“Technology makes it easy to blur the line between confession and apology, easy to lose sight of what an apology is, not only because online spaces offer themselves as ‘cheap’ alternatives to confronting other people but because we may come to the challenge of an apology already feeling disconnected from other people. In that state, we forget that what we do affects others.”
But of course that’s what we want. To feel safe from others. To feel like our actions don’t have consequences. The further distant they feel, the better off we are. Drop and run.
“If you share something intimate with a stranger, you invest in that person’s opinion. Anonymity does not protect us from emotional investment. In talking about online confessions, people say they are satisfied if they get their feelings out, but they still imagine an ideal narrative: they are telling their stories to people who care. Some online confessions reach sympathetic ears, but the ideal narrative is just that, an ideal.”
Do you not respond because you didn’t see, or do you not respond because you don’t care? Do you not respond because you don’t know how?
“We build technologies that leave us vulnerable in new ways. In this case, we share our burdens with unseen readers who may use us for their own purposes. Are those who respond standing with us, or are they are our judges, ‘grading’ each confession before moving on to the next? With some exceptions, when we make ourselves vulnerable, we expect to be nurtured. This is why people will sometimes, often prematurely, tell their ‘sad stories’ to others they hardly know. They hope to be repaid in intimacy.”
“Venting feelings comes to feel like sharing them.”
“The internet is a place to simplify and heighten experience.”
Don’t we need physical presence to exert a modulating force. Don’t we need presence to make life worth living? Doesn’t social media only prove to us that we are just as shallow and just as self-concerned as every other person in the world? If so, why is it so hard to relate to one another? Because we crave the big Me? The big Self? The capital Truth?
Let me ask the stupid questions because I have to let myself be little. It is all this big self that creates all of our problems. I know it’s stupid, but I love you. Am I venting or am I sharing? Am I simplifying or am I heightening? Am I dropping and running or am I modulating?