Review: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day (2015)

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Felicia summed up her overall theme in one statement: “My weirdness turned into my greatest strength in life.” She later admits that her “life would probably be different without all that stuff.” It feels reassuring that someone who’s gone through such a unique experience turned out alright in the end.

When Felicia talked about the Bible Thumpers at her conservative Lutheran elementary school burning money in front of all those 7 year olds and calling money the devil’s work, I sort of lost it. It’s certainly been a while since I laughed out loud and enjoyed listening to an audiobook. It’s rare enough that it made me appreciate and realize just how much I enjoyed listening to Felicia’s memoir with her narrating it. Anyway, Felica’s life doesn’t get better for a while after as she must move to another school of which ended up stealing parts of her family’s wealth. That sucks. It’s nice to hear her thinking about it in retrospect as I’m sure it must’ve been a little more traumatizing than the ultimately optimistic tone she took throughout her work. The title burned at me then: “You’re Never Weird on the Internet”. Truly. I thought some of my experiences were weird, but the internet makes it so it’s never weird when you hear about others’ experiences. Having Day being the narrator to her own audiobook was also an excellent experience. It does feel like I’m a little closer to understanding her own feelings as she reminisces about her life.

Her quote basically sums up recent American values. “Don’t let the truth stop you from getting what you want.” I think our society has recently delved into purely this type of thinking for better or worse. Truth doesn’t really seem to matter in this truthiness society that we’re living in. Perhaps I’ve gotten a lot more cynical since I found out that propaganda is legal in the US and with postmodern thinking, truth has become distorted enough that it doesn’t feel like there’s any single truth anymore, and even if there was, it wouldn’t matter anyway because it appears there’s better things to be worried about than sitting down to seek out the truth. Good or bad, who’s to say.

I don’t think I could remove myself from being an emotional person such as Felicia talks about her journey to becoming an actress. It’s clear that she liked having the money from doing the TV commercials, but that wasn’t her dream – she lost her way in the LA acting scene after five years of success in TV ads. Her experiences clearly showed that she’s losing herself the longer she does things that weren’t her. Felicia’s mask was becoming reality as the two connected and tried to balance it out. The result wasn’t absolutely destroying to Felicia, but it simply wasn’t what she wanted in the end. It did eventually all pay off in the end, fortunately enough.

Felicia’s relationship with gaming really resonates with me, except I’m also part of the group where guys say a bunch of sexual stuff to me just because of my vaginadom, which is unfortunate. I did have to mute the aggressive ones. Video games, especially ones that you can communicate to during gaming, is a cesspool of toxicity sometimes. Some of my greatest friendships have stemmed from online gaming, which I’m grateful for. Like real life, there’s good and bad sides to developing relationships online. It just feels safer knowing that the person on the other side of the screen probably can’t get to do anything to you, so you’re less inhibited.

Felicia does address her actions and reactions to the trolls that hated on her for being a female gamer. Hearing about what that gamer guy did to his ex was crazy. The internet can be a crazy place when people from anywhere come together in a mask of anonymity that enables them to act however they want simply because they can. The misogyny and harassment are real and rampant throughout gaming communities, it’s probably more so elsewhere. Yahoo and YouTube comments tend to get more hate spew on controversial videos. The joys of the internet are vast, but there’s pros and cons to nearly everything, I suppose. Mostly though, Felicia’s reminiscing about how she wrote her opinion and people ddox’d her and posted her home address, it was sickening that people would and continue to do things like that. They deliberately mean to specifically have her harmed, which ended up happening as she had a lot of trauma from when 4chan dox’d her. Glad she seems to be doing well overall though – her life certainly sounds like she’s been through a lot already and will continue to go through a lot more.

I felt like I connected with Felicia as a fellow female gamer who felt a lot of anxiety and depression in life. It did help not feel so much alone anymore. I had a fantastic time listening to Felicia’s memoir audiobook style, which, she, herself, had narrated. I encourage those who have yet to either read or listen to do so.

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