Monday, July 16, 2007

Grab Yer Pitchforks!

i was going to have pictures today but the lighting was absolute poo, so it'll have to wait for another day.

i've been seeing a lot of things lately about someone in the interweb having some kind of conflict with someone else, and suddenly mob mentality sets in, with people taking sides and trashing both parties with nasty comments. i find the entire thing highly ridiculous, and it'd be funny if it weren't so completely pathetic.

i'm sure that sometimes the individuals know the person they are defending in real life, but that this is not the case in most situations. my personal opinion is, if you've never met the person and had a real conversation, how do you know that he/she is as sweet/wonderful/awesome or horrible/mean/nasty as you think?

i have no doubt that the following statement will not make me very popular. i do not consider people i've "met" through the internet as my friends. i do not believe that if i *did* meet them in person, that i would automatically like them. knowing myself as i do, i believe that i probably wouldn't like many of them, just because i know that i don't like the majority of people, no matter how wonderful they might seem. and i certainly wouldn't expect most people to like me either. i don't exactly radiate warmth. if there's one thing my contest has proven, it's that you can't know very much about someone just by reading his/her blog. (feel free to continue to try though. i'm finding the guesses very amusing)

but somehow people seem to get caught up. suddenly *insert celebrity blogger* is my FRIEND, because they TELL me things. i READ them! people don't seem to realize that blogging is not universal truth. my writing style is very different from my conversational style. there's a lot less swearing, for one thing. writing doesn't reveal the essence of a person, but only that which he/she chooses to present to the world. in the same way that i might stand at an unnatural angle in order to hide the flaws of the dress i just sewed, i might also leave out the part of my personality that shows i'm actually evil personified.

and in case there is still a single person left reading who i haven't offended, i must say i especially have a problem with the people who stir up the mob. rushing to advertise a dispute (and perhaps ruining someone's reputation) rather than trying to settle it with the other party seems like a rather juvenile approach.

i'm weighing in because it's my opinion, but really i just loathe pointless drama. people need to get over themselves. i'm just saying. feel free to vilify me. i can take it.

one last weigh-in and then i'm done: this is absolutely NOT a guideline for how i think you should behave. that would belie the entire purpose of the post. all i'm saying is that if read a post or a thread where you display the behaviors i've described above, i'm likely to roll my eyes, think to myself, "what a dumbfuck," and close the window. that is all.

14 comments:

  1. Amen to that! People have been very negative about certain things lately, and I don't like it one bit! No very, very cruel snarkiness for me please, especially about sick people I don't know. I read your blog but don't know you, and wouldn't presume that I do. I like it though, it's got some flavor that many blogs don't have, something a little outside of the mainstream that I appreciate. Keep up the good work!

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  2. I agree with every word.

    I think that's what the kids mean when they say "Word!". But I really don't know. ;-)

    PS< never would there be a more unlikely group of 'friends" than the group of people I blogstalk and myself.

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  3. Right on. I have to say though, if I come across some big ol drama on a blog, I totally find myself greedily pouring through the comments/other related blogs - it's like a train-wreck I can't look away from. But I feel like a tabloid reader more than an interested party, I find it amazing how readers of one blog or the other will just instantly take sides. And it seems like in a lot of cases, the blog readers are the ones really escalating things, by going and harassing the other party or leaving much nastier comments than the actual people involved.

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  4. Count me in on the "me too" list. It's kind of funny how worked up people can get...

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  5. You said exactly what I have been thinking about recently much better than I ever could. It's amazing to watch the dynamics and progression as a discussion becomes an angry mob. It really makes me wonder about people sometimes.

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  6. Which is why I was very hesitant to meet my first group of knitters who I had read their blogs/they had read mine. I'm not the loudmouth I feel I am online.

    I'm going to have to split with you on one point though, I prefer grabbing a torch and leaving my pitchfork at home. ;-)

    Pointless drama is a good way to put it. That's why I deleted "the" post. I felt *I* was responsible for stirring up pointless drama.

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  7. I guess I am out of the blogging loop because I haven't seen any of this arguing recently. But, I do very much agree with you. I think there are some instances where people can become good friends online and really get to know each other via private communications without necessarily meeting face-to-face - but it's rare. More often, like you said, all you know about a person is what they choose to portray, and there's no way to know if you are seeing the whole picture or if what you see is even true, so why defend them to the death and attack other people on their behalf when you really just don't know??

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  8. I agree. The word friend is used way too loosely.

    It is funny because on Ravelry there are the groups now, and while I have joined some, one in particular is planning a get-together, and at first I was very excited about it, but now, I am going to uninvite myself because I really don't want to meet them in person.

    I think I like you more for writing this. Can we be friends? ;p

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  9. Oh, I don't like nasty for the point of being nasty. Or getting caught up in drama. But like rachel said, it's a trainwreck. I must read about the drama. I think part of it is I just want to know what everyone else is talking about.

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  10. I agree that there's no guarantee we'd like -- or dislike, for that matter -- a person because we read his/her blog and came up with an opinion based on the contents. We're only getting a tiny, selective glimpse of the blogger, but speculation and trying to extrapolate a bigger picture from very limited information is part of the fun!

    For the most part, I read blogs because I find something the person is writing interesting, or because they're producing beautiful work, or because what they're doing is new and different. There are many reasons to blogstalk somebody.

    And I do try to stay nice. But sometimes, it's so easy to get caught up in a mass mentality. It's just part of being human, I suppose: trying to be the best person I can be but failing occasionally and having to apologize. Going to extra effort to be nasty... not good.

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  11. Probably goes without saying I also agree. I think maybe we ought to start a "I read your blog and I like what you're making but I don't really want to meet you in person and I probably wouldn't dive in front of you to take a bullet" KAL...

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  12. Lacey, can I join your KAL? Maybe we can be friends! :-p

    I like to think of my blog as a little performance piece, with the comments being something akin to an audience member coming up and saying, "Nice show!" Sometimes they'll ask a question or give an opinion, and that's cool, too. Maybe I'll go check out what they're doing over on their side of the stage and comment back. I love that kind of interaction, that level of contact. It doesn't mean that I'd be friends with them outside of the ol' Blog Theater.

    I don't think if I go up to a comedian and tell him I liked his act that it makes me his friend. I have friends that do think that way, and it irritates me to no end.

    I do want to say that I really like reading your blog. I like what you say and how you say it.

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  13. I haven't seen this drama you speak of, but I try to stay away from online drama in general. Now it so happens that I know a lot of knitting folk and a big chunk of who reads my blog in person. And many of them are people I'm lucky enough to count as friends. However, that doesn't mean that just by reading someone's blog I think they're my new best bud!

    Actually, people who inappropriately think I'm their friend bug me. I think this extends past blog life too. Just because I met you at a friend's party / go to a knitting group with you / once rode next to you on the subway does not make me your friend.

    Ahem. Thanks for listening. ;)

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  14. I'm in total agreement with you about the blog drama, but of two minds about the friend thing... since I am what most would describe as a "total wuss" (vegetarian, subscribe to a style of life that tries to avoid harming anything) I don't necessarily shut down anyone who latches onto me. However, I also have good boundaries and am quick to turn down an invitation that I am just not interested in. In other words, I don't want to cause someone pain when it doesn't cost me much to respond to an email kindly, but I don't guilt myself into meetings or phone calls when I just don't have space in my life for someone who only sucks up my already limited time/resources.

    I do get the impression we'd get along IRL, but it's not like I am ready to whip out the CC to come impose for a week. Perhaps someday we'll run into each other, and that would be nice, I think. (I guess I just don't chase friends. When they move, I let them go. These things are largely meant to be impermanent!)

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