Saturday, June 22, 2013

In Defense of Personal Exploitation

It has been drawn to my attention that some people are uncomfortable with my frankness and openness on internet forum(s).  I "complain too much," or am "too mad." I must "have nothing better to do." Why do I disclose actual bank account sums, actual mental or physical states of being, divisive political opinion, anti-religious sentiment or otherwise apparently socially-compromising statement in public? Furthermore, what business do I, as myself, have to be so fearlessly blatant in words on a virtual page, but frequently utterly silent in person?

                            "You judge me by yourself. You can only take, you can't give."*

For starters, I speak as though among friends and go along with the grand (yet knowingly false) assumption that all those who read are friends, allies, or at least, admirers.  I don't care if someone doesn't like it, I am just "speaking" as I do to my very closest friends and have no reason to fear ill will or opinion. If Facebook is not a means to instantly communicate among friends, then what is it? (And do, pray tell, inform me where the Victorian Internet Etiquette rulebook lies, wherein taboo and denial are the true test of social character?)

Also, I like my friends. I like it when they post pictures or interesting or funny or sad posts...it's news headlines of your friends' lives, for crying out fucking loud. It's not meant to replace world and political news, it's meant to update you on whatever they want to share. Sharing. I want to laugh, to cheer, to cry, and to be somewhat with you (because we did hang out and were friends at least at one point, right?!).  So I'm going to tell you how I feel, I'm going to say something stupid, I am going to say something embarrassing and am going to do something that I can thankfully delete. And I guess the point is: if you're really a friend, then you'll understand.

                             "'That's megalomania. The man is stark raving mad!' I know, little man, you're very    quick to diagnose madness when a truth doesn't suit you. You regard yourself as "normal"! You've locked up the lunatics and the world is run by you normal people."*

So I suppose, in a way, it is also a sort of litmus test of real-world friendship, especially if you are virtually friends with people that you are in real-world friends with and not just every acquaintance you meet or come across. (And for crying out loud, this is not a fucking criticism of those who have 1500 friends nor those who use it for other purposes or just don't want to share, blahblah...)

Did you have an awesome vacation? Did your car just break down? Is your mom in the hospital still? Holy crap, that was a crazy party. Dude, you say some weird, funny shit. OMG, your kid is so big! OMG, I am so sorry...

I make my posts real and raw because that what it's like to have a pulse in a brief mortal flash of existence. I embrace the flaws in myself and my friends and loved ones, fights, forgiveness, humiliating pictures and all. I am not going to say that" I don't have any money" because I want money or pity. I say it simply because, uh, I don't have any money and have to play the always-complicated budget tetris - which tends to take a bit of pleasure away from my otherwise Epicurean-enjoyment of life itself.

I think most of us aim for an overall positive web-interaction with others and are capable of overlooking or working past any squabbles or spats that pop up. And if you find yourself continually judging or pitying or hating upon someone, just delete them, you are not a friend and that is okay.  And if I share something too detailed for you, but you still want to be my friend, well, don't look.

So, please, my friends, post and write freely. A healthy society and community is one that can communicate openly and freely.  Besides, it's time to face the inevitable and get used to knowing everything about everyone - least of all your friends and family.

*Quotes from Listen, Little Man! by Wilhelm Reich