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Friday, August 7, 2009

Internet Friend Stress

Two of my good friends are getting married next weekend, and since a lot of our mutual friends live all around the country, I've suddenly turned into the Hoover Hotel and Taxi Service. I don't totally mind, because I genuinely care about these people, and if they were to come into town individually, I would want to shower them with attention. But this time, there are SO MANY coming in at once. I made irresponsible promises to some people months ago, already pushing it, because I live with my very stressed parents, and now others keep appearing and asking for favors every hour. I'm starting to regret extending invitations and accepting proposals from some of my closest friends, let alone those I barely know. I'm just a big ball of stress about it. My parents have always been kind about taking in Internet people, but I know they secretly wish it wouldn't happen. And to be honest, I wish I could go to my friends' wedding as their friend. I want to be the groom's old neighbor and fellow cast member, and the bride's old writing buddy. I don't want to be a fiveawesomegirl or a former Scone or hayleyghoover. It sounds mean and out of character, but I'd rather be with the guys from my high school, as the groom's posse, than a ride or a place to stay for the out-of-towners.

I was stuck in standstill traffic tonight for over an hour, so I called up Kayley (owlssayhooot) for a good rant session. It's incredible how well we get each other. Kayley and I have both taken controversial extended vacations from our electronic lives, and we discussed how much better we feel now that we don't spend all our time on Skype or texting people across the country. I feel happier now than I have in two years, and I chock that up to my decision to go out more often, and to focus more on those around me than on romanticized ideas of what I can't have. Amazingly, by getting away from the computer, I've started using my time on it for writing and making videos, instead of clinging to the thought of my friends' absence. Sure, I miss those people just as much as I always did, but I miss them in a pleasant way. I miss them by remembering fun times and looking forward to the next, instead of staring at a screen all day and fanning my loneliness. When I do see all my online friends, I want to have funny stories about my life to share with them, instead of the nervous, unsettled feeling I sometimes experience.

Kayley and I have both discovered how much brighter the colors are in the real world than through a monitor. We adore each other, we love watching videos, we love texting other youtube nerds, but we also love being real, breathing people. When I hang up from a conversation with Kayley, I feel like I've chatted with a friend I haven't seen in a while, which is what it SHOULD feel like. There's no pining, no promise of calling each other back every hour for the next week. It's just a good talk.

It's sad that I'm too stressed to look forward to seeing everyone. I'm going to college orientation the day before it all starts, guys. In half my mind, I'll be reeling up the summer in preparation for moving across the state, and in the other half, I'll be entertaining people for a whole week. I value my alone time and my space, and I'm not going to get much of it before I move into a tiny dorm room with a stranger. Sigh. It just sucks when what's disguised as fun is really more like torture.

Sexy: Kayley, with her wit and attractiveness and whatnot.
Unsexy: Crazy traffic. I sat on the highway tonight, rolling my eyes and mumbling along with Katy Perry's "Thinking of You," when a carful of cowboy hat-clad hoes honked at me for not moving forward the foot I was allowed. I inched up, barely making any difference at all, and looked in the rearview mirror for their approval. They didn't see, because they were posing for photos on an iPhone. RAWR!

Chipotle burritos this year: 26 (I had to smell it in its bowl for that hour of traffic, as I was spoonless. Aloud to Kayley, I considered eating it with an end of a snow scraper. She advised me against that plan.)
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 19,093

Bye, guys. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. :(

P.S. Jaclyn Moriarty just added me as one of her very few facebook friends. Along with my request, I sent a message that said something like, "I understand if you don't accept fans on facebook, but you've changed my life in inconceivable ways." She responded, "I love fans. Especially ones who say surprising things that make me smile, like you just did." My day = a whole lot better.

32 comments:

"Kathryn" said...

I'm so bad at this comment thing! I have absolutely nothing charming nor encouraging to say. :/

wardsaulyers said...

