Oh, How Awful to be Young

Posted on November 17, 2013 by richardgoulter
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It seems everyone always laments “Back in the day, when men were men..”, as everyone always has. (The trick is things never were?).
And I’d hate to sound like I’m saying that.
And as a young person myself, I can’t exactly say it’s awful to be young.
So the title is rather more dramatic than my point.

I see, though, politics.
And what has been a love-hate-fear fascination for me, arguments.
I see that it’s much harder to engage in an argument online with someone you know in person than with some online internet construct.

– If you’re into your Myers-Briggs, then I guess for the INTJ’s this isn’t much of a problem. But whatever.

The politics in the above, then, is the will of expression meeting the will of socialising.
’cause, like. I really want to express my opinion and my viewpoint, but I really also want to keep my friendships and relationships which I value.
And in argument, these two conflict.

What I see with Facebook, I think, is that not-too-subtly people might just post an opinion on their profile.
It’s their domain. And it’s rude to shit on someone’s carpet, or something. So you don’t go and just disagree with someone unless, they-in-their-own-domain, allow things to be disagreed with.
– Clearly I’m more/less inspired by a few occurrences rather than by a general trend.
But anyway. The result on Facebook seems to be people don’t exactly confront the issues so much.

And we, as casual observers to sensible yet diametrically opposed viewpoints, must try and form a rational view, collating the more sensible opinions from these, if we must.
What a difficult task sometimes.

As for Twitter. I don’t know. I suspect it’s rather hard to argue with someone with only 140 characters.
I’d suspect, then, that any Twitter-conflicts would be either a bunch of raw insults, or resource-sharing (‘this-link-proves-you-wrong’).

Tumblr may / may-not be a more interesting site.
I don’t frequent Tumblr, so I can’t say for sure; I don’t know the models of interaction between two users, but you see on the bottom 90% of a popular post “so-and-so reblogged this”.
I’d think this endorses how popularly supported a certain idea/post may be, rather than any demerits or merits of the idea.

Relatedly, Tumblr I suspect is filled with users of a certain culture/society, who spend time within that culture/society.
Quora, from what I observe, very much suffers that same fate. And you can tell I’m not so fond of Quora’s community.

If it is so “awful to be young”, it’s because the kids-these-days will grow up using the internet in a setting where the popular webpages are social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr.. and often not really engage in proper arguments.

See, I think the internet-forums I visited were the best at this.
I remember going on a gaming-forum.. it was large enough that it wasn’t a closed community; it wasn’t entirely monolithic, and it wasn’t so large that you couldn’t “get to know” who was who, or vaguely how people would respond to certain things.
There were 12 year olds. There were more mature members. Allsorts.

There were assholes, who seemed to make everything difficult and miserable for everyone. But, since they didn’t break the forum rules, the impartial-yet-present moderators couldn’t do anything about it. There were those who always had dumb opinions.
There were those who had “ok, sure”-but-what-the-fuck opinions, with a cultural attitude so different to your own.
And there were those you admired, whose every post was literary gold, always amusing.

And you’d not know any of them other than by their internet-handle.
And, oh, the arguments. Stupid arguments over the most meaningless of things. But arguments all the same. – I think arguments of this kind are not so unusual in other mediums before the internet.. but, like, it’s the internet which gave rise to Godwin’s Law; which really ought to indicate the nature of these.

My fascination with logic and such is not solely because of my time spent on some internet forum.
(Popular theory at the moment is the INTJ-ness. I recall seeing the statement “INTJs, tragically, just want people to make sense”. But anyway).
But clearly, I think something really is lost, (a healthy experience of argument?), on the social media sites these days.

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