Sunday, September 28, 2008

pseudo-personal space

Whether Kancha Ilaiah is a fraud or whether saibaba is a god, whether there is brahmanical fanaticism or fanatic anti-brahmanism, there are enough blogs to argue both sides. All these bloggers can argue rather forcefully even if not sensibly. Why is blogging picking up?
Basically the operative element is an anonymous proximity. Even if my photo is seen you cannot claim to become my friend and try to spend time with me. This safe “use and throw” relationship-of-convenience is the primary attraction of blogs. I can say what I want, and if you decide to register your protest I still have the right and the choice to allow the protest on my page. Those who see my page will be seeing my views and my counters (whenever, and if ever I can logically produce one) and no one will know where and when I am at a loss to explain.
I can still feel I am in a crowd that is talking about things which matter to me. I can protest with dignity or cheapness, be an angel or a devil, talk when I want to and be silent if that is fine for me. I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion, except when I dare to spit valueless venom through a personal pathology. These are the conveniences I have noticed and even used in blogs.
The second operative element in blogging is its pseudo-personal space wherein one can become disinhibited. Though your true skin will be seen by others when your blog is posted, you need not hesitate to say whatever you feel like unlike in the real world where you have to observe elementary decency to those who deserve it. Yet, it is only a disinhibited and not an uninhibited behaviour, because deep down you are conscious that your words are going to be seen by someone somewhere.
Masked identity is another courage-boosting element of blogging. You need not talk in your real name. I know of some people who chose to mask their identity for real and valid reasons, but most of the persons who write in pseudonyms ( and sometimes in anonymity) do so out of fear. Though their words may appear courageous they still have not mustered enough conviction and courage to come out in the open and stand by what they have said.
Why mask identity? Some are like a compassionate medusa, for if their face is seen their critics would turn into stone, stupefied with fear. Some are like clowns who need to have a different identity to make an apparent fool of themselves so that others can have a good laugh. Some are like a silly child hiding behind a table thinking no one can see who and where they are. Whether one decides to disclose her/his identity or not is certainly a private decision that has to be respected and even if not accepted, not discussed.
The problem of wearing a mask is different in a socio-psychological perspective. There are intellectuals who use their intelligence to call themselves idiots, and so too are there idiots who stupidly call themselves intellectuals. Depending on why the mask is worn, and depending on the insightful intellect of the individual, a mask becomes a potent weapon or a poor joke.
It is understandable if masks are worn and identities deliberately disguised in the mushrooming social networking sites. Though these sites can be a forum for healthy and honourable matters, mostly they are used to find a `friend` to flirt. An elderly uncle who tries to wear shorts and T-shirts, ugly dyeing of hair and a false accent in which lies are expressed as values, will never be able to date a young girl with average intelligence. But in the virtual world, the same uncle just has to assume a name, age, occupation and marital status that would bring scraps to his page! But, blogs are not meant for picking up a date. Whether your profile declares you as young or old, spiritual or religious, left or right, no one `falls` for you. Only your views matter. And therefore your identity is never masked or invisible the. However sublime your language, however innocent your discussion, your colours will show through veil.

Blogging has its psychological benefits. Just as how your mind operates in a dramatic performance there are certain mechanisms operating here too. Initially there is identification, then there is the possibility of learning a conflict resolution and finally there is a catharsis. You identify with the character or the cause or the chronicle, you feel you have experienced a similar situation. Then you see the situational conflict resolved in the performance and if you choose to, you may try to use it to answer your personal question. Even if you cannot find a solution to your problem in the performance-narrative it would still be a cathartic relief. You can download feelings from your emotive memory and get the same relief of being happy, sad, angry or disgusted. But are blogs used for this?
Though blogs can be of immense personal psychological comfort, I see some bloggers using it to throw mud (if not spit venom) on ideas that are not consistent with their own values. Blogs are becoming pamphlets thrown on the disinterested by stander. If perchance someone reads and accepts their ideas it is fine, otherwise just some space on space is wasted! However impassionate and objective you may describe yourself, you will tend to lean towards one ideology versus another. If you have not formed your own opinions on matters these moments would tilt you towards a particular idea if not ideology. The intelligent wearing the mask of an idiot would appeal to your conscience by their pseudo-innocence. You will fall for the game plan. Some vague emotional itch that you have been bearing all along would be scratched and you will not only become comfortable with that anonymous hand, you would start yearning for it.
If we can just be aware a little more, we can escape from the dragnet. We would be able to retain our power to choose. We can choose only when we think. And, when we start thinking we cannot be silent. We would start protesting.
This happened to me, and I started commenting on issues that I felt were concerning me, and the response I got from one blogger was that I have “become jobless”!! Blogging is not a jobless individual’s way of spending time, it is a social obligation to respond to the milieu.

13 comments:

அறிவன்#11802717200764379909 said...

Hello Mr.Rudhran.
Welcome to blogging world.
What you have noted down on blogging habit,is well said but unfortunately some of the tamil bloggers have not even known, what are the factors that trigger thought process & why indeed it is a must to be expressive about one's mind.
Above all there is also the facet of social responsibility which triggers some writing.
It's a great space that is developing with people of technical excellence on their domain like you,come to blogging world.

Keep rocking !

PS:You can remove settings > comments > word verification..This will apprear to be a hindrance for commenters in your blog.

