Isolation, Internet, and Identity

Dedicated to those outcast everywhere else, but fit in on the internet.

WARNING: Discussion of ableism, queerphobia, and bullying. Stay safe and take care of yourself!

From the title alone, you can already tell where this is going.

As you may guess by now, I'm an outcast in the real world. I don't have many friends, to be honest - just 3, but I cherish them all the same. I'm isolated from everyone else because I'm the "weird girl" - I'm awkward, visibly autistic, I'm "too into" my interests, I'm unconventionally attractive, I'm openly-ish queer due to me being outed by some skank I thought was an acquaintance (who can go straight to fucking hell by the way), I'm gender noncomforming, I hang out with the other "weird kids;" so on and so forth. Basically, I'm some fuckwad's dream target. But it doesn't end at school! Last month, I went to Summer camp for a week, and I was unfortunately the target of some ugly-ass white boy named Liam (real name by the way, because I'm a petty bitch) who repeatedly flirted with me and stared at me. I almost peed in his waterbottle, but I didn't, just because I didn't have the opportunity to.

It doesn't end at snot-nosed teenagers with superority complexes over being unsexy (allistic, cishet, etc), adults do it too, even teachers!! Middle-aged women loooooooooove to point out my quirks, like when I wave at them silently, or when I sideeye them because I noticed them, or when I'm just. Quiet. Not talking to them. "Oh, [my mom's name], he side-eyes me a lot and he's soooo quiet!" SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Because I don't fit in, I tend to isolate myself from the real world, escaping into the wonderful world wide web. My main forms of escape here include, but are not limited to: watching movies/anime/etc (pirated, of course), playing video games, reading fanfiction (mainly x readers...and in a waifuist way, don't worry), talking to my online friends (my closest friends in the whole wide world), listening to music, and, of course, coding. In the real world I don't feel like I can truly be myself. I'm too shy, too quiet... Only 2 people know who I truly am offline. But, online, many people know who I truly am, because on the internet I can express myself better without being shunned (as often as I am IRL, at least)! I'm quite open about being autistic, schizophrenic, and a system, since I know I can trust my friends - and other people on the internet - to not shun me. If I told anyone I know offline, I would probably get my ass sent to a fuckin' psych ward - again!

More on my identity online and offline, offline I often feel like I'm not myself. I can't properly express myself due to my shitass social skills, and due to how shy I am in general. I feel like I should be in a different world than the real world, somewhere more abstract, more strange, And that's where the internet comes in! As stated before, I feel like I can truly be myself there, because it's easier to express myself. It's safer for me to express myself on the internet, for a multitude of reasons!

I can curate my experience online quite easily; most of my friends online are autistic like me, or have the same brainweirdness as I do in general. If i see someone I don't wanna interact with, I can just block 'em! Simple as that. No, don't worry, I don't have a mile-long DNI that just rounds up to "don't interact with me if you're a person on the internet." I am better than that.

IRL, though? I can't stop some dumb bitch from coming up to me and asking me to be her girlfriend as a cruel, cruel joke, unless I finally snap and commit mass murder or something. The IRL equivalent of a block button is murder, and I'm not gonna get my ass sent to jail. Even if you tell someone to fuck off IRL, they don't... fuck off that easily. Sure, I could easily muffpunt them, but that'll probably make me even more of a primary target.

Generally, the only place I've found that I can truly fit in is the internet. The people there care about me there more than the people IRL (trust me, when I disappeared for a week at one point, my friends freaked out), I don't have to be reminded of my flesh vessel that I'm trapped in, and I can just truly be myself without anyone questioning anything. It's nice. It's freeing. I find myself happier when I'm on the internet than when I'm forced to interact with the real world, because the people offline have made it abundantly clear that they don't want me. Online, though, I mean something. Online, I'm someone. I'm my own person, not the "weird girl" everyone sees me as. People want me - not carnally, of course, that would be gross. People care about me.

Crux of this is that isolation, internet, and identity often go hand in hand in hand. When you're outcast from everywhere in the real world, and don't know any place where you'd fit in, where else would you go to? The internet, of course! Offline, you're a nobody, just another punching bag for everyone else, but online, you mean something. Why else wouldn't you want to be there? It's an escape from the sad reality you live, after all.