All things come to a beginning

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Word of mouth

"I hate you new guy who sits next to me" ( is only one example. "Vent" ( is the mothership. Clearly, blogs are often used to rant and rave - typing from the top of your lungs.

Telling a friend or, god forbid, a colleague, about something or someone that's pissing you off, is muy risky. Sure, it feels good to get things off your chest, to get the edge off, to put into words and curses what has been occupying your mind. But this "steam of consciousness", if you will, is bound to fall into the wrong hands eventually. And, with some luck, what you whispered to one other person in confidence has by then been twisted and added onto. While all you said was "You know, he gets on my nerves sometimes", that can easily morph into "Sofie hates his guts, always has", all the way up to "I hear he found a bloody knife in his pigeon hole - no points for guessing who placed it there...".
In that sense, sending your frustration out into cyberspace seems much safer. But is it? Everyone knows the stories about people being fired after their superiors found their blogs & read all about themselves being shred into a million little pieces.

The only way to be absolutely certain is by being absolutely private. But I know that for me, that's never going to happen. I can sit up and say "Okay, from this moment onward, I won't say anything about anyone that could possibly be used against me", but I generally last, oh, fifteen minutes. Unless I'm home alone all day. In that case I can hang in there for at least two hours before I'm caught grilling the fridge for the latest juicy gossip. I can't help it, stuff comes out. And I'm worried one day it's going to get me into big trouble. But you know how it is, it can be such a relief to vent. And when someone tells you something negative about somebody else, you're not going to snitch. You'll either try & change the topic, or just kinda go with it. Which, technically, makes you a hypocrite. And before you know it, you're caught up in a situation where you have incriminating info on pretty much everyone and at the same time, you know you've said things at a certain time (very late or very early) and in a certain context (drunk/angry/stressed/overcaffeinated) that you'd rather other people didn't find out about. And you know that if you overheard other people talk about you, you'd probably walk away with a seriously damaged ego, a severely reduced faith in mankind and a very heavy heart.

Another way, I guess, to avoid drama would be to always be upfront with everyone and demand the same of the people around you. But can you actually do that? How often do we really mean what we say? What does it even mean to "mean" what you say? Doesn't that always only apply for that particular moment in time? Can you get angry at someone, or be hurt by something that was said ages ago? Is it possible to always be politically correct, to avoid saying anything that's even slightly incriminating without turning into Susie-No-Opinion?


Blogger al said...

I always figure that people can understand venting: I mean, we all do it.

However, we could probably all stand to be a little nicer.

Or, buy a punching bag to work out some agression.

12:52 AM  

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