வால்பையன் said...

மன உளவியல் மீது மிகுந்த ஆர்வம் உள்ளவன் நான்!
நீங்களும் பிளாக் எழுதுவதை அறிந்த போது மிகுந்த மகிழ்ச்சி அடைந்தேன்.
தமிழில் டைப்ப புதிதாக ஏதும் கற்க தேவையில்லை தமிங்க்ளிஷில் டைப் செய்தாலே போதும் அதன் லிங்கை இங்கே தருகிறேன்
http://www.google.com/transliterate/indic/Tamil

Dr.Rudhran said...

vaalpaiyan, thank you for your link and good wishes. i have a certain discomfort in using transliteration. so, i am trying to learn thro aasaan. with a little discipline i should soon blog in tamil

Bala said...

Hello Mr.Rudhran,
Nice to meet you here. I always enjoyed your view and talking on TV.

Imm ... it is intersting to see machine and its network connecting people just like that !

Nice to meet you!
-bala

Bala said...

Rudhran,

If you could start question and answer session in blog area, would be greatly useful to the world. You can choose a question to answer. you can also wrte a blog on what kind of questions can be asked.

what do you think?
-bala

அறிவன்#11802717200764379909 said...

To overcome difficulties in tamil typing please use NMH writer to use Tam99 keyboard & there is an yahoo on screen widget which you can place on screen to know tamil alphabets.
Widget is freely downloadable from net.

Initially this may be a bit time consuming one,but when you practice this shall be very handy.

I also welcome Mr.Bala's idea on question & answer session unless you feel it will kill your time in writing enjoyment.

For us it may be a boon,but it is also a point that you must like that to be done here.

:)

பரிசல்காரன் said...

ஐயா..

தாங்களும் ப்ளாக் உலகிற்கு வந்ததற்கு வாழ்த்துக்கள், வரவேற்புக்கள். உங்கள் வாழ்நினைத்தால் வாழலாம் புத்தகத்தால் ஒரு காதல் மனைவியைப் பெற்றவன் நான். என் மனைவியின் அண்ணன் மகன் பெயர் ருத்ரேஷ். அந்தப் பெயருக்குக் காரணம் நீங்களும் தான்!

தமிழில் எழுதினால் மிக அக மகிழ்வேன்!

கீழே உள்ள word verification ஐ எடுத்து விடுங்க தலைவா.

kbkk007@gmail.com

Sundar said...

Pleasantly suprised to know you started blogging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. looking forward for more, especially your thoughts on recent social changes.

பரிசல்காரன் said...

நன்றி!!

புருனோ Bruno said...

//if you decide to register your protest I still have the right and the choice to allow the protest on my page. Those who see my page will be seeing my views and my counters (whenever, and if ever I can logically produce one) and no one will know where and when I am at a loss to explain.
I can still feel I am in a crowd that is talking about things which matter to me. I can protest with dignity or cheapness, be an angel or a devil, talk when I want to and be silent if that is fine for me. I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion, except when I dare to spit valueless venom through a personal pathology. These are the conveniences I have noticed and even used in blogs.//

I believe that this point of yours is only for those "cowards" who have a comment moderation

There are quite a few who blog in their own name, with contact details in the blog and who allow all comments.

//I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion,//

Moreover, the concept of OPEN LETTER is very common in blogs.

So though there are few people who have closed comment blogs, the first finding does not apply to the majority

Dr.Rudhran said...

thanks sundar.
bala, i am new to this, and i really do not know how to go about the q&a idea though it does appear appealing.
bruno- thanks. i wish what you say is really true.

Mahesh said...

Dear Dr.

Welcome to the blogging world. I'm one of the past beneficiaries of your consulting. It is good that people like you getting into blogging seriously. Just ignore those anonymous responders and mudslingers. You can come out with umpteen psychological reasons for such deliberations and aberrations. Keep writing. Looking forward to your posts...

Happy writing !!

Mahesh

லீனாரோய் said...

வணக்கம் ஐயா...!
நான் ஜேர்மனியில் வாழும் ஒரு புலம்பெயர்ந்த ஈழத்தமிழன்.
நீங்கள் வலையுலகத்தில் எழுத ஆரம்பித்ததில் மிக்க மகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன்.
அத்துடன் உங்கள் கருத்துகள் தமிழில் இருந்தால், புலம் பெயர்ந்து பலவித மொழியுள்ள நாடுகளில் வாழும் தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு உதவியாக இருக்கும்.
குறிப்பாக ஐரோப்பாவில் வாழும் எங்களுக்கு பயனுள்ளதாக நிச்சயம் இருக்கும்.

இங்கு வாழும் அதிகளவு ஈழத் தமிழ் மக்கள் மன உளைச்சல் நோய்க்கு தங்களையறியாமலே உள்ளாகின்றனர். அதில் அதிகமானோர் பெண்கள்.
அதற்குக் காரணம், தாய் மண்ணைப் பிரிந்து நாதியற்று வாழும் இந்த வாழ்க்கையும் ஒன்றாகும்.

எனவே உங்கள் எழுத்துக்கள் எம்மை இவற்றிலிருந்து விடுதலை செய்யலாம். கூடிய விரைவில் தமிழில் எழுதுங்கள்.....
காத்திருக்கிறோம்.