I feel so out of the loop since you keep mentioning this wedding and I still don't know who it is. I don't even know if I should, but since all these internet people are apparently going to it...and if I'm remembering this right, JT knew these people too? Hmm.

If anyone wants to tell me who the happy couple to be is, that'd be awesome.

DrPopcorn said...

It's good that you're doing what makes you happy instead of being pressured to be online at all times. If having a social life is seen controversial, so be it.

I hope you everything turns out less stressful than you're currently imagining it to be.

You're now one of Jaclyn Moriarty's friends? Wow, you Hayley G. Hoover, win at life.

Kirsty said...

I understand where you're coming from, I think.
If I were you, I'd try and see it as a rare opportunity to be a part of the real world alongside those who aren't normally part of it and to take advantage of it.
And I'm sure your guests'll appreciate your generosity and they'll also understand if you want to spend some time with the bride and groom as Hayley, rather than with them as hayleyghoover; everyone who has friends online has to keep some sort of balance between internet and real life friends and they should understand that you're no exception to that.

Tara said...

Hayley, I feel what you are saying about internet friends.
I used to spend ALL night on skype with people, and I felt like a zombie while living my normal life, just waiting to talk to these people I have never met, or only met once.
After months of talking to these people, I realized that they knew more about me at the time than my own family.. it was strange.
I finally stopped logging on to skype and started living my own life.. It was like a breath of fresh air.

Brynne Annaë said...

There...have been times in my life when I've glued myself to Skype, MSN, Facebook, and the other sites I use to talk to people I like. Usually these times correspond roughly with those when I was about as low as I've ever gotten. I think I've figured out that I'm much happier when I take joy in ME, and don't need other people to create that for me.

Lauren said...

The internet is a wonderful invention, and I too know from experience that it causes one to stare at a facebook page for hours feeling miserable and depressed. I’m proud of you for taking a step back and enjoying life.
By the way, I got Chipotle anyway. I ate waaaaaay too much and now I feel sick in the best way possible. I hope that everything is well over at the Hoover house.
P.S. seeing my news feed filled with rascal flats statuses makes me want to delete all my friends lol.

Bigred719 said...

It's amazing what the internet can do. I spend less time on facebook now and do actual things and it feels better.

granted I don't have the pleasure like you to have awesome and creative friends from youtube, but its still nice.

ifmemoryserves said...

I don't really have anything relevant to say. I'm basically just commenting to say that I really enjoyed your Blogtv show the other day. (And that I'm only saying so now because I've been away from the internet since the show)

Oh, I suppose I could say that I, like you, am also much happier than I have been in recent years, and I also link this to actually having a real social life for once in my life.

smorasnki77 said...

Hayley, i just thought i would let you know that National Smores day is on August 10th :] keep blogging!!!

alittlevoice said...

:D

Katy said...

Having online friends is so emotionally draining. I should pine less, but I can't help it. I'm a Holden Caulfield of sorts -- sick of having to make compromises with myself (aka be "phony") but I can't see any other way around it.

Option A: Associate with people I know don't like me for me, become someone I'm not, but maybe get real friends who I can hug -- IN PERSON!

Option B: Spend hours attached to my computer, conversing with people I can honestly and openly relate with, but have to put up with the fact that they live thousands of miles away, that seeing them is nearly impossible, that having that physical-emotional connection is nearly impossible, but know that I'm exposing myself to a much more varied group of people than those who wander my hallways -- those I consider thoughtless, mindless gits who will never understand me...

but perhaps choosing Option B, as I have been, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. By never leaving home, I'm not exposing myself to people who could, in fact, be beneficial to my well-being, who I can relate to and have real conversations with.

Unfortunately, I think I've already fallen so far off the grid that any stance of high-school-recognition is nearly impossible. Then again, I am in stuco, and people I barely know say hi to me in the hallways... and TONS of people say "happy birthday" via facebook.

THIS IS SO HARD, HAYLEY G.

Katie said...

