I met a girl earlier this year and she asked me, “Do you use Facebook?” I told her, “I have an account but don’t really use it.” “Kakao Story?” “Same deal.” “Instagram?” “Nope.” “Twitter?” “No.” “You’re no fun.” She was right. I am no fun. It’s not that I’m an analog guy in a digital world although I do have a preference for many things non-digital. I do use the internet. I play the daily crosswords on the Yahoo! and USA Today sites, and I browse Wikipedia often. It’s just that I’m an introvert, which people these days use as a euphemism for someone who is anti-social, socially awkward, a loner, a recluse. This introversion applies not only to offline interactions but online as well. I’d never play a MMORPG or even a game that requires a link to my KakaoTalk account for rankings purposes. I even dislike writing e-mail.
In addition to Wikipedia, I also spend an inordinate amount of time on gag sites such as 9gag. I was browsing the other day when I came across this image:
Image taken from 9gag.com
The title of the post was “The real reason why 9gag’s ‘nice guys’ get ‘friendzoned’ #2” and I was a little confused until I read the comments. The poster did some research, finding self-purported “nice guys” and tracking their comments on other posts. She found that many of the guys on the site who complain that girls only like assholes rather than nice guys were actually assholes themselves. So the question is: Were these guys originally self-denying assholes or were they disillusioned to the point that they became misogynists? My guess is that they probably always had a bit of ass-holiness lurking somewhere beneath the nice-guy façade.
My problem right now is dealing not with girls but with the media. Now that the book has been published, I’m going to have to do a great deal of promotion if I want to sell the book, and that inevitably means having to deal with the press. Unfortunately, I haven’t had great experiences with the media in the past. The article that ran in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer got me in deep shit with my company commander and almost got me thrown in military prison, and I’ve been used for propaganda in the Defense Daily without even giving an interview. I also don’t appreciate some of the speculation that has been posted on the internet as a result of these interviews. But my problem with the press goes beyond bad experiences. Being socially awkward, I suck at interviews or simply just talking in person. I’ve never liked the sound of my own voice and I have a slight stutter. I crack under pressure and end up sounding like an idiot. Whenever I read some of the articles written about me, I end up thinking, “Why the fuck did I say that? I didn’t mean that at all.”
(This is why I enjoy writing. It’s the only way I can express myself. I get to edit myself and I can sleep on what I have to say if I want to. Nothing is public until I press that publish button. This book is also result of this as well. When people ask about my experience, I often evade the question by saying it’s a long story. The other day, a student asked me why I went to the Army. I told him to buy the book.)
Now I find myself in a position where I have to put myself through that hell again. I’ve been connected to several power bloggers through my friend and copy-editor Kevin Kim, and I’m giving an interview on the radio (TBS eFM) sometime this week or next. I’ve also been writing to journalists I’ve come across in the past, and I signed up for Twitter—something I thought I’d never do—but it will take me a little while to figure it out. Regardless, I will post or link to every promotional activity on this blog so you can go through this hell with me and perhaps get a good laugh out of it.