It’s one of “those” days where a variety of things have apparently conspired to annoy me and I was going to express a few opinions. Please keep in mind that I don’t claim to be free of fault. I’m aiming for perfection, I just haven’t quite achieved it yet. :)
As a counterpoint to the planned verbiage I took some photos on Crommhold↑ and its sister isle this morning. I’ve only given you one slurl but you’ll find the transporter to the other region on the first one. They let you know when you arrive that “humans are welcome” (which is always nice) but do ask you to dress appropriately for a fantasy/medieval location as you explore.
When I started to write what I’m thinking/feeling I realized that it was going to take a lot of words to try and make it coherent. I decided not to pollute your screen.
What I will do is give you some of my “rules” for operating in the blogosphere, yours may be different. These are the ones I try to keep in mind and they’re often based on what has offended me about the behaviour of others or mortified me about errors I had committed. Therein lies my first rule; If something pisses you off try not to emulate it.
Blogging is most often a form of thinking out loud. You hear your thoughts as you type/read them and it’s easy to start believing the infallibility of that voice in your head. Readers are going to disagree with you. This leads to Rule #2; If you can’t take the criticism then keep your thoughts (and your blog) private.
Some individuals can’t seem to argue ideas, they have to voice their disagreement in personal terms. Another aspect of this is the person who is so convinced the voice in their head is “right” that they condemn the blogger to a version of “hell” if they don’t fall into line. It reminds me of the people who come to the door to talk about their bible and explain that if you don’t adhere to their thinking you will be punished for eternity (e.g., if I didn’t leave SL my concept of reality would shrink to the size of a small rectangle). Rule #3 is for commenters and is designed to help them focus on the thought that is expressed not the thinker; “Don’t use the word “you” unless you’re giving a compliment.”
I have a fondness for and a tendency to use satire and sarcasm to make a point. The problem with words in print of course is that the tone of voice is often lost – hence the prevalence of smilies in chat. One hard lesson for me was that cultural references make it very difficult for some readers to recognize that I’m joking and I have tried to make my feeble attempts at humour less opaque.
Some readers take everything they see literally. I have commenters who enjoy and employ hyperbolic metaphor (something I appreciate a lot). Other literal minded individuals will respond to those comments assuming the person was serious. I don’t remove comments unless they involve a personal attack on somebody (see Rule#3) and I rarely defend commenters from others because I don’t think they need it. However, if somebody is constantly outraged by the words they read I wish they would remember Rule #4; If you can’t recognize hyperbole or parody at least consider the possiblity that they exist before you comment.
One last thought for today. The fact that technology lets us think out loud and share those thoughts with anybody who finds them does not somehow mean that what we say is true or important. I hope if we state “facts” that we do research to ensure accuracy but our opinions are just that and, even though they are loud in our heads, our voices are very small in the great metaverse. Rule #5; Don’t take yourself seriously. We’re bloggers not gurus.