Good luck with everything involving the wedding. Sounds stressful and hopefully you can just wind down and relax with your in-town friends after all the craziness is over! And kudos for favoring real life over internet life. I deleted my facebook as a New Year's resolution, and it made it so easier to get up and out of my room to breathe in fresh air and do go for walks and picnics and fun activities not involving stalking people's pictures or status updates. I used to be able to spend HOURS on facebook, refreshing pages and finding new people to follow. I'm ashamed at the thought of it. Good riddance, facebook!

The end.
<3

SarahKeeler said...

I was worried this might happen to you and really, really hoping it wouldn't. If you want to rant about it to/with me, please feel free. I really want to enjoy this week, but I'm already realizing that at least 75% of the time, I'm going to be trying to remember everyone's arrival times and hotels and whether they need a ride and give them adequate attention since they did travel hundreds of miles to attend my wedding.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this right before you go to college. I really hope you can enjoy the wedding as our friend and not be stressed about entertaining people. Let me know if there's anything I can do to make it easier on you.

Christy said...

Hayley! Guess what! I'm making S'mores this weekend! Thought I should tell you.

Jordan said...

I think it's also important to remember that, y'know. These people are your friends for a REASON. The out of towners and internet gang. You wouldn't be seeing them at all if they didn't make you happy. Which doesn't make it any less stressful, but from the way you wrote about it, it was like they were these attention-sucking burdens.

I mean, first of all, they're in town for the wedding. So if they're desperate to talk to anyone, I'd assume it would be the bride and groom over you. And secondly... they get you. Just because you met them on the internet doesn't mean they're not real, or that they don't read this blog. They know you're not a pack mule or a hostel, and that you need your space. And you might feel a bit better if you gave them the benefit of the doubt.

I hope it all turns out okay. Good luck!!

Alyce said...

As wonderful as the internet is, I'm glad you're letting yourself breathe, and actually LIVE. You've inspired me to do the same thing. Living is what we all be doing, not hiding behind a computer screen.

In regards to the wedding, just remember that a wedding is a celebration of the love two people share. Although you're having a hard time deciding what friends to celebrate with, don't forget that no matter what, all of you are there for THEM, the couple, the two that are bringing the rest of you together. The fact that the bond you have with them expands on to so many people is beautiful. Have a great time :)
xx - Alyce

Melody said...

I have essentially no Internet popularity and not really any Internet friends, but I do relate to this.

I've been so busy with the plays I'm in this summer, making really close friends IRL. I'm spending a lot less time on the Internet wishing I could be popular and... this will sound weird... wishing I could be part of the close friendship and awesomeness the 5AG and all y'all have.

I guess I just see awesome people like you on the Internet and just spend a lot of time thinking, "Wow, they are so awesome! I really wish I could be their best friend." (I do think that about you, by the way.) But lately, I've been meeting and becoming friends with people in real life and finding they are just as awesome as the people I see online.
It really makes me happy. :)

Laura said...

I remember the wedding being mentioned before. I can't remember who did it, but I'm slightly aware of the couple being wed. I can't really offer advice here, so I'm just gonna say listen to what the other commenters have to say.

As for the IRL/internet situation: I got you there. Last year I was really, really, really into YouTube. I would watch every single video in my subscriptions box. I would actually ignore some IRL friends just to catch up on my videos. Then I stopped at the beginning of senior year (I'm like you, I'm going off to college now). I felt so much better. I felt like I had a life. I know that's a bit pathetic, but before that I think I lived vicariously through my favorite vloggers. So yes, good for you. I'm glad that you and Kayley have been taking a break from the internet.

P.S.- My cousin goes to the same college you'll be going to, and he seems to love it, too. I just thought I'd randomly throw that out there :P

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VicMorrowsGhost said...

I just cleaned my bathroom. Shower, toilet, basin, floors, the whole deal.

I know it's completely irrelivent but it feels like such an achievement I had to tell someone. :P

Scott said...

