Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Hi. I'm a Christian Aniblogger.
"Yeah, I use Twitter, but I don't tweet as myself. I have a different name."
The others in my dorm lobby give me a confused look. "Say what?" someone asks.
I quickly explain, "I originally got Twitter to promote my blog. I don't use my real name, because I blog anonymously. You know, internet safety and all that."
"Oh." My new friends and neighbors nod and smile, then go back to their conversation about social networks. Part of me wishes I hadn't drawn attention to myself.
"So, what do you blog about?" asks a new acquaintance.
"Anime and my faith. Sometimes both at the same time. I include other stuff from life in general, but it's mostly anime lately."
"That's cool." From here, the conversation can (a) take a sharp turn as they try to find common ground elsewhere, (b) proceed to "How does that work?" or "Anime, huh? Why is that?" or, my favorite, (c), "Really? I watch some anime, too. What shows do you like?"
I really wish someone would surprise me with a fourth route: (d) "Me too!" Unfortunately, I have yet to physically meet anyone involved in the online anime community or the blogosphere like I am, let alone the aniblogosphere.
There are many precious people, great listeners, who smile and nod as I light up in conversation about my hobbies. I try to gauge their interest level as I explain what it means to be a Christian anibloggger/Twitter user. No matter how interested they are, and no matter how well I explain, they're not going to understand it very well unless they are involved in the online, non-location-based community.
I've made some great friends since coming to college. There are people here with the same basic worldview as me, peers I can relate to and counsel with. My parents are just a phone call away if I need to talk, and I know several professors here who would be happy to discuss school and life. Yet there's something missing, a piece of my life that they don't relate to as well.
Most of the people on campus understand two of my realms: earthly and spiritual. If I talk about dual citizenship in the U.S. and God's kingdom, they'll know what I mean. I doubt that many understand my life in a third realm: the internet. I wish they did. Even though I've scaled back on my time online, it's important to me.
I wonder if there are any other anibloggers on campus. Or at least someone else with an Anime-Planet account. I wonder if there's anyone I can talk with, face-to-face, about the interaction of faith and online communities.