aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Some people ain't got no fetchin's up

I've noticed that there are some real squirrels on-line. I try to not get tangled up with them. You know, the people just trying to start an argument, the holier-than-thou types, and the obviously over-sensitive. Sometimes, though, I stumble into an exchange that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

The christianity community is the most active (and most interesting) of the communities I belong to. But there are some folks there who try my patience. I was talking to my wife about this, and she helped me realize it may be a generational thing.

When I am posting exchanges with people, I always assume that I am "in public." On somebody's individual LJ, we may be "alone," but we cannot be too intimate, because other people barge in and out frequently. That's OK. It's sort of like talking in somebody's living room. Other people may come tromping through. Your conversation -- and your manners -- have to fit such an occasion. You don't talk confidences -- and you always remember you're in somebody else's personal space. I can be a bit freer on MY LJ; after all, that's my "home." But even so, it's not my prayer closet, and there are things I don't tell just anybody who drops in for a visit.

LJ Communities are a little different. These aren't as open as, say, the mall. I mean, people choose to come into these places, as opposed to those places. But they're still sort of like large rooms within the whole convention center. Lots of things are going on, lots of conversations being shared. Being loud, or abrasive, or throwing a fit, is not "done" (or shouldn't be). I'm always on my best behavior when I'm in a Community, because anybody/everybody may read what I write. Don't want this to degenerate into a brawl. Don't want to "start" anything. Tomfoolery is fine, in a like-minded group: but not trashing the place (or the other patrons).

So, I wonder: do I have these inhibitions because I am visualizing an old-fashioned face-to-face encounter? Do the younger folks on-line NOT "see" things this way? How DO people imagine themselves in their relationships with the people they may only know through their nommes-de-plume?*

We wonders, aye, we wonders.

*Note to French-speakers: did I do that right?
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