Note: This is a spoiler-free review of You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost)
I listen to a lot of podcasts so it wasn’t really any surprise to me that I heard Felicia Day‘s voice in my head while I was reading her upcoming memoir You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost). The book hits shelves (and digital stores) on Tuesday, August 11th, and I can tell you right now that fans of Day and Geek and Sundry are going to love it.
From the Deep South to Texas to Los Angeles, her journey is one that every one of us nerds can identify with even though many of her life experiences are distinctly unique. She was homeschooled. She was basically a musical prodigy. She majored in math in college…where she enrolled at 16. These are all things that the internet knows about Felicia Day, but hearing the stories direct from the source rather than a Wikipedia page or one of the many interviews that has circulated as she’s risen in popularity and fame allow readers to get to know the girl that they’d be thrilled to meet in an online game and would probably freak out by chatting with her in line at a convention.
In addition to the real-life experiences, Day also talks about the development of The Guild and her own creative process. I walked away wondering how I could inject some of the pizzazz of a PA who brought a duct-taped boom to the proverbial table when the original crew was being rallied into my own creative process. Can one duct tape a laptop together without damaging it? I probably shouldn’t find out.
On a more serious note, Felicia also addresses important issues that are applicable to people on and off the internet. Anxiety and depression are issues that can lead to self-destructive behavior and bring out your own addictive tendencies. Her stories of dealing with these problems are real, heart felt, and identifiable. While gaming for hours upon hours a day isn’t my cup of tea personally, I’ve definitely gone through binge watching and reading periods because it’s easier than going outside and facing the world.
YNWONTIA (hmm, the acronym doesn’t really work does it?) also allows Day to discuss the very real and terrifying threat of bullying on the internet and #GamerGate. If you’re not familiar, I recommend searching for coverage and reading the vastly different opinions that have sprung up around the issue. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that behind every tweet, blog post, and exchange on the internet sit real human beings with their fingers on the keys and thoughts in their heads. When threats and direct assaults to their safety occur, they should not be swept under the rug or ignored because they’re digital and “not real” as naysayers believe. Felicia’s experience with the Gamer Gate issue is one that is all too familiar to women on the internet, and it must be stopped. We must stand together – and I’m not saying “we” meaning women. I mean we, the sane and kind human beings that get to meet each other through online communities, must stand up for each other and not tolerate abuse and bullying in our spaces.
You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost) is pretty much everything you want it to be. And a little bonus? If you’re at all addicted to podcasts like I am, and you’ve heard Day’s voice over the years, you’re pretty much going to hear her telling you the stories as you read because how could you not?
You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost) is available on Tuesday, August 11th. Felicia will be doing a book tour to promote it with plenty of opportunities to see her in person. Check out her preview video for more!
This review was completed using a copy of the book provided by the publisher.
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