There's a reason we make videos on the internet: we want to say things to you.
We want you to hear our opinions, laugh at our jokes, be impressed by our wit and be influenced by our ideas. We want to give you new concepts, stories, viewpoints. And we don't want to just talk to one or two of you; we want to say these things to hundreds. Thousands. Millions, even . . . but since my videos don't involve nutshots or kittens, that's something of a pipe dream.
So we want to connect to you, yes. But there's another side to it: we don't want to give you everything. We can't. We'd go mad. You can only unload every single aspect of your life for so long. Turning the private public has consequences.
Someone who comes at you and gives you all of it isn't exactly appealing, either. You know this person. We've all known them; in our younger years, we often are that person. They're the ones who corner you at a party and by the time you've pried yourself loose, you're covered in a thin, sticky layer of unburdened soul. It's unsettling. Intimacy of that kind usually comes in time, and it's usually hard-earned. Someone who tries to jump into that particular fast lane often can't even reach the pedals.
We set up limits, then. We decide what we can and can't share. Some of us are comfortable letting you in past the threshold; some of us don't take the chain off the door. Usually it involves putting a persona between us and you, even if we use our own names. But it's what we do, to protect us from you, and protect you from us.
Sometimes it's . . . difficult. I've been going through tumultuous times and when things are lonely or I feel low, there's a strong temptation to reach out. I want to grab my megaphone and shout into the void. Hurt and fear can do that to you; it leaves you desperate, in need of reassurance and affirmation. But I don't. It's not fair to you, or to me. You come here for the jokes and occasional witty insights, not to be coated in emotional spittle. Well, most of you; I'm sure that's a fetish for one or two of you.
I had to open that window a little wider lately, mainly out of a different kind of desperation: economic. I can't even begin to express how shamed and humiliated I felt at that point. I bent a bit and I sacrificed some dignity for the sake of survival. The true and utter bitch of it is I was planning a new project for later this year and taking it to Indiegogo or some such. Now? Now I don't feel that's appropriate, given how generous you all were. But that's drifting off topic.
I tend to be fairly open and honest about what's happening in my life, to a point. I have nothing in my life of which I'm particularly ashamed. Embarrassed, sure . . . google search my images, there's some cringe-worthy shots our there. But ashamed, no. There has to be a cutoff, though. You're an audience, and I respect you. I think you're fantastic, in fact. I'm very proud to be considered worth your time.
But we're not friends. I'm not saying this to insult you or hurt you, cross my heart. In fact, some of you out there have become my friends, over time. It can't just be a wide-open door, though. We'd both be sorry if that happened.
I'll end this little meandering by saying I'm okay, before you start worrying about a meltdown or outburst. So far as our relationship of audience/loud jackass is concerned, we're fine. While I appreciate your concern, anything past that wouldn't be fair to either of us. It's not you. It's me.
Except you. Hands above the desk, buddy.