change-feature is premium membership only). Too lazy for that.
Pfft, and I'm not active at all in the forums; I'm not really active anywhere, when it comes to commenting stuff (I'm a lurker! and sometimes scared to comment. I'm introvert person, maybe that's why). Maybe I should (really. I'm trying to comment more on stuff). Sometimes I go read stuff to forums when I'm bored.
I say again; these were a good read (read all in one sitting!). Write more of this series!
Long comment is long. And I might have gone off-topic here too....
Hopefully someone does something similiar to this series, because it was really fun to read! (I probably won't, because I am not good at writing articles. Even though the person who taught my class journalism claimed I was...).
And btw, he doesn't teach me anymore (forgot to mention it), since I graduated vocational college last year, and I'm trying to apply for another (very different!) education this year.
I think that this would be a really good read for any new member. To prepare for what's comming their way, somewhat. Also, it gave me ideas.
You really write wonderfully!