June 30, 2003 by Allen George
I’ve always wanted to write well. I’m usually quite restrained around people I do not know, but online, I’ve used the pseudo-anonymous nature of the web to make my views on certain subjects known. This of course, has certain restrictions, as I found out earlier in the year.
There is something about not facing the person, not having to personally ‘deal’ with the individual that allows me more latitude. One doesn’t have to deal with the eye contact, the hesitations, the imagined (or real) slights or wonder if the person is annoyed or simply bored with what you’re saying. In the ‘real’ world, politeness dictates that we listen to another person even when their conversation has no relevance to us. Online, there is no such dictate. If a reader feels that my thoughts are not to his liking, they can simply leave and I don’t feel any loss or slighted in the least. I’ve always wondered if my conversation, my views, leave others bored and as a result I don’t speak often. I stay slient and observe the play of emotions around me. Here, I can let go. Readers can choose to stay as long as they want and no longer.
What surprised me when I first started writing, is the amount of time it takes to write a well reasoned and coherent weblog entry. (I would not call this one). One must approach the task with a clear goal and a firm grasp on the information that must be conveyed. Then comes the task of putting it together. This is often the hardest part for me. One must balance the goal and the desire to engage the reader. I find it hard because unlike a face to face conversation, there are no cues to indicate your success. I find it ironic that I migrated my conversation to weblogs due to my inhibitions about one-on-one conversation, and find myself restricted by the nature of the medium that I chose.