30 April 2007

A Personal Letter to Elaine Made Public

Dear 干女儿 (GNE), I visited your blog just now. Seems like I can't leave a comment there so I have no choice but to do it here in my own blog. I hope you don't mind.

While feeling rather sad that you are not blogging (temporarily or permanently), I can fully understand and agree with what you have said. I personally also find that blogging didn't seem so fun as 2 years ago when I first started doing it. What brought about this abrupt change to both of us at about the same time, I have no wish to speculate.

Suffice to say, this is what I have observed lately:

1. What started out as "horsing around" (jokes) can easily be turned into personal attacks in a public domain. There is a very fine line between the two;

2. What is meant as "horsing around" can be just as easily interpreted as a personal attack and evoke a vicious counter-attack which you least expect. It depends very much on the comfort level between the two of you. Even for close friends, you may not know exactly where this level is. Don't try to test it;

3. Old jokes are told repeatedly, ad nauseum. So much so that they don't seem funny anymore. Even irritating at times;

4. Some people dictate what you should or should not write. (Do they expect me to send my draft to them for approval first before I publish it? If so, I might as well write for a newspaper.); and

5. Some people use their blogs for innocuous social purpose while others also use them for commercial or even political purposes.

And this is what I have learnt:

1. If you don't want to be flamed, don't flaunt your assets (be they dimples, more erogenous zones, looks, age, sports cars and other properties);

2. Never react adversely and emotionally via the comment box which the whole wide world can read;

3. If you don't like what is written and have the author's personal contact details, send him a private email or sms him/her to say so, politely.

4. Never ever use vulgar words, in whatever language, however abbreviated. People can understand them and they will just reply "I wish you the same".

5. If they ignore your feedback, you can decide not to visit their blog anymore. (There are so many other blogs you can visit.) However, if they respond favorably to your feedback, it's up to you if you want to continue the blogo-relationship.

Disclaimer: Quite different from my other blog posts, this is a serious article and it is not directed at anyone in particular. The above pointers are just my personal observations and suggested solutions. They may be right or wrong and I am not passing judgement here. Please feel free to add your comments and opinions in my comment box but I will appreciate that no personal attacks on anyone or old wisecracks be made, at least for this post.


Anonymous said...

While the first 3 points is more for your case since i dun really joke in my blog entries, I totally agree with point 4 & 5 of the reasons.

There are actually many reasons as to why I'm not blogging anymore. Some things are better left unsaid though.

Thank you for the entry GD, I appreciate the thought & its really nice knowing all of you via blogging.

Keep blogging, for I will still be around :)

Anonymous said...

Cheer up. Don't take this blogging thing to seriously. Share some jokes - even if it's old one; no harm wat. Why must ad nauseum? Why irritating? Sometimes when friend try to cheer you up, even old jokes; just pretend to laugh lor.

(gave up trying to sign in)

Victor said...

GNE - Yes, I noticed that you're quite serious in your blog entries. But what happens when other people pass a joke in your comment box? (Hmm... I remember seeing quite a few light-hearted comments from you on other people's blog too.) Misunderstandings still can happen that way. So first 3 points still apply.

Oops, I hope that my light-hearted comments in other people's blog didn't offend anyone so far. Must tread very carefully now.

Victor said...

LCS - I'm not talking about old harmless and classic jokes which are definitely alright even if I've heard them before. I'm referring more to those jokes that apparently give the joker (pardon the choice of word) more joy than the listener (aka the victim). One very good example of such jokes is calling people names.

Without going into details, I've often been the target of such jokes too. (And to be very honest, I've been guilty of perpetrating quite a few too.) I remember that you were also given some unwelcome labels not too long ago. Ahh... it's those kind of "jokes". Did you get cheered up by them? I should believe not and I hope not too because if you did, then you are not quite normal.

You can try to ignore them (both the joker and the jokes) with a laugh but when it's repeated time and time again, it gets really irritating. That's what I mean by "ad nauseaum".