How to deal with netshame?

Tuija asks (in Finnish) how to deal with the occasional shame that comes with an extended net presence. I stopped thinking that a long time ago. It's not my job to sell the internet to anyone anymore, and I don't have to justify my presence on the 'net to anyone. The internet just is, and me a part of it. And in the end, I am a rather insignificant part, so why should I care? It's not as if thousands of people are anticipating breathlessly my every word and would throw themselves off the cliff at a mere hint. If anything, people are reading this to pick apart any mistake I make - which is actually pretty cool, when you think about it. Keeps you honest, your readers.

All I can say is that it becomes easier over time. And whatever happens, I found my love thanks to the dumb ideas I got online. So maybe dumb ideas and shame are just a vehicle to something better? I mean, if you can't escape your local comfort zone, you can never achieve all you can do.

In other news: getting peer recognition feels wonderful. NFC Forum surprised me by remembering me on Thursday for the work I've so far done, and gave me a very nice bottle of wine[1]. My only regret is that I gave a very bad speech, but that's what happens when I'm surprised. I can now report that the wine was rather excellent with a well-marmored steak. It even held very nicely together with the best ice-cream available in Finland, Valio's Aino blueberry-pie flavor. Yup, beats Ben&Jerry's. Anyway, thanks heaps to everyone. And yes, I am writing this after emptying that particular bottle. So please excuse any incoherence.

[#1] I've authored three of the four specs published so far. But that's only because my specs were the easy ones. The really difficult ones are coming later, and I've got nothing to do with them...



Comments

I find it far more curious that world seems to expect that I have to explain all my behaviour to someone simply because it differs from the mainstream. I like video games, anime, internet manga, comics, books, fantasy, sci-fi, martial arts and lifting weights. If someone has a problem with that, though, but world is a bad place.

I just am not a mainstream person. I don't like soap opears, stuffing my face with McDonalds, cars, or drinking beer until my belly is so big I cannot get through doors. Almost everyone else is like that, and I leave them alone in their hobbies, and expect them to extend same courtesy to me.

--Dragon, 17-Sep-2006


I guess it's much the same thing. But why should you explain?

--JanneJalkanen, 17-Sep-2006


Exactly. That's the problem, so many people feel that it is their business the point out the error of your ways because you like something they don't find exciting, and have a need to tell you to be ashamed. I hate the "holier-than-thou" attitude to begin with, and acting superior when your own obession with some mind-numbing shopping channel or sports team is far greater than mine is epitome of hypocrisy.

I don't explain myself any more, I usually just crack my knuckles. Most get the message.

--Dragon, 17-Sep-2006


That seems like a Finnish thing, but I don't get it at all. In Ireland, it seems it's those who *don't* have any web presence who may feel occasional shame - and I don't get that, either. I think if you feel shame for something you do or don't do, then change it (unless you get your kicks from shame) :o

  • goes to make some funny faces..*

--Stello, 17-Sep-2006


Dragon, what I'm wondering is, how is it possible to make having a web presence mainstream. Only when mainstream folks feel comfortable on the web will the real benefits start accumulating, in my opinion. Until then, it's just us freaks, if you'll forgive me for over-simplifying the matter.

Stello, it's probably not just a finnish thing, I've been told by danish friends, for example, that standing out from the crowd is not rewarded socially. Then again, maybe that's what you're saying: only in Ireland the crowd's online, and those not online are the freaks?

Certainly in South Korea they are. Is it true that they sign into Cyworld with their social security numbers?

--Tuija, 17-Sep-2006


The Aussies have something similar, too. They call it the Tall Poppy Syndrome, and it leads to a lot of false humility.

If you keep comparing yourself to the mainstream, you will always be a freak. Nobody is mainstream, once you look hard enough: say, if you practice African dancing - how many people do that in Finland? Less than a thousand? Out of five million? Would you call that freakish? Maybe. Depends on your viewpoint.

But you cannot please everyone. Look, I've tried. Doesn't work. Trust me on this.

In the end, the only thing that you can do is be true to yourself. Anything else will just make you bitter.

--JanneJalkanen, 17-Sep-2006


I'd say having at least some kind of online presence is pretty mainstream these days - OK, depends on who you compare yourself to ^ :-)

--AnonymousCoward, 19-Sep-2006


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