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plugging in and losing it

Hey, it’s Tamaki! Today I want to open up and talk a little bit about my experience with an online part time job and how it affected me mentally.


Since a very young age, I always thought online jobs are easy and cool. I remember watching famous YouTubers/bloggers and thinking to myself, “Wow, they are all shining, doing what they love and succeeding.” Nowadays, almost everything and everyone is on the internet, and I feel like the number and variety of jobs on the web is increasing at speed. My interest in and envy of online businesses has been growing ever since.


When my father’s friend offered me a job in online translation, I grabbed it immediately, mostly because I was thinking about quitting my part time job at that time anyway, but also because I wanted to experience being one of those people online, working from home. Just imagining myself using a laptop for an actual paying job, clicking away busily, made me very excited.


Truth is, it wasn't as easy as I’d hoped. I had to teach myself business meeting manners, learn how to politely communicate through business emails, along with getting used to fast and precise translation. As a procrastinating perfectionist, getting used to this new routine was far from easy. It might be basic knowledge and common sense for a working member of society, but I jumped into it with only excitement, not considering the amount of work I had to put in to succeed. Naturally, it was too much for me, so I decided to quit my part time job and concentrate on my studies and online translation.


It was nice at first. I only had to worry about school and online translation, and started to spend more time at home. Sleepless nights and dark circles quickly disappeared- I was less tense and anxious.


However, constantly being home alone working from my computer started to affect me negatively after a while. My bubbly, loud, funny persona suddenly stopped being exposed to many human interactions which lead me to feel quite depressed. Often, I couldn't get myself out of bed and ended up skipping classes, or altogether cancelling plans. Sometimes I would sleep for 18 hours - other times I would be up all night overthinking about my insecurities. I started to lose interest in everything that brought me joy: food, poetry and even hanging out with my friends.


I wanted to break the depressing cycle, but I didn't have any energy in me. I felt helpless and worthless for not being able to save myself. I’ve turned into a robot. I didn't feel much except sadness that overtook me whole. My parents suggested therapy but I was terrified. So after about 6 months of battling with sadness and a tendency towards depression, I finally pulled myself together and got another job, while still working in online translation. It forced me to go outside and have a routine.


Now I work both outside and inside, gradually balancing my schedule and mental health. What I learned from this experience is that I am human and need to have a decent amount of face to face interaction and communication! But, most importantly, working online or from home isn't for everyone. Coming out of this experience, I both admire and feel for YouTubers, bloggers, or any type of person who does creative work. It's not easy to spit out interesting content everyday, nor is it always fun and exciting. However, that is just me and my random thoughts/feelings.


Have you ever experienced the internet affecting you negatively? I imagine online businesses or the people working from home will continue to increase... Will you ever try it?


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