On Being Wrong

 Posted by at 8:00 am  Gamer Life  Add comments
Dec 072015

On Being Wrong

A weird thing happened to me the other day. Except that is not correct, it did not “happen”, I did it. It would be more accurate to say that I did a weird thing the other day. Not a good thing either.

I am involved in many different online mediums. I write here, I write in other places, I converse on a variety of forums, I email, I facebook, I participate in the occasional podcast, I tweet, and I chat.

Nothing unusual in any of that. Lots of people do these things.

I am pretty true to myself in all of the various forums. I probably gloss over unpleasant minutia, and I imagine that I emphasize those things that I feel better about over those that make me feel worse. About others and especially about myself. But it is not conscious.

That may be less usual; so many people cultivate an online persona, designing and projecting a personal brand, but I do not. I try to just be me, in each of the various places where I exist. Hopefully a funnier, slightly more clever me; I don’t project a brand but I do edit myself for quality.

Slightly. Oh so slightly. Mostly, what you see is what I am.

Probably this is all a delusion and I am just as shallow in my online life as anyone else. My facebook page has pictures of me doing interesting things; there are no pictures of me getting up in the morning. Or taking the trash to the dump. Or procrastinating and deciding that the trash can go to the dump tomorrow (or perhaps tomorrow-ish).

But I digress. This is not about me in general, so much as it is about me last week. There I was, chatting away, talking (well, not talking, it was a chat room, but communicating nonetheless) with people whom I don’t know but that I do respect.

Somehow, a topic I introduced turned into a strangely angry rant. I didn’t even realize, until the other party began apologizing for “setting me off”.

What? I was set off? What did I say? As I re-read what I had typed in the previous few minutes, I saw that indeed, I had been quite strident. And in fact, now that I thought about it, I felt that stridency. I felt annoyed and put out. Why? We were discussing something fun. Why did it suddenly get out of hand?

Or to put it more accurately, why did I suddenly get out of hand? Why were my emotions still emoting so busily and unpleasantly? And why wasn’t I aware of it until someone pointed it out to me?

Is this why the internet is so full of angry rants? Total lack of self-awareness?

The fact is, the topic I was arguing is meaningless. An aspect of a game that I play because I like the game. Nothing related to my discussion was going to change that in any way.

Normally I know that, and act accordingly. There have been other times when I said something on the internet that I later regretted. But those times were different – I thought about what I was going to say and made a decision. A poor one, perhaps, in hindsight, but still a decision.

This wasn’t like that at all. No decision, not even any awareness.

Maybe I need to stay out of chat rooms?


Apologies to those who came here for silly DDO-related tripe and inanity and instead found poorly-written introspection. It just seemed like something worth discussing.

Has it happened to you? Or something like it?

Regardless, more inanity tomorrow. I swear. Pinkie swear.

🙂 😀 🙂

p.s. what is the emoji for pinkie-swearing?

  7 Responses to “On Being Wrong”

Comments (7)
  1. I have learned from Darth to to be more straight forward in my opinions. I know this is not the way to go about it in many situations.. but I have found myself talking to people who don’t know me that well in the same way, and it tends to be perceived as passive aggression. This is not usually my intention, I just get tired of treating others like porcelain dolls sometimes… and come off more harsh than I intended. Add a bit of shitty humour to that.. and I end up being misunderstood a lot. Safe to say I got tired of arguing on forums.

    This is only in writing on forums, though. In game I haven’t really noticed anyone getting angry with my way of talking to them. Except one guy… who in one of my raids told me he was getting tired of my attitude and pushing ppl around. So I responded with “listen up, asshole… you are free to leave if you don’t like the way I run things”.

  2. Sounds as if someone got caught up in epic TR cycle and it bled over into RL.

  3. Welcome to the human race… 🙂 I’m right there with you — probably even more so. I appreciate you Geoff.

  4. On the topic of “stridency” and your ability to go back and recognize it later; as humans we rely on the facial cues and body postures of those around us to better gauge the “temperature of the discussion”. Obviously when on-line, this needed mechanism is either missing or strongly filtered. In a real life discussion, I’m sure that the slight pull-back and widening of the eyes in your poor victim would have had you both smirking and looking to soften the mood immediately. Your ability to look back and recognize what you did and to then write about it here convinces me of that.

    Chat is made all the more dangerous by the sad fact that so many people have never learned to recognize, care or step back and consider the mistakes they may have made or are making. Soon easy to blame the other idiot. 😉

    The personality types that do not have the ability to cue off the emotions of others, well; topic for another day.

    Which reminds me, need to meet you in-game some time at your discretion. Want to give you a heads-up on an idea or two of mine that might need your approval. Besides, we’ve never actually taken the time to have a fireside chat… Hehe.

  5. Speaking as a guy who has a habit of starting to make a post then finding I’ve written an essay, complete with all three points, I fully understand where you’re coming from.

  6. Your post brings to mind a conept i picked up somewhere and that I now summarize as “Life is a BETA” In keepin with that you should accept the inevitable bugs in your own performance, apologize, correct, move on quickly. Rinse. Repeat. This post does that quite nicely. Thanks for reminding me that Turbine is not the only outfit with the need to fix bugs. I need to do the same. The perfectionist in me doesn’t like that, but it is what it is and i yam what iyam.

  7. I do my best to try to be as even keeled as I can when I post things on line, whether it is in the forums, blogging, facebook, or whatever but it is hard to maintain that level when you are engaged with something you are passionate about. Not to mention, that a written medium is sometimes just hard to portray emotions and attitudes. Even if you write something that might be contrite, it is very reasonable that when spoken out loud that the “contrite” tone wouldn’t be present. Don’t be too hard on yourself!! It is what it is.

What do you think?

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