Analog(ue) #3: 'White Whale Syndrome'

Welcome, once again, to the all-podcasting all-the-time blog! This one is Gorn-free. It is in an outline format, followed by self-deprecating stuff! Isn’t that fun!

(Ragtime music)

  1. All y’all know Casey is Southern.
  2. All y’all know Casey’s the internet’s favo(u)rite.
  3. Followup editing noise.
  4. Tagging, and checking-in, are controversial because it can provide access to you in a way that varies from creepy, to overly-familiar based on who has access to that data now, or in the future.
    1. Hypothetical: Casey has a stalker — Definitely not. Who would listen to every episode? And then blog about it? And tweet?
      1. (Looks away)
      2. (Loosens collar)
      3. (Clears throat)
      4. (Continues outlining)
    2. Hypothetical: Someone sees a tweet sent directly to someone else, and decides they should show up anyway.
    3. Hypothetical: Same scenario, but the person is already at the same location you are.
    4. Hypothetical: What if your friend, ‘Joe Smith’ shows up at the bar and even though he’s your friend, he’s not the friend you want there.
  5. Identity: What do you like to be known for?
    1. Casey mentions his wife, and she identifies as a teacher, and has since college.
    2. Myke identifies as a podcaster. Then he says other stuff.
      1. Myke is a “marketeer”, and Casey says it sounds like a Disney property. I think it sounds like a different Disney property. Myke does not identify as any of those things.
        1. Friendship sacrifice is here, under identity. I only took AP Psychology, so I’m not qualified to speculate about why that is. Seems like it’s related to friends in meat-space not understanding his identity as a podcaster.
        2. Online friends are a component of Myke’s identity.
          1. Being with those internet friends, in person, cements a relationship.
          2. Myke needs human interaction, still, and would go to a co-working space rather than sit in his room.
    3. Casey has a dual identity.
      1. A J.O.B. job that used to define him more.
        1. It doesn’t satisfy him as much as it used to, but it is still a part of him.
      2. His internet life, twitter, internet friends, podcasting, that he’s getting more from these days.
        1. This is why Casey is so obsessed with Twitter.
          1. Healthy.
            1. Myke and Stephen are good.
          2. Unhealthy.
            1. Ignoring Erin, or real-life friends.
  6. Internet followers.
    1. Myke.
      1. Ego: Loves seeing follower count go up, and just looks at it every now and then.
      2. Business: Seeing people from companies, sponsors, that follow.
    2. Casey.
      1. Affliction (no, not that one) — White Whale Syndrome.
        1. You really want to be followed by someone, and then they do follow you, and you feel great. It is an affirmation that you exist, and that they’re at least interested in you.
        2. “Why doesn’t John Smith follow me? We’ve exchange tweets?” — What does Casey have against the Smith family? Jeeze!
        3. Once you get that follow, then you just have someone else you want to follow you.
        4. Like a crush, or not being picked for sports, or really wanted to be friends with the cool kid at school.
        5. Everyone, to some degree, gets some amount of their identity from twitter followers. Even the amount, and wanting more than the amount they currently have, defines part of them (I like how the first number Casey throws out is 1,000.) because they want what they can’t have.
  7. Online, or Offline, are you the same person?
    1. Casey.
      1. Hesitates on tweeting every little thing he might otherwise say. He’ll coarsely filter his thoughts.
    2. Myke
      1. Cursing.
        1. Joe Steel, in the chatroom, mentions Myke curses in the livestream on occasion. (This was the minute I tuned in. I probably shouldn’t have opened my mouth. Why did I open my dumb mouth?! Joe’s identity is opening his dumb mouth.)
        2. Myke can filter cursing because of his parents, and he tries to keep his podcasts clean, but swears often in real life.

I totally understand the followers stuff. I would never have said it if they didn’t mention it first, because honestly, I’m worried it makes me sound super self-absorbed — which, uh, I am.

There’s something I’d add to the ‘White Whale Syndrome’ and that’s shame. I’m really good at adding shame! What if you get what you want, and you feel like you didn’t deserve it, or you’re concerned about them seeing something unflattering about you? I guess that’s more ‘Monkey’s Paw’ Syndrome? Jason Snell picked me for the kickball team — I can’t disappoint Jason Snell! I was fine disappointing the rest of you. (Wink.)

In that ‘Launch Anxiety’ post, I mentioned freaking out about Myke’s retweet, and the pressure of having someone following you. Sure enough, Myke retweeted my blog post about how much his retweet freaked me out and Jason Snell followed me. I had thought it would be cool if Jason Snell ever followed me, like Casey mentions in Analog(ue) #3, but it’s actually kind of intimidating. I’ve already managed to disappoint him by not liking a Doctor Who episode. Good job, Joe.

It’s not even really about internet-famous people, there’s an aggregate pressure from all the followers. Myke and Casey talked about the follower count numbers increasing, and that’s an encouragement. That they weren’t concerned about the number decreasing — neither am I. What I am concerned about is that the higher the number gets, the more likely I am to be a jerk to someone. To not reply to a tweet about Defocused in the way they wanted. After all, I want to be funny, so doesn’t everyone contacting me want to be funny too? Don’t they, sometimes, want me to follow them back? God, what if I’m someone else’s ‘White Whale’? Like in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion?!

The part that’s far more embarrassing is that I tuned in to Analog(ue)’s livestream late, at the very tail end. I joked that they could start the episode over again, but I shouldn’t have because it immediately seemed obnoxious to me, and doubly so after listening to the entire podcast. After their recording, Casey and Myke kept the livestream going and complimented Dan Sturm and me. It was extremely flattering and extremely uncomfortable. Just like with the white whale syndrome, of getting that Jason Snell twitter-follow, I got a barrage of compliments from two people I respect, and I immediately felt like I didn’t deserve it, and that they should not have said anything so nice to me. On the one hand, I knew it wasn’t part of the episode, but on the other hand, it still felt like I was getting attention I wanted, but didn’t deserve to have. (Casey was extremely complimentary.)

I used to think that my career defined me, much like Casey, but I want to be liked, and that’s never happening with my career, so it seems to hinge on my commentary. That sounds kind of dull, right? I am not going to start a podcasting empire, and I’m not going to be on the Biggest Podcast Ev4r, but I want to create lots of little things. Most of this identity — this personal brand — is trying to be entertaining with my observations. Not a comedian, but entertaining, hopefully. If I assert a little ego here, I’d say I’ve managed to do that, to a degree. I’m not wildly popular, but I obviously have more people interested in listening to me, and reading me, than I had a year ago. There is a certain measure of success there. But if they’re interested in my observations, than that’s sort of like being interested in a mirror. In holding a mirror up to a podcast episode, a book, or a movie. I am not the true source of what’s interesting, and I don’t think I have that capacity.

2014-09-01 00:17:50

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