Sunday, February 21, 2016

THE ANGST OF COMMENTING

Is it just me, or is everybody who sometimes comments in blogs or other social media prone to angst-attacks, either before, during or after the act? If you are subject to this syndrome (which did not exist before the internet) I'd be interested to hear your variations on the theme.

Instead of expounding on my own foibles, faux pas, fears, fallacies etc. in this department I've enacted some of them in order to entertain you. This too is a form of egocentricity.


25 comments:

FigMince said...

For what it's worth, I'm still trying to work out what the problem was with your bidet comment. Weird.

And yes, as someone who has forbidden his ego to comment anywhere, I'll probably wish I hadn't posted this.

Rain Trueax said...

Yes, when I comment, especially when I know it will be against the grain of the others there, I do feel all of that.

Lucy said...

I love these!


(And I'm with Figmince on the bidet matter.)

Tom said...

Oh this did make me giggle, almost as if I had been found out! More often than not, I tend to say, "I shouldn't have said that," about my posts rather than comments. That isn't to say I am always satisfied with my comments. My major difficulty with commenting is that I often do not feel I have anything to say, not something worthwhile that is. And I tend to the doctrine that if one has nothing to say, don't say it!

I don't really enjoy it when someone "totally disagrees with me." On the other hand, it is sometimes the best way to take a fresh look, and learn. Not only that, to say or imply that one will not accept negative responses (like I'm going to close the comments box - so there!) is very controlling. If one doesn't want comment, don't post!

Saying, whether in a post or a comment, that I am going to say something funny tends to make one a hostage to fortune. (Oh, so you think that's funny, uh!) Much better to put up a post like this current one, and let us see the funny side.

Leah Hewittsmith said...

Oh, I love this!! Food for thought that sent me off on a merry-go-round of ideas. I dont usually post but i found u again (read ur bio a number of years ago and thought it remarkable) on a fluke...and saw you were in a dance with psyche...and nothing draws me in like psyche...not thinking I'd find Cupid, rather knowing he had already been here. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick: A light house of ideas and imagination. As far as anxiety...I probably shouldnt post this but i am because you made me laugh in the fun house of mirrors.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Figmince, bidet-gate has me puzzled too but c'est la vie. Glad you've commented here, please don't regret it. Why should you forbid your ego? Release the innocent creature and let it/you come back any time.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, "against the grain" is the problem in all human interactions, isn't it? If I'm working with wood, it's easy to see which way the grain lies. Much harder to detect in a human being and infinitely harder when peering through the seven (or many more) veils of cyber space.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy, I can't imagine you getting angsty over comments. You would be my role-model in the art and etiquette of commenting or replying to comments. C'est pas facile du tout but you've cracked it.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, not having something 'worthwhile' to say is often the reason I don't say anything but who can define what is 'worthwhile'? Aren't we all happy even if someone simply signals that they're here and have read us? Feeling I must say something original every time I start typing a comment creates a sense of duty which turns the whole thing into a burden, best avoided. Like being in school, taking an exam.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the angst must go. Off with the angst. We're in a cyber cafe, having friendly conversations, sometimes quite deep, sometimes just fooling around. As long as we don't start shouting or smashing plates, anything goes.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Leah, of course you should have commented here! I'm sincerely thrilled that you've found me again via some psychic lost-and-found bureau hidden behind a hall of mirrors. Don't disappear! Do you have a blog or some other internet nest?

Catalyst said...

I love your acting ability, Natalie.

marja-leena said...

Love your faces and comments, Natalie! But oh dear me, all that applies to me, and might I add: so and so already said it for me! I find it hard to be original sometimes. :-)

FigMince said...

Ah, Natalie, one of the considerable number of comments I've regretted posting was on your blog some years ago when, learning French in an attempt to stave off senility, I presumptuously questioned your use, in a French passage, of a certain adjective before a noun rather than after it (I think I remember that it was a colour). You responded by pointing out that Parisians can do what they damned-well like with their own language (or sentiments to that effect), and I was suitably chagrinned.

