And Now, For A Completely Hypocritical Moment…
I’m going to whine.
I haven’t quite figured out what it is about being online that causes people to increase their whining exponentially, but it’s really getting on my nerves. It’s almost as if the simple act of being online is blanket permission to inflict every imagined slight on the rest of the world.
At first, I noticed the tendency towards the “oh my life sucks” attitude on message boards. Venting can be a good thing, and putting it in writing—and getting feedback from virtual strangers—can be quite cathartic. Yet as time went by, the negative life-sucks notes were beginning to far outweigh the positive or even neutral postings.
Lately, I’ve noticed it most predominantly in email. I get a lot of email, most from friends, some from family, a trickle from people who have read either of my blogs and have questions, once in a while from someone who read one of my books, and sometimes from people who have noticed a post I made on a newsgroup, and want to email me rather than talk to me on a public message board.
Overwhemingly, the notes are prosaic pity fests:
“So-and-so just won’t listen to me. I try to tell him/her/it how to fix their problems, but he/she/it won’t do it.”
“You won’t believe it. [insert name] just sits there all day and won’t do anything. Well I think he/she/it needs to get up and find a hobby/date/job/whatever.”
“I hate people. People refuse to do things my way, so they’re wrong.”
“My life is awful. I don’t have friends. I don’t go out much. People don’t ‘get’ me. If they won’t even try, then what’s the point? Other People will never know what it’s like to be me.”
“Oh, I am in so much pain. I can’t move. I can’t blink. My doctor won’t give me narcotics. My spouse won’t listen to my complaints about how much pain I’m in. So what if it’s all I talk about? Oh, and I can’t exercise. Not at all. My doctor said that would be the worst thing I could do. Oh, and I can’t believe how much weight I’ve gained. I don’t eat much. I only drink 12 cans of sugar laden sodas every day. And a box of Ding Dongs.”
It’s gotten to the point where I dread getting my email everyday. I rarely answer email, because doing so only seems to invite further complaining and moaning. I don’t understand the need to dump all that crap onto someone’s e-lap. These are people who, in person, wouldn’t dream of spouting off so much negativity. Give them a keyboard and an active internet account, and they literally have nothing nice to say about anyone other than themselves.
It’s the same on a couple of the message boards I frequent. 90% self indulgent woe-me to the other 10% of reasonable normalcy.
It’s fatiguing. It really is.
And I suspect the people complaining the most are the people who have it the best.
Just call it a hunch.
So yes, this is one long whine about people whining. It may also be a reason why, if you’ve emailed me recently, you haven’t gotten a reply.
Think about it.