I keep running into this – blogging brings out bad things in people. Let’s be more specific – blogging seems to bring out bad things in me.
I started this blog as a discussion forum for SFTS students, but I quickly found that people who had nothing to do with SFTS were reading it. I was soon after shocked to learn that other people were discussing (mostly attacking and misrepresenting) me on their own blogs, without even telling me. Maybe I was just naive, but this surprised me.
So I got the rosy idea that I could just expand the “conversation” to include everyone who reads this thing. Then I realized that, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the time, I’m jerk to people in my comments thread! Man, what am I thinking? That’s no way to foster conversation. And it isn’t very reassuring that I see other people doing this too.
Is it that big a deal that I’m not having this “conversation” in person? Neurologically, yes, pretty much, that’s probably the problem. In typing and reading type, I’m depriving my brain of about 99% of the information it usually gets in a conversation of the normal, corporeal type. So its a quick jump to start treating people like they’re not people. And it is easy to see how I’d keep doing it, even though I know I should be careful about it.
So, I continue thinking about this issue, and thinking about what I’m going to do with this blog. I think, at the very least, I will continue to use it as a forum for embarrassing myself. I see it as part of my growth as a person, to advertise what I get wrong as much as what I think I get right. But more on that later.