On other occasions on other blogs, I've sometimes unconsciously shaped the 'personality' of my comments, Zelig-like, to the (perceived-by-me) expectations of those with whom I was interacting. My ego may have thought it worked, but afterwards I'd feel that I'd compromised myself just a little. I'd find that I didn't much like the person who'd said what I'd said. C'est compliqué, non?

Apropos of the original post, I'm inclined to think of commenting on blogs as similar to a conversation between two people in a crowded lift. If I knew you well at a personal level, I'd think nothing of being open and frank – and the real me – with you, prepared to have you judge me based on our interconnection. But being aware that others would be privy to what I might say, my ego might try to shape my utterances to present itself the way it wants to be thought of – which would be not only a betrayal of my own self (and our relationship), but ridiculously pointless given that I would probably never see those other lift passengers again in my life.

And yet here I am, about to press 'Publish Your Comment'...

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bruce, I can only do it when it's just me and the computer screen. I do not aspire to the stage.

Marja-Leena,it applies to us all, doesn't it? Why the obligation to 'be original'? We are original in any case, there are no duplicates of us anywhere. So why should we have to prove it? Our DNA proves it!

FigMince, my heartfelt retrospective apologies. I didn't realise I had clumsily trod on your ego, or rather, your French-studying self. Je suis désolée, vraiment. We are not in a lift but in a vast cyber ocean, waving, not drowning (I hope). Please don't shape your utterances when inclined to utter. It's an awful cliché but I'm going to say it anyway: be yourself. Thank you.

FigMince said...

See, Natalie, this is what I meant about commenting becoming complex. Your response to my original 'French' comment didn't 'tread on my ego' (au contraire, I actually learned something). My embarrassment was that I'd been so gauche as to question a native French speaker's grasp of her own language. I still cringe about it, but only in regard to my own inexcusable presumption. I'm going to be myself and get out of the ocean for now. Merci for this interaction.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

The thing about cringing with embarassment about something we've said or done is that, in reality, our faux pas are rarely even noticed by anyone or, if registered, are immediately forgotten. Of course there could be some exceptionally enormous foot-in-mouth gaffes but I don't think these are very common - at least I've never come across or been guilty of any of that kind (H'm...I may have to search my memory). Anyway, please don't cringe about what was not a faux pas at all but a perfectly sensible question. Only a French pedant could possibly have taken umbrage about it and pedantry ain't one of my faults.

Hattie said...

Writing is always embarrassing if it means anything.

Davoh said...

AHA! I must be a prehistoric commenter. Can only figure out how to write comments on 'blogger' Um, learnt how to do that before the Gurgle amoeba swallowed the original platform. am, apparently, too old to change (but mostly can't be bothered).

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hi Davoh, prehistoric comments are written in stone so I guess they'll last longer, unlike Gurgle who will probably vanish along with the rest of us internetters. I don't think it's got an amoeba's
staying power.

Davoh said...

(um, probably. Am simply responding that the "WTF" joke was deliberate).

Yawns.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hey Davoh, I got that you were being deliberate. I was being deliberate too. WTF, you're hard to please!

Davoh said...

Yep.

Davoh said...

Natalie, am 71 years on this planet - the older i become - the less i know. Struggling to comprehend the value of silicon chip 'internet'.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Well, I'm somewhat longer (not saying how long!) than you on this planet, Davoh, and I took to the internet and computer stuff like the proverbial duck about 15 years ago. I'm a geek at heart and actually like the technical stuff and read instruction manuals for fun. Never mind the silicon chips, just enjoy playing with the software.

Davoh said...

natalie - sm not here to 'argue' about very much (and there is no possible physical way to "smash any plates" in an ephemeral 'comment' box.
Do, however, seem to have 'opinions' arising from experience in my own history. Quite often arising from a wry (Aussie) humour. Do not always remember the write the [grins], bit.