Hey everyone. I’m posting this comic a little early because I think that it deserves some explanation. I think I owe a lot of people an explanation as to why I haven’t been on IRC in the last month.

First of all, I want to say that I’m not feeling sorry for myself. This isn’t a plea for help. This is a call out to find out if I actually matter to anyone anymore on the Internet. A “Facebook like” won’t cut it here.

About a month ago, I was casually hanging around on IRC when one person, who I thought I knew really well and I’ve known for years, had posted something to the channel complaing about how expensive it was for them to wash their clothes in their building’s coin-operated machines. They wondered if there was anything that could be done to put the machine into a “service mode” so they could get free washes.

I took exception to this and said, “Well, instead of trying to rip your landlord off, you could try this and this…” I was trying to be helpful and to make their life just a little bit easier. Since I was suggesting things which were outside of what they were expecting, they got pissed off and decided to  kickban me from the IRC channel.

It was quite a painful moment for me because someone whom I thought was at least a little bit of a friend, turned out to be anything but. What made it even more painful was the fact that before I was actually banned from the channel, the only thing people had to say was, “RIP Qualin”. Well, if that’s all I am to them, dead, then maybe it should stay that way.

When this happened, I was quite hurt, angry and frustrated. Then I realized that this was a sign. It was a sign I was wasting my time chatting with people who couldn’t give a damn wether I stayed or went.

I’ve been using IRC for the last twenty years, nearly half my life. Over that time, I’ve made a lot of friends and lost a lot of friends. Well, “Friends” being a somewhat loose term here. People who I thought I did know, I didn’t know at all. Anyone I have made friends with, I’ve been out of contact with them for years. Probably for so long that they probably wouldn’t even remember who I am.

Over the years, I made it a point to collect the real life pictures of the people I spoke with on IRC. I don’t even recognize most of them now. Some of those people could walk up to me in real life right now and I wouldn’t even know who they were or even how I met them.

IRC used to be quite enjoyable for me. It was a hobby that let me indulge in sharing media and information with people. In some ways, it was my lifeline into the furry fandom, of which I haven’t really been active in these last few  years and in all honesty, it isn’t that important in my life anymore.

Recently, all that IRC has done is leave me feeling depressed, miserable and sorry for myself. It has left me feeling like I’ve spent years spewing verbal garbage that hasn’t meant anything at all. Anything that makes me feel like this doesn’t need to be in my life anymore. I don’t need fake friends anymore.

Maybe it’s about time I grow up and stop playing around with toys like IRC and focus much more strongly on the people who I can really trust. I should focus more strongly on my marriage and the actual real life friends that I do have. I should focus on the people who actually give my life meaning and provide enjoyment in my life instead of sap it.

For anyone reading this who does know me online, my e-mail address is qualin at telus dot(nospam) net. You now know how to reach me. I’m listening.