Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Is it me or is it them? That's the question I often ask myself.
Before anyone says "So stop reading it", I am well aware of that solution, but it's no solution at all. I use Facebook etc, to stay in touch with people in a way that wouldn't happen otherwise. Let's not pretend I'd keep up a running communication by any other means, because I wouldn't and neither would they.
Plus, if you live in a city and work in a busy office, maybe you get your fill of human interraction "live", as it were. I live in the middle of nowhere and work from home, with only Tom and my sheep for company most of the time. Now, conversations with Tom can be deep and fascinating, I'll grant you that. But they can also be sporadic, if he's got his head into something, and they can often be TOO deep. As in weird. No, it doesn't count as social interaction. May blessings pour upon the internet for keeping me in touch with the outside world.
But just like the outside world, just like any social setting, any office, any situation, it has its pros and cons. I liken it to the village well. It really is comparable, more so perhaps than any other analogy. It is where you go regularly. It is where your people also go, family, friends, and...the rest. Some you know better than others. Some you like better than others.
If you avoid the well, and become a hermit in the caves above the village, you miss out on all of it. So, you take the rough with the smooth, and you go get your water. You overhear all sorts of conversations. Some are directed right at you. Some of it is really useful information. Some is just general stuff. Some is repetition. Some is whining. Some is lies. Some is opinions you share, some you vehemently oppose.
And you have choices. You can listen, and say nothing. You can walk away. You can join in. You can argue. There are social conventions about your behaviour, so that is remains a pleasant experience for everyone. Some people break them.
Since we have no village wells, but we do have the social side of the internet, we have developed certain unwritten rules of etiquette just as we have in the real world. But that's not right is it? The social aspect of the internet is part of the real world, and ever more so. We can't pretend it's remote and different, because it isn't. Most of our conversation online refers to what happens offline. It's just a communication medium.
So, the etiquette really isn't going to be that different. Shared ideas about shouting, arguing, swearing, and so on, apply just the same.
What's my point?
Oh nothing profound. That lot was all just a disclaimer really, because I often find myself bitching and whining about what I read. As we all know the correct, logical, sensible thing to do is just move on. I should be able to do that by now. Apparently I can't.