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?