Am I Weird? Or Just Misunderstood?

People have a tendency to put you in a box, the moment they see any opportunity to slap you with a label. If you’re like me, and you don’t fall into the generic categories, people place you as ‘weird’. For a long time, I accepted that as my identity, although I preferred the term ‘different’ – it’s less harsh.

Having accepted ‘weird’ as my label, I wore the tag shamefully. I had tried to make friends over the years, to no avail. I did form some frail acquaintanceships; although none of them developed into anything lasting. Some people, who must have felt sorry for me, made an effort here are there. They’d ask me general questions if we were, say, stuck together in a group project. I’ll forever appreciate their efforts, but again, nothing came of it.

For people like myself, and I didn’t realize just how many there were until a later stage in my life, there’s a reason for our social struggles; our circle of interaction is limited. When I managed to come in touch with people from different cultures, countries, and distant parts of the world, it was then that I found people that I could connect with, and that’s when I finally made real ‘friends’.

How did I meet such people? Well, I didn’t travel all across the world, if that’s what you’re thinking. I did, however, meet people from all across the globe. I met them all online, that’s how! The internet hosts excellent platforms for communication, mainly in the form of social media websites and messengers. Through online platforms, I found people that I could connect with; who I could rely on and form lasting relationships with.

When I first tried to make friends online, I approached people who I ‘knew’ through networks such as FaceBook. These weren’t people who I was friends with, some weren’t even acquaintances. They were simply people who were from my high school, to whom I sent ‘friends’ requests. Some of them accepted my requests, others didn’t. Even less people entertained a conversation; I’d message them with ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’. The ones that replied out of sheer politeness, or perhaps pity, still didn’t reciprocate my efforts towards holding a proper conversation. Thus, this proved to be a rather large disappointment, and ultimately a dead-end.

I then tried out websites which facilitated interactions with new people; people I didn’t know from before, who were, like me, looking to make new friends. I started my journey on Omegle; a website which sounded appealing, but turned out to be another dead-end. Unfortunately, the website which was developed for a good cause, had been plagued with spam bots and sexually frustrated people looking for nothing more than to fulfill their desires. I had the occasional decent conversation with a few people, but those didn’t lead anywhere. Eventually, I resorted to Tinder and gatherX.

Tinder was, at best, decent for finding romantic relationships. However, gatherX proved to be a particularly appealing website; it showed to be great for making friends and finding love interests. Through this platform, I met many new people and made my share of fair friends. I found a few dates through Tinder, too, and some of them turned out to be quite pleasant.

My online experience stopped me thinking: am I weird? Or just misunderstood? For I now knew the answer; I was simply kept from my kind.