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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

well, well by Cami M. '23

look who's inside again

cw: suicide ment in lyrics

if you’d had told me a year ago that i’d be locked inside of my home (aah)

i would’ve told you a year ago ‘interesting now leave me alone’

I don’t think I’ve given myself the proper time to process the fact that I’m living through a pandemic.

I’ve expressed by dismay to many people. I tell them “Yeah I feel like it’s been such a waste of my time” or “Yeah I really should’ve gap yeared but oh well” and the responses I get are usually somewhat bland. “Everyone wasted a year though.” “Well, you’re here now, aren’t you?”

I think it’s strange how people comfort me by telling me that everyone else’s lives have been wasted, too.

If you wake up in a house that’s full of smoke,

Don’t panic,

Call me and I’ll tell you a joke

Oh shit…

Should I be joking at a time like this?

I was only really able to process everything and anything once I watched Inside, Bo Burnham’s new special on Netflix. I’ve written about Bo’s work before. His specials and content have had such a profound effect on my life, so it’s no surprise that I spiraled into a disarray of thoughts after watching his special.

These 40 minutes are essential.

I’mma FaceTime with my mom tonight.

I’ve been thinking about myself lately through the lens of, well, a content machine. This won’t be the most eloquent since honestly I don’t really know how to explain it, but sometimes I get a little scared of who I am as a blogger. I get scared that this persona I put forward on the blogs is, well, just that. A persona.

Do I exaggerate myself too much on the blogs? Is this my real self or is it someone I think I have to be?

That is how the world works
I hope you learned your lesson
I did and it hurt
That’s how it works

I question my authenticity as a blogger. Sometimes I find myself reopening old wounds to commodify it, sell it for the blogs under some guise of ‘relatability’. But in reality, it’s to maintain some sort of relevance, to get the comments and attention I crave.

Ever since I was little, I’ve been creating content. I stole my mom’s camcorder a lot of the time and recorded myself doing whatever. Dancing, singing, playing games. In a way, it’s no surprise that I ended up here.

And, also, I think it’s important for me not to inflate my position. I am just a small blogger for some random school. I am no Elliot Choy or Nina Wang, and I think that’s why all of these feelings were so unexpected.

I read my blogs back and I ask myself if I meant that or if I wrote that for attention. I think I understand the content machine that so many social media influencers find themselves falling into, this need to constantly provide good content to get the serotonin hits we all need.

Another night on my own, yeah
Stuck in my home, yeah
Sitting alone

There’s a part of me that honestly regrets not pursuing media earlier in life. Had I maybe started Twitch streaming in middle or high school, maybe I would’ve been the next TommyInnit or Tubbo. But instead I cry over code in a major I didn’t really love to begin with and write blogs as some kind of pseudo-influencer without any real importance. I recently saw a TikTok where some people commented about how MIT has no real social media presence and that the school does a horrible job at presenting itself.

That all other schools have such prominent YouTubers and influencers that surround it and MIT has next to nothing.

I felt a twang of? jealousy? Anger? something like that. I think it irritates me that, at the end of the day, I am no real media person at all.

Trying to be funny and stuck in a room.

There isn’t much more to say about it.

I’m grateful for my position and honestly I’ve gotten so many great things through the blogs. I think it’s just finally settled in that I am a top college’s influencer, not an influencer that happens to go to a top college.

Which maybe, honestly, is for the best.

There’s something to say about people whose dreams are to be influencers, to gain traction and fame and attention for their existence.

Father, please forgive me
For I did not realize what I did
Or that I’d live to regret it

So it’s been quite the journey, questioning the image that I show on here and whether or not it even matters since the role is so small in the grand scheme of things.

I think it’s obvious I let things get to my head. I’d be lying if there weren’t some sort of ego attached with this job. I read every comment obsessively. When I write, I wonder how things will be received and sometimes find myself deleting sentences that won’t be taken well.

