You’re no better than any of the people that you claim to have more morals than, and that’s the truth.
Someone who has known that this has been a problem for months, who has been close to me for awhile now, suggested that I mention it here in my blog “because then at least you know they’ll read it”. Although I liked every other aspect of the re-AOL experience, one of the ones that I tried as hard as I could to shy away from was the idea of meeting up with other people in person — it’s just not something that I feel comfortable doing during the pandemic (even if it is TwitchCon or VidCon), but it’s also not something that I feel comfortable doing in the absence of verified security if it isn’t an actual thing like TwitchCon and VidCon are. For the most part, when I’ve explained this to people they’ve been content with my explanation and have made it clear that they’re not going to try to wheedle me into changing my mind. (Some of them let me know that they’d like to know if I change my mind on any of the above points. I thank them for being considerate.)
…except for people in re-AOL who were that excited to put together a meetup for all of us.
Or as I guess I should be saying, “all of us”.
The first few times that it was mentioned, I kind of played along with it as a re-AOL staff member because I didn’t want anyone to think that members weren’t allowed to do this on their off time, with their own money, themselves if they wanted, and I felt like aggressively distancing myself from the project might send off the wrong message. I recieved some advice on the matter, letting me know that it was alright to continue to show support for the idea, encourage people to get this off of the ground and attend it if they wanted to do that, but also make it clear that I myself would not be attending and that I didn’t want people trying to get me to change my mind on that when my mind had already been made up. But that wasn’t the way the message came across, even though I tried as hard as I possibly could to show support for the idea while making it known that I didn’t want to partake in, or attend, it myself. I began feeling like the goal was to get me to change my mind on attending, and that the people who wanted me to do this were the very same people who were willing to push my boundaries and make me feel uncomfortable doing something that I had up until that point enjoyed. Friends of mine who knew about my involvement in the project knew that I was at a crossroads enjoying the project and my contributions to it but, at the same time, not feeling comfortable feeling like I was being pushed into something that I didn’t want to do and wasn’t going to do.
It took a few months of me thinking about how I should approach it because I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater if I could just get people to lay off about that, but then I realized: if people were already having a hard time putting up with clear boundaries of mine, it was never going to get any better.
I don’t think continuing to have anything to do with re-AOL is going to benefit me in any way if I’m going to have to continue to “evade” these conversations by pretending to be away from the computer or too busy to check Discord on my phone whenever they come up. This isn’t benefiting me in any way at this point now.