I've taken a big step back from the internet, too. And now I'm finding that I love the internet and my internet friends even more. Like you said, I'm not spending 24/7 online, which makes when I am online, watching videos or chatting with friends, a lot more special. Almost more real. We have something to talk about, or discuss, or what-have-you, rather than asking, "What's changed in the past five minutes since we've last spoken via the latest trendy website?"

The real world is beautiful. So is the internet community of which we are all a part of. Balance is the key. I'm glad you've found it. :)

And good luck hosting everyone. Just remember, they'll all one day return the favor.

Karissa said...

I'm not sure if it's something in the air or what, but I've been feeling the same way about the internet for months. This past week my internet crashed for a few days, and I spent three days just enjoying my best friends. It's nice living for the present. As for the wedding, go as their good friend. It is not a YouTube gathering, so try not to let other people make you feel like it is. I am positive that they didn't invite a fiveawesomegirl, they invited someone who is important to them and they want there to share in the big day.

Oh, and on the topic of roommates, I found out who mine was yesterday and proceeded to add her on facebook. She has a bunch of pictures with a grill. Like, a GRILL. As in, "rob a jewelry store and tell 'em make me a grill." So, if you're feeling stressed, just pause and take a moment to visualize a Demi Lovato loving, vegan hippy meeting her straight up g of a roommate for the first time. It's provided my parents and friends with plenty of laughs at least. [:

kira902k said...

Thanks for this blog post. A lot of us youtubers who don't have the amount of internet fame that you do often sit around imagining how great your life must be or wishing that we were as cool as you. I don't know if im wording this right. In my mind, at least, when I see the 5AG or someone like that, I picture how you get to hang out with the vlogbrothers and all the cool people. How you get to skype chat them and have inside jokes. And honestly, I get jealous.
This blog is finally proof to me that being an internet celeb isn't just fun and games. It doesn't make spending your life on the internet much better.
Maybe I'll try and spend more time IRL instead of trying to get internet famous now.
Maybe I exaggerated too much in this comment, but this is basically how I feel.

-alex

Kate said...

I've just recently started having Internet friends. And they're pretty far away. i.e. Scotland, Finland, Argentina, ect. REALLY far away.

I've even more recently discovered what you have. Balance really is the key. Sure, I do like talking to these people and yes, it is nice having people who share the same interests as me, but they should not be the people to know every detail of my life. They should not be the ones who hear exciting news first. That honor belongs to my real life friends, and that's what you, and I, have to remember.

Good luck with everything! Stress sucks, but once you get to school and settle in, everything will be so much better!

Amandamolz said...

I was trying to think of something interesting and profound to say, but I'm not really that great with words. The point I want to make though is that the only think you can do is live your life by your own rules. You're not obligated to live up to your "internet fame" for lack of a better term. Do what makes you happy. Those of us who watch your videos and read your blog will be here regardless if you update everyday, every week, every month, or whenever you feel.

junkinmahcranium said...

I don't think I've ever had a s'more. :/ Are they good?

Believing_Be said...

As pathetic as it is, I almost started crying when I read the exchange between you and Jaclyn Moriarty. Hayleyghoover, why are you so much cooler and, excuse the unfortunate pun, awesome than the rest of the population? :P

Kristina said...

"Amazingly, by getting away from the computer, I've started using my time on it for writing and making videos, instead of clinging to the thought of my friends' absence."


I LOVED that line in your blog, and I agree wholeheartedly. I barely have any computer time here in London, but when I do, I find myself just emailing the people I care about most, and then doing the things I actually like in my spare time, like writing, reading, thinking up video ideas, etc.

89ravenclaw said...

now i feel a little bad about asking to stay at your place, for the wedding, a few months back.

wish i could have afforded the airfare to see everyone this week at all, otherwise we'd be having this conversation in tights at medieval fair

Courtney said...

I totally understand what you're saying.
Sometimes I get so sick of trying to create this super awesome life on the internet. I think I really need to get off the internet. I literally feel like I have no life to live besides the internet. I should change that...

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