Do you have a blog? Most people do. I have about twenty (but who cares, no big deal right? I mean I kinda want more). Whether it be blogspot, tumblr, or a made from scratch domain where you post mindless flotsam and jetsam, host an original webcomic series, or just post your writing or artwork portfolios or just pictures of your obese cat, your sites are more or less a piece of you or at the least what you want to offer or present to the public. Depending on how interesting you are or what you have to offer you can quickly amass views and followers. This much is pretty much assumed or well known about the blogging experience; but I feel there is a dark side pertaining to a condition that is oft ignored. If one does not know how to confront and treat it, could mean dread and the death of a blogging career; Big Time Attentionitis. In fact a loved one could have already contracted BTA and have lived with it in secret and in shame.
A common but relatively unstudied anxiety condition, BTA is the sudden wave of dread and uncontrollable panic relating to sudden attention from a particular individual or individuals and or the collective masses suddenly following your blog medium and then sharing your work. There are two particular subgroups:
1. Viral Mania
Big Time Attentionitis Viral Mania, or BTAVM is the first subgroup or variation of BTA which arises when a post or a piece of work goes utterly viral, causing an influx if not never-ending number of views and followers, fanmail, messages praising or interested in your work. This can include kind comments to constructive criticism, rebuttals and or a sudden rush of open discourse to even, if you’re lucky, job offers. This causes feelings of deliriousness (sometimes rather positive if offered a book deal), anxious eating, chugging of iced tea (both straight lemon and long island), constant refreshing and in severe cases an absolute abandon of looking at your own blog, overwhelmed by the interest. There is so much interest, you actually loose interest. Or just become a nervous wreck as if locked in a witch’s castle.
BTAVM does extend to the discovery, sharing and ultimate virality of video blogs and or uploads of original videos either candid humor, animal videos or as a performer. You must however note if the content that has triggered the public response and virality is of particularly ignorant and or hateful content (mostly on mediums such as Twitter and Facebook) and met with an overall negative response, that panic at such criticism is not BTAVM but BPIS, another seldom researched condition called Douchenoodle Infamatitis. Otherwise known as you’re just an awful person and you should feel bad.
The second sub group, BDFBTA, in contrast is more specialized and hyper-focused condition based on a particular individual.
2. “Big Deal Follower”
The quieter but by no means less stressful subgroup; Big Deal Follower Big Time Attentionitis or BDFBTA is the sudden awareness of and panic when it comes to your attention someone much more popular or well known on the internet is actively reading, subscribing, reblogging, talking about or showcasing, overall engaging to your content. At its most simple BDFBTA is triggered with something as simple as the notification of said “big deal” personalities subscribing to your page or blog, or may appear via a comment, or reblog, pingback, noodledeuce, pinsyup, owl, quibble, etching and or the now venerable tweet sharing of your work or site. The BDFBTA manifests out of the “oh shit” moment when you realize if someone like that (whomever is considered pertinent) is tuning in to you, and that you may actually be going somewhere. If it is simply just noticing they are subscribing to your work but quietly so without any sharing (yet) there is an additional variation of BDFBTA that can manifest; GDVBDFBTA or Grand Delusion Via Big Deal Follower Big Time Attentionitis where the anxiety is particularly tied to the fantasy that your work could hit virality if said person did reblog or feature your work and one’s life can then subsequently fall more into place. Which of course would in most cases result in a subsequent case of BTAVM.
Symptoms of all forms of BTA besides those mentioned above include large grinning and face squeezing, loud swearing, outbursts of every emotion, nail bitting, head bashing, key bashing, crying, heavy napping, jumping significant others’ bones, jumping other people’s bones, jumping your own bone, excessive beverage sipping, stomping in puddles, floor rolling, and samosa eating. Overcompensating and wanting to impress said particular new “big” followers or the masses may produce mediocre subsequent work. Severe cases people outright just delete their blogs. Or themselves. Finding oneself in your desktop recycling bin just happens.
If you or your loved one has a form of BTA; have patience. Goldfish quickly move on quickly and as we all know, we are all really goldfish. So rest assured people will actively forget your ass when the novelty runs off. In the meantime breathe. Less breathing. Moderate breathing. Little quieter. Perfect.
Other forms of BTA to look out for:
RELBTAGBA: San Antonio
Be careful! See you guys soon.
Staff Writer/The Doctor