Seriously folks, what is the deal? Are there that many of you out there that are so insecure, so unloved and so lonely that you need to affirm yourself through the internet? Are you failing at relationships and life in general? Is your self-worth so low that you avoid any and all situations that put you at risk for humiliation?
Do you NEED to belong to something? Is the internet easy for you because you no longer have to deal with people on a personal level? Can you "belong" on the internet because you never have to lower your protective shield and never risk humiliation because no one can see you? After all, you can control exactly what others see, you can create whatever "you" you wish. Heady wine, to be able to create a new self, pretend to be who you are not, precisely manipulate your image. Self esteem goes through the roof, no judging of your bad qualities because there aren't any. Careful control of what everyone sees. Neat new website with photos you've either manipulated, stolen, or bought, because you don't have any of your own material. Youtube videos with tons of views, slick new t-shirts and hats, a great logo (whether it infringes on anyone else or not, because who is ever going to care?). A sense of acceptance and respect, a cool new racing suit with Discovery Channel logo on it, because you found one cheap online. A new chase vehicle with lightbars and your logo, intruments, swell paint job. The list goes on... and on...
This intense longing for acceptance and love, is this why you want to be a "storm chaser"? Hey, storms are cool, and you can observe them anywhere. Car, camera, some Photoshop, a little bit of internet knowledge, and you're a star.
How did you feel when you were able to make that first tornado intercept public on Stormtrack? Did you expect to receive accolades? Did you think you had "arrived"? Were you maybe disappointed?
Here's where your new hobby is going. You're going to have a couple choices. I know, I've made them. If I'm honest with myself, a couple years ago when I started this, I don't think my mind was straight either.
You want real respect and REAL affirmation, you're going to have to go chase, and chase, and chase, and love it because it's who you are. You're going to have to actually meet people in your subculture, face to face, and interact with them. You're going to have to have knowledge, and work hard to get it. You're going to fail and fail and fail and look like a total idiot. you are going to start a forecast thread, and get completely laughed at, and blown out of the water, and set in your place, and corrected. You are going to have to risk it, and know that not everyone is going to like you, ever. In fact, some people are going to hate you. Some will flame you. Most that YOU respect greatly are not going to give a crap about you, because they just don't care. Simple. They are out there for themselves, for their passion, and are not going to give you the time of day. If you can't enjoy what you are doing, love it for what it is, if you still have an overpowering desire to be accepted, respected, you are in for a rough road. You will not last in this hobby very long. You will be so beaten down and flamed that you will give it up in a year or two. It will become nothing more than a fling, something you tried and dumped, just like most of the other relationships in your life, because you did not get the results you were looking for.
I just read a comment today that goes something like this. "If I don't participate in a forum, and no one knows who I am, then I get no respect". Then, in the same breath, "that's not that important", and "but the storms are what's really important". Notice the order in which those things were said.
FAIL. No other way to put it. I've been there, tried that. I'll admit it, it went to my head when I first started this. Found out real quick that my self worth was not going to be served in this hobby. But I still have my crazy obsession. If I meet great people and make new friends in the process, well so much the better. If I don't, whatever. I will still be out there whenever I can, because I'm nuts, I love storms, any storms, and I don't care about what you think, and I certainly don't care what you think of me.
Stay away from my storm. Go find your own.