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Seven Reason Smackdown-Part 5

I’ve never tried this “posting first thing in the morning” before.  Usually it’s one of those things I do at the end of the day before retiring.  For some bizarre reason I feel more sagely late at night, plus it gives me a means to vent all the anger I’ve built up over the day.  But with the cable out, I don’t get to watch all the early morning shows that I’m too embarrassed to add to the DVR, (ie, Spongebob and It’s Me or the Dog,) so I guess I’ll see if I can be sagely and angry early in the morning, too.

#5. We don’t get criticized enough.

The author argues that thanks to the sterility of internet communication,  as argued previously, we aren’t having those necessary conversations in which someone tells you a truth that you didn’t feel comfortable knowing.  Those “Those horrible, awkward, wrenchingly uncomfortable sessions that you can only have with someone who sees right to the center of you.”  Or with anyone your freshman year of college.

I have two main issues with this.  First off, I believe that because the internet is so impersonal, it actually gives you more freedom to speak your mind freely without fear of consequence.  When you’re with your friends, even the closest ones, it’s pretty hard to turn to them and say, “You know, you’re making some really bad decisions in your life right now, and that’s why everyone’s been kind-of avoiding you.”  By doing so, you have to be ready to take on their immediate and emotional responses, which generally involve a lot of denial and justification, depending on how uncomfortable the truth is.  And no matter how true the truth is or how many other people agree with you, you have to be ready to be the bad guy, and possibly a terrible person.  So unless you’re sitting in your car in their driveway at the end of the evening (a good place for heart to hearts,) you’ve got a very long evening ahead of you.

But with instant messaging, you can speak your mind without worrying about any of that; if it’s starting to get too uncomfortable you can pick your words more delicately, sign off and tell them that your internet went down, or even claim that it was just your little brother being an asshole and pretending to be you!  If you don’t have to deal with the consiquences of your words, why wouldn’t you tell your friends exactly how much you hate her boyfriend?  That’s what the internet is for!

The author is also assuming that our friends are only coming in the form of the internet; that the only time we speak to the people we’re close to is when we’re texting or aiming them.  I find this to be a very narrow view of the world; while we as a generation do use the internet as a frequent means of communication, it is merely a supplement to our already existent friendships.  Look at your buddy list, or your facebook friends, for that matter.  How many of them are people that you didn’t know previous to your virtual relationship?  I’ll bet that most of us will find none.  We use these tools to reach friends when we are far away or grounded, but that’s not to say that we don’t get to have those heart-to-hearts every now and then as well.  Even those of us that do have friends that we only access on the ‘net would probably find that these are not the types of friends that we’d be having deep conversations with anyway; think of them as your buddy at work with whom you’ll discuss Real Housewives for hours, but you probably wouldn’t spill your heart out to about a recent breakup.  And that’s fine.  Fun, meaningless relationships have their place too, and there’s no better place to find those relationships than the internet.

Especially if you have a blog.  No more a fun and meaningless relationship did ever exist.

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