The Internet Giveth and the Internet Taketh Away

Saturday, 25 April 2009

I love blogging, I love the internet. But it gives and then it takes away on the other hand.

It gives connection among people. It gives a medium for people to share things they may not often get to share out in the world. Imagine launching into a discussion the way you do online in your workplace. People look at you askance. Believe me, I've tried :)

Yet the internet takes away because dammit, you can't see me, you can't see the lightness or the weight of my words, you can't see my jesting, you can't see my cultural differences, you can't see me smirk because there is no symbol for that. I can :) and :D and :( and :\ and ROFL and ROFLLMAO but really, in the end, you can't see my context.

Sigh. Don't mind me. I am struggling with feeling misunderstood. Sometimes I get tired of feeling different. Maybe everyone feels that way, I'm not sure. And the internet fosters paranoia in me from time to time, usually when I say controversial things :) I do insist on being honest, and I'm sure it's too honest for some people! And sometimes it's too honest even for me. Some days I wake up and groan and think, "Did I really say that?" :)

How does one stop caring so much about the opinions of others, or whether you cause others offence or if you displease them or whatever? Some people, it just doesn't even really occur to them. Mocca is like that. I would talk about how I was worried about what so-and-so thought of me and he just wouldn't understand why I cared so much.

I don't really understand why. There is something here that needs to be sat with and examined and (hopefully) discarded.

How about you? Do you worry excessively about what other people think of you?


  1. great ponderings, susie q. for me it is finding that balance between staying hidden and knowing when i will regret having said or written too much. "excessive worry"? not so much anymore, but it took (and still takes) lots of practice uncovering what i really believe.

    if i am convicted to something (i.e. i don't waver) then it does not matter to me what others think. if i am still trying to convince myself of surety, then i get wobbly. if i am true to my beliefs then i can rest and not worry. AND there are very few things i am totally, absolutely without a doubt convicted to.

    that feels like some rambling there...but yea, i care about how i am received by others, but mostly i care about how i receive myself...'cuz i'm the one i have to live with...i feel the serenity prayer coming on :-)

  2. No...not anymore

    I used to though

    Once I accepted the fact that I'm not that bright and that I say some things that are just stupid and dead wrong because my perception filter is a bit wacked out and that everyone else around me (everyone)really is in the same boat stumbling along trying to come to grips with it all...a strange thing happened. It dawned on me that my operating paradigm was all wrong. Who the hell am I to tell someone else they are an idiot as if they are occuping some space I am not and the flip side of that is why do I care what the other thinks of me when I am very aware of the space I am presently occuping.

    It does seem that I am learning to love though and there is something about that that seems to make all the judgemental crap of others really irrelevant.

  3. I care less what people think on the net than in real life. I think it's partly because I'm more articulate in writing than I am verbally. And also (as you say) people don't always take to these pretty intense subjects we tend to discuss. Which brings me to one serious hesitation I have: several of my former colleagues asked for my blog details as I was leaving. They know I write online but not what about. I feel a bit - no make that a lot - self-conscious about it with people I actually know. (And no, I haven't yet sent on my blog details.)

  4. I care less in general than I used to. I think it has to do with a growing sense of being ok in my own skin...that comes with age and nothing else. Other people don't dictate my opinions like they used to. I used to be so codependent to people that I would mold my opinions to match theirs. How sad.

    That's not to say I am belligerent. At least I don't think so. Just not afraid to say it how I see it.

    But then I'm also along the lines of what Kent I feel more safe in my own mind, I also feel more grace towards those I differ with. They should be made to feel safe in their own minds, too.

  5. errr..we both know how much we stuggle with this thing!! I am feeling a slight shift towards being more comofrtable in my own skin, but it's still hard. Giving that power to others is something I hate doing...grrr, Im sorry you're feeling that way!
    I know being brutally honest can mean for clashes with people, but I would hate to see you ever hold back! Thats the Suse I know and love :)

  6. err that last paragraph really didnt work ...I know Tess said she feels more articulate writing, I feel the opposite! :)

  7. Lucy - yes, that balance of feeling comfortable with what you are saying - it teeters though sometimes. Sometimes I think it's a case of taking the cake out of the oven before it's baked, maybe - you still need to process these things in your own soul before sharing, and that's where the disconnect comes. And yet other times, I find that throwing some of my more hidden stuff out there airs it out and it helps it to assume a rightful proportion. I can see it better. I guess it's just going with those gut feels and yet being willing to not always feel comfortable, being willing to feel vulnerable. Life is so messy, isn't it? Isn't it amazing sometimes how much uncovering it takes to see what we are really thinking and feeling. I enjoy so much seeing you do that on your blog :)

    Kent - yay for that level of freedom! You're so right about stepping out of the paradigm, knowing that everyone is looking skewed. I want the Rumi field freedom of being able to stay in that space for longer and longer. It's a strange thing to, like Cloudbusting said, give other people your power in this way. I enjoy watching you walk further into your freedom.

    Tess - aagggh, scary! Two worlds colliding! I totally understand that disconnect feeling. It's a difficult one, isn't it? I have toyed with writing a completely anonymous blog and not having anyone I know IRL read it :) I love your blog and it's easy for me to say, "Oh, pass it on!" That vulnerability is strong, isn't it. Especially if it's you putting your stuff out there without corresponding returns from other people who don't do that weird blogging thing :)

    Erin - oh, hooray for not moulding your opinions to match others anymore. I have always been too strong in my opinions to do that, but I can understand the desire. I guess to we all mould ourselves to the people we are with. It's sort of a human tendency isn't it. I am loving watching you be more comfortable in your skin. Isn't it weird how we don't get comfy in our skin until it starts sagging and getting lined. Like an old pair of jeans :) Yes, I agree about safety for people to see differently. If love is the aim, then that will be what we desire. Oh, and no, you don't come across as belligerent at all.

    CB - It amazes me how vulnerablefying living in the world is. I saw Deb yesterday (Katie and Denae were playing tournament netball at a stadium in Altona, so I went along and we were doing our usual pondering everything, haha. It was really nice). We were saying that you would think that by this age we would be more confident in striding through the world, with less vulnerabilities. But it's funny - I DO feel more comfortable striding through the world! And yet I guess I always thought the vulnerable feeling would not be a parcel of that, but it is. What do you mean that last paragraph didn't work? Yes it did :) Thank you. I am glad you are feeling a bit more comfortable in your own skin. Yay.

    Actually, I visited my mum the other day and much as I love her, I can see where I get this feeling that speaking my stuff is somehow "breaking the rules". Because my mum doesn't. And I can't not speak my opinions, but because of that I often feel opinionated, when really I'm just speaking my opinion. Weird :)


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