Friday, March 19, 2010

I got Gevlon worried

I must admit that I always thought that Gevlon, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, had no heart. When last year I pulled the stunt of claiming to be somebody else (to make a point about identity on the internet), I choose Gevlon for the simple reason that he was the least likely to get upset about somebody stealing his identity. I thought Gevlon was intelligent, but was completely lacking what is called "Emotional Intelligence". I thought he simply doesn't understand people, what makes them tick, and is thus stuck in an endless rant about why the emotional things people do aren't rational. So it was touching to read Gevlon blogging that he is worried about me. Gee, thanks Gevlon, that is awfully nice of you! I didn't realize you cared so much!

But don't worry, Gevlon, you and the other people worrying about me are just operating under a completely false premise. You think that a "normal" blogger does not show any emotions, and that showing any emotions is a sign of the blogger being close to emotional breakdown. I assume that train of thought is a projection of what you'd expect from a professional publication; if an editor of the Wall Street Journal started going all emotional on the front page, people would justifiably be worried, and the editor out of a job.

But a blog is not the Wall Street Journal. A blog is closer to let's say Twitter, where somebody writing "Dammit, my cornflakes were soggy this morning" is a completely normal (and boring) outbreak of emotion. Me posting "Dammit, somebody called me an asshole on his blog" is equally normal, and I'd even say equally boring, although some other blogs apparently operate like tabloids and like to report on which blogger said what about which other blogger.

I'd contest your idea that words can't hurt anyone. If that was the case, why can you sue somebody for emotional damage, or harassment, even if that was only done by words? If the law considers that people can be hurt by words, enough to award them compensation, the hurt must be real enough.

But how much somebody is hurt by words varies a lot from person to person. And so does his reaction to those hurt feelings. Some people are easily hurt, but bottle all that emotional damage up until they explode. Me, being called names annoys me a bit, comparably in annoyance to those soggy cornflakes, or the guy who took the last coffee from the office coffee machine without brewing a new pot. Only I am unusually chatty, as over 3,000 blog posts should be ample proof of, and so I'm likely to post about such minor annoyances. Other people, when finding that you can't change the country field on your Playstation Network registration just grumble a bit into their beard, me I write a full page of rant about it. That doesn't mean that minor annoyances hurt me more than anyone else, it only means that I'm posting every little thought that goes through my head. And I'd even claim that in the end I am *more* mentally stable than somebody who eats up all those little annoyances, because by airing mine, I deal with them, and then can forget them without losing any sleep.

So, Gevlon, thank you again for being so worried about me, but it is really not necessary. I'm fine. The only thing I'm suffering from is verbosity. ;)

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