January 10, 2008

RE: Why be nice anymore?

Over at Wife Aggro, PVTHudson, asks: Why be nice anymore? Apparently, I am not nice, which may be a good thing according to PVTHudson, who seems to have grown bitter on the idea of playing nice.

Bloggers are guilty of being human. It is better to be nice, because no one likes to get noticed for being the Negative Nancy in the room. There is an argument to be had about the Internet and the effect anonymity has on a person, but in my decade of travel across the vast online sea, I've found most people to act fairly normal. Even as much as I'd like to argue that I'm a pretty nice guy in real life, and I am, I can't deny the fact that I have a whiny and combative edge.

The real effect of the Internet: amplification. I am inherently more whiny and combative on the Internet. I wish I could fully-explain why it occurs, but I can't. I observe it in almost every blogger I know personally, whether it is politics, gaming, or knitting (yes, with needles and yarn).

I know part of it comes from passion and the fact that most blogs get started out of a person's passion for something. Bloggers inevitably break down and say "Here it is world! Here is the fire that lights my world!". That opens the door for criticism and most people do not want to deal with criticism.

This blogging thing they started was suppose to be about them and their passion, how dare criticism become involved. How dare what they say matter. How dare that someone else on the Internet has an opinion. Honestly, how many bloggers have woken up to find some massively rude comment on their blog? I know I've had my fair share of wake up comments on this blog.

So, we end up with a lot of bloggers that talk in hushed tones and rarely have an opinion differing from the mainstream. I like to call it the "I agree too" problem. How many multi-blog posts have occurred where hundreds of comments and dozens of posts are written basically agreeing with the one before them. Everyone gets together at the end and pulls out some grand conclusion that the rest of us better live by, or else!

Lastly, it is wrong to go against the grain, because it puts a label on a person. For example: Heartless_ is an angry gamer. See what happened there? In reality though, it isn't going against the grain. It is following the grain, but differentiating one's self from the noise.

More to come...