"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.
This conversation happens frequently, and sometimes, it goes longer:
"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.
d) Me too.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I can relate with that. I don't have any friends from college yet, but I can relate to the isolation and misunderstanding being a Christian ani-blogger generates. The only time I have ever met people slightly interested in both, was at YWAM Tokyo. Unfortunately, we are bridging a gap. Much of the western church has viewed anime as an evil. I believe it can be reconsiled, because our God is is an expert at it.
This must be something worth doing though. Just the other day a back link to a post I wrote lead me to a blog calling me an idiot and attacking stuff I had been saying. This is starting to happen more and more. I am actually comforted by it though, because this means I am doing something worth attacking. I have no doubt, this site helps others. It has encouraged me. It even convinced me to watch Natsume Yujin Cho, a show close to my heart. It has been used to help me relate with many people in similar circumstances. I have no doubt that you will eventually meet other people who like the same things. I never thought I would get to meet R86 from Beneath The Tangles. Keep it up. You are doing really well. Ganbatte!!!!
Thank you. I appreciate the community here, even if it doesn't connect much to my community offline. :)Delete
I've only ruffled a few feathers among my Christian friends and family. Sometimes, this hobby opens up conversation about approaching fandoms with grace (and not just anime - there's Twilight, Harry Potter, and other fandoms that Christians sometimes snub). There's a lot of reconciliation that needs to be done, without compromising beliefs. It's a good thing you're right about God being an expert on it.
It's wonderful that we can find attacks comforting, isn't it? I found a list of aniblogs, and mine (and Beneath the Tangles) was described as "Christian propaganda in the form of anime blogging" or something like that. The hostile description made me smile. Plus, in this past week, it was second only to Google in bringing me page views. The irony made me smile even more.
I don't think i've ever met another blogger in person either, though a large portion of my friends aren't into anime so I guess that's not too surprising. Most of the people I tell are pretty supportive and end up asking me for a link to my blog just to see what it's all about, even if most of them probably don't intend to read anything. I don't generally offer the information unless someone asks me what i'm doing while i'm busy writing blog posts XDReplyDelete
It would be nice to have someone I knew in the real world that had the exact same interests as me. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to attract many such people >.<
I can relate to those supportive people who don't actually read. Even those who do check out the link, like my roommate just did, don't always end up reading much. I don't blame them. I don't read all my family and friends' blogs, either, even when they're on Facebook.Delete
I think I'm going to switch to an English/Writing major, so I might find another blogger to connect with. At the very least, there are plenty of writers here. There are also a few anime fans. So I might be able to lure someone into the aniblogging world over the next couple semesters... maybe...
I've run across a doctor in the online anime community before, actually. I couldn't give you a name, and I'm pretty sure he was over here in the Western hemisphere, but there's hope. :)
I wonder the same thing sometimes. I'm sure there are people who attend the same school, wondering the same thing as you right now. For all we know, we could be attending the same college. I suppose it's hard to make that first step and reach out to someone. But I guess we can start by being honest and open to others about our interests and hobbies, like you did with your neighbors and friends. All we need is a little...what's that word? Faith. Despite the fact that I currently don't consider myself a woman of that sort. The irony.ReplyDelete
It's good to know that so many anibloggers feel similar things. I'm hoping that someone else on campus does, although if they're as introverted as I am, it could take a while before we finally discover each other. I guess, as you said, that's where faith comes in. ^_^Delete
i have an anime-planet account. lol.ReplyDelete
anyway, i have a schoolmate who's also into aniblogging although she's more into anime figure blogging and we're not exactly close... anyway, blogging is something i don't publicly share to my friends at school. if they find out i have blog, they'll go like 'cool, you have a blog' end of story. there isn't anything special about it (not that i want it to be anything to talk about with them). i actually use a different name in blogging back then just to make sure other people don't find out about me blogging 'cause i feel awkward when i know someone i know reads what i write. but now I'm slowly trying to expose my blog to other people 'cause after a couple of years in blogging, i think that's about time i become proud of myself as a writer (my hobby isn't exactly an issue for me since it's something i make sure other people know :3)
anyway, i'm Catholic and somehow there's this part of me who'd like to blog about my faith but i honestly don't know how to start. I actually admire those few blogs i see relate their faith to anime and be able to write about them~
Yay, Anime-Planet! :DDelete
I write under a pen name myself, but I've been increasingly open with my real life circles about what I'm writing. That does mean I have a different audience to consider, though. When I write, I have to pause and remember that people from real life might come across this.
As for blogging about your faith... Here are some thoughts: I often don't integrate my faith into posts about anime. I write what I want to, and I try not to worry about what the reader thinks until I go back to edit. Sometimes, as I watch anime, it provokes a serious question, or I make a small connection between the show and my faith. I jot it down, start to muse about it, and see where it goes from there. When I feel shy about blogging about my faith, like it will be "off topic" or something, I remind myself that I don't want to section my life off into separate categories. I'm not going to be a different person on my blog than I am in real life, even if I go by a different name.
So I encourage you to write about whatever you're thinking - even if it's that you don't know where to start. You don't have to post your musings, but you might end up with something you want to share, and that others will want to read. ^_^