Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The devil in the details

Yes, we are all very different-ish. By being similar to the one you consider different. And thank you to the interwebs for giving us a podium to display our different profiles for the world to worship. As for the rest of the profiles out there, we will mock, detest and met out our capital punishments. For being imperfect. For not matching up. For not fitting the color scheme we want to paint the world in. Who decided what is allowed, and more importantly, disallowed in the name of internet etiquette? We wanted to be different, why is the different one not admitted?

In my prime, I used to be one of the worst offenders. I had a permanent place in my improvised mockumentaries for the raw and uninitiated. Friends, family, the income tax bureaucrats, not a soul was spared from the cold iron taser that was my justice (Damn right I'll tase you bro). Look at those awful photos! What is it with all the open louvs! Crazy fellow with drunk tweets! She listens to Nickelback?! Until one day, I decided to do some self-analysis and went through some of my chat, facebook and blog archives. What was I thinking in 2005, let me find out. A quick scan later my reaction was exactly that. What was I thinking in 2005?!! How could I sound so ill-advised? How could I feel that this thought was worthy of being shared? How could I express this part of me so stupidly for the world to see? I was, in essence, everything that I currently held in glorious contempt. How could I use cud instead of could? (and cum instead of come? Yeah, I know. I wish it had come more deliberately. See what I did right there?)    

It is mildly horrifying, how easily irritation is rationalized and blamed on something as harmless as someone making a few grammatical misses. There definitely are a number of things that are on absolute TMI lists everywhere but outside of them, there has to be a little more patience with differences in people's communication capabilities on the internet and otherwise. The same thought that makes us ridicule a "less intellectual" idea made public, goes into racism, sexism and fundamental impatience for unchangeable traits in people.

Impatience and disgust for emotions and ideas shared on an internet-based forum may sound like a harmless matter, making this post a rant of sorts against a molehill of non-issues. But the mental agenda behind it can creep into the way we handle people in real life. It is also the disdain for Starbucks employees that misname your cups. It is also the outrage over a physically handicapped person boarding the bus ahead of you. It is also the road rage over the mid-sized sedan that follows speed limits "holding up" the lane ahead of you. (As a side note, I do think that publicizing one's anger over slower moving traffic is a high quality reason to suspend one's driving privileges).

If left unchecked, these small-minded thoughts evolve to grander fantasies of unbridled rage-fuelled stupidities. A friend of mine told me once that my use of a cheap dysfunctional android phone was some form of karma for switching to a macbook some years ago. True story. A more believable rage-stupid event is the recent mockfest over the lack of picture quality in the apple maps app. While the criticism will be useful to apple for coming up with a 2.0 version on the app, much of the crap-slinging happens between individuals who have no real reason to be concerned with any of it. The ego only serves to fuel itself and hurt you when well-sized. We are all observed at various snapshots of what we chose to show of our tangibles and intangibles and these snapshots speak only a fraction of our amazing stories. Instant comparisons are a guaranteed waste of time and often dangerous. 

Of course, it is a hard thing to correct, but it is important! Until such time that we chill out and let people express themselves in their style, however imperfect it may seem, it may be a wise idea to take a break from it all. Are they racking your brains with their obsession over Mothers' day and the new Batman movie release? Switch off and tune out until you can come back when you can be a bigger person. Meet people when you feel pleasant. Don't drive angry. After all, the true reason for why we judge the world harshly, is that we fear being judged ourselves.

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