I save every email I receive from people who read my blogs. I feel a twinge of pride whenever people tell me they read my blogs. I get nervous when I think I’m “falling off”, when engagement dips and I start thinking that people are tired of the same, repetitive blogs. I ask if I’m no longer interesting, if people are over it and don’t want me anymore, don’t want the content I provide.

It’s 2020, and I’m 30
I’ll do another ten
2030 I’ll be 40 and kill myself then

When I was a kid, I moderated for a Minecraft server and was the youngest moderator on the server (12 y/o). When I turned around 14, they hired another 12 year old mod and I was no longer the talk of the town. I remember how jealous I felt, how upset I was that the spotlight had finally left me and moved somewhere else. I think, back then, that should’ve been a red flag. But frankly, it’s a habit I haven’t grown out of yet.

Do I have your attention?
Yes or no?
I bet I’d guess the answer
But I don’t wanna know

Is there anyone out there?
Or am I all alone?
It wouldn’t make a difference
Still I don’t wanna know

I was watching Ranboo the other day in his interview with Anthony Padilla and he was talking about how grateful he was to his parents for teaching him about Internet safety at such a young age so now that he’s famous it never bites him in the ass.

That made me think a lot about my own Internet presence and persona. I’ve been on the Internet since I was three years old, talking to strangers on Club Penguin and getting free things on every platform imaginable.

I’ve been oversharing since maybe 12 and it shouldn’t have been rewarded, but that brings us to here. To now. Where I, even now, at the age of 19 still overshare with strangers on the Internet under some excuse of building relatability and honesty with an audience when in reality that’s not completely the truth. There’s some need for attention and validation sprinkled in there, though I don’t think it always was there. I wonder how authors and actors and really any media person does it, when they see themselves losing the plot. I don’t think I’m completely lost yet, though.

Could I interest you in everything
All of the time?
A little bit of everything
All of the time
Apathy’s a tragedy
And boredom is a crime
Anything and everything
All of the time

It makes me feel like an imposter at times, knowing that I’m still unconsciously carefully catering and fabricating these blogposts for engagement and interaction. Because it’s not like the former isn’t true; I wanted to be a blogger because I wanted to genuinely write about the ups and downs of MIT (and really just the life of a college student) without any censorship. But now that I’ve been positively awarded for writing as such, I start to manipulate the content I write for those little boosts in ego.

I don’t know what is authentic and what is not or if this is simply a part of creating content.

There it is again
That funny feeling
That funny feeling

I think I like to tell myself that I’m a pretty authentic person regardless, even if I tweak things here and there, or if I care a bit too much about being liked on some college’s admissions website.

I think it’s important to be honest with myself and really try and deeply evaluate my relationship with the blogs, so I can cut it off when it does more harm than good.

Though I don’t think I’m there. I think the blogs do me a lot of good. It gives me a platform to shitpost all my stupid thoughts and feelings. And from some of the emails I’ve gotten, I think it’s done some good in the world, too, no matter how tiny it is.

You say the ocean’s rising
Like I give a shit
You say the whole world’s ending
Honey, it already did
You’re not gonna slow it
Heaven knows you tried
Got it? Good, now get inside

Watching Inside really catalyzed all this and helped me process this onslaught of thoughts and emotions about media and social media presence and what it means to be a person on the Internet. I think it’s really easy to get lost in everything. I’ve been online for so long that it’s hard to separate my online self from my real self and whether they’re the same, a lot of the time.

I wonder if all of this will come to bite me in the ass, one day.

When I’m fully irrelevant and totally broken, damn it
Call me up and tell me a joke

It’s hard to put into words how these songs make me feel. It makes me feel simultaneously so big and so small in this world of ours. I hope that these blogs do some good, even if, at times, they lack the original authenticity they were once written with.

Well, well, look who’s inside again?
Went out to look for a reason to hide again
Well, well
Buddy, you found it
Now come out with your hands up
We’ve got you surrounded