Book 76 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from October 16 - 17
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
Summary (via the book jacket)
From online entertainment pioneer, actress, and "queen of the geeks" Felicia Day, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to internet stardom, and embracing her weirdness to find her place in the world.
When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was "homeschooled for hippie reasons", she looked online to find her tribe. The internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth - finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how "uncool" she really was.
But if it hadn't been for her strange background - the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day - she might never have had the naive confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers.
Felicia's rags-to-riches rise to internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now Felicia's world is filled with creativity, video games, and a dash of feminist activism - just like her memoir.
Showcasing Felicia's hilarious and unique voice, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now - even for a digital misfit.
I really like how the pictures were inserted throughout the book to add emphasis to her stories. And when the stories include starting college at 16 with a double major in math and violin (and that's before she even gets into the Hollywood stuff), you know they will be unique and interesting.
It was so relatable when she wrote about putting off her mental health because of the stigma around it. A note for fellow empaths: read this in a quiet space because her anxiety will make you sweaty and you'll need to remind yourself she became successful enough to write a book and it all works out.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"My story demonstrates that there's no better time in history to have a dream and be able to reach an audience with your art. Or just be as weird as you want to be and not have to be ashamed. That lesson's just as legit."
"I was born anxious...My biggest fears in life are to be locked in a department store after hours, or to be kidnapped while walking to my car at night and my body disposed of with a wood chipper. Clearly, you can understand how challenging REAL problems are for me, like being late to a lunch meeting. "I'm sorry, I couldn't find a parking spot. Where would you like me to shoot myself: through the face or heart?""
"I love it when people tell me I'm doing the wrong thing, or that something isn't possible, or just straight dismiss me. That lights my fire in a perverse way, like a two-year-old who deliberately touches the hot stove after you tell them not to. But compliment me or expect something big? That's the perfect way to destroy my confidence. There's a crazy people pleaser inside me screaming, They won't like you if you mess up. You set the bar too high. They're all waiting for you to fail! And you're definitely going to. Good luck, stupidhead!"
"Once someone posts that you're "So ugly I would have sex with your corpse," that's when you know you've arrived online!"