Tag Archives: kindness

Thoughts From an Introvert on the Internet

In a very real sense, the writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself. – Alfred Kazin

It’s a funny thing, publishing a blog post.

Writing is (most of the time) a fairly solitary, introspective act. For many people, it’s a way of processing and developing a deeper understanding of events, ideas, and imaginings. It can be a way of traveling through your own psyche — for me, I often start off writing about one thing and find in the end that what I truly wanted to articulate was something else entirely. When writing, I rarely feel like I’m in complete control, but I almost always feel a sense of freedom.

Some days, I’ll wind up with a jumble of words that I think might be worth sharing with other people and I’ll muster up the courage to press the little blue “Publish” button on the screen. A blog is a fairly selfish endeavor, really. What I share here are my personal opinions and musings based on my own experiences and accumulated knowledge. When I decide to share something, I do so with a sense of hope that it may connect with someone else when I send it out (otherwise I’d never press “Publish”). I don’t write for you, to be honest, but for a general idea of you. I write down the things that I most wish to say, from a place of passion and enthusiasm, but don’t necessarily have an everyday forum for.

The thing about putting your ideas out on the Internet is that they’re Out On the Internet. Anyone with any sense knows that this is the most dangerously vulnerable place to leave your ideas. There they sit, trembling, sacrificial lambs before the slaughter. They’re there to be mocked, contradicted, and misinterpreted. Anyway, that’s how it sometimes feels.

In my Real Life, apart from this oft-neglected blog, I’m an introverted person. I am a person of Opinions, as I may seem here, but it’s not often that I’ll be the loudest voice in the room. I’m good at listening and I have developed professional observation skills. Sometimes when I’m done listening and observing, I’ll think, “I have to write about this.”

What I want you to know is that what I write here is the honest expression of a genuine person.

The funny thing about publishing a blog post is that it takes this personal collection of words and makes them available for instant feedback. I think that’s kind of fantastic (if terrifying). It’s one of the things I love most about the Internet: the easy access to all kinds of ideas and information from other people and the ability to make an authentic connection with them based on shared interest. It’s this desire for genuine connection that compels me to write in this space and that makes me clamor for your feedback. It gives me a thrill each time I receive notice of a comment! I appreciate the comments that give me pause and make me think.

There are some topics that you would think (or, I guess, I would think) are not subject to controversy. The Internet has proven, time and again, that this is a patently false belief.

The Internet, you may know, is home to people who wish to anonymously express opinions that may or may not be truly, deeply genuine but are, either way, designed to raise someone’s blood pressure. Some comments read like a slap to the face. I’m not new to the Internet, so while I may not empathize with the intent, I at least recognize it. Each comment posted to this blog is set for “moderation,” which means that I’m asked to approve or reject each one. I read each one. (And the introvert in me internalizes each one.) I click “approve” on 99.9% of comments. The other fraction are lost to the ether and echo only in my mind.

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