Saturday, February 14, 2009

So I managed to piss off the internet yesterday. Seriously. Like, the whole internet. Or so it felt. I made the mistake of posting a link to an article in the NY Times about a study linking obesity during pregnancy to increased rates of birth defects. I included a comment that I was finally doing something right, after feeling like daily I hear about all the things I'm doing wrong during pregnancy.

Sweet Jesus, Mary & Joseph! If there were e-pitchforks I would have been skewered. I managed to piss off hundreds (thousands, for all I know) of women on Ridiculous. They all apparently felt personally attacked and were convinced that I wish them ill and take joy out of other people being overweight. WHAT! I posted a link to a study. And every overweight woman felt I was personally out to get her. I guess I forget that people can take science and truth as a personal attack on them. I prefer to know what studies say, I'm not a fan of ignorance is bliss. It's up to you to filter the information, not me.

Anyway. Taught me a few lessons.

1) Because I can choose the content I visit on the internet, I find myself thinking that the spectrum of people on the internet are smarter, wittier and more interesting than the spectrum of people I meet in real life. That's not true. I know it's not true, but I forget. The internet is not created by a bunch of amusing gnomes that I don't encounter in the real world. And all those super annoying, dim-witted people I meet daily are some of the same people that are on the internet. I choose not to read their rantings, but when they choose to read mine I am subject to all their thick-headedness and ire.

2) A very small part of me enjoys pissing people off. But once it gets to a point that I can't talk them back down I no longer enjoy it. This means it's probably good I didn't pursue a career in law or politics, which I've so often pondered.

3) Sincerity is not translatable on the internet. I have a serious foot in mouth problem, always have. But in real life I can generally convince people I meant nothing by what I said, I just happened to say something stupid. On the internet, this doesn't seem to hold true.

Anyway, apologies to those I offended (not that they're likely to be reading this here blog.) Apologies to those I've further offended by this post. But please put your pitchforks away.

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