>Wearing lolita for oneself, without the need to be observed, is to me the peak enjoyment of lolita. I find that resolve in yourself and your decisions, to embody the “spirit” of lolita. Lolita is selfish. Lolita is personal fulfillment. Lolita is indulgence.
This to me is the "spirit of lolita" as well. Or rather I would like to add that wearing lolita for yourself, for the right reasons (kink/sex is not the right reason, neither is attention), is what makes someone a lolita.
I don't think someone needs to engage in lolita culture (reading certain magazines, watching certain shows, certain other interests/hobbies) either to be a lolita.
There are benefits for me to engage with the community. Especially the exchange of information regarding releases, quality/reviews, etc. I enjoy engaging with my local comm for those same reasons but just because we have one hobby in common doesn't mean we're automatically friends or friend material. I've never had more than 2 lolita friends at the same time.
There was a time when I wore lolita at least 5 days out of 7 but didn't take pictures (didn't care about them, no skills, didn't make time in the morning). 1~2 days out of 7 I was just home in my room wear and I didn't want to get any lolita room wear.
For a long time now the online lolita community is very much "pics or it didn't happen" to the point where people assume that if you don't share coord pics you're not really a lolita and shouldn't really join the conversation even if you share pictures of stuff you bought and write reviews.
That was one of reasons I learned to take pictures but realized as soon as I started I just enjoyed taking pictures and looking at them even if I didn't share them. I don't wear lolita as often any more as I used to, but when I started sharing pictures the community considered me much more of a lolita.
I can't say I blame them though, it makes sense from a security perspective.