domenica 1 maggio 2011

The Great Communication Swindle

The most iconic and worshipped comedian/Social commentator in Italy is called Beppe Grillo. Lately, like all people who become preachers and icons, he got way too rich, egotistical and stopped being funny or witty, reassured by the concept that his herd woulòd follow him anyway, no matter what he says. I used to follow the man, go to his shows, when he did actual shows, before turning into a person that only appears at public events, and found him intelligent and hilarious. He used to have a way for noticing things that people seemed to ignore, mix them with well delivered jokes and populist statements and end up actually delivering some sort of message.

Still, as a very jaded, hyper-thinking and extremely logical guy, i ended up noticing a few flalws, one extremely blatant: he didnt stick to his views. To give an example, he used to be anti-technology, anti-internet and in favour of "goin back to the old days when people talked". Then he discovered that the web could be exploited as a medium of viral diffusion of his own image and a good way to create a cult and "an instrument of power and knowledge", he became a fervent preacher of the web.

That kinda reflects a lot of attitudes i saw in the latest years. Can do easily a list of people that, in a country like mine that usually gets things later and where people are backwards out of choice and arrogance, had an idea of "internet" as a place for losers, creeps or pointless stuff. Same people easily became addicts in a short while. People who refused the idea of online dating, friendships or snarked at others for being "on the facebook" now update their status five times a day. A girl i know who wrote an essay against blogging with the sentence "i wonder if those people ever talk to each other", now has a blog. There's still fundamentalist snobs, but i'm pretty sure they secretly use and abuse some part of the web too.

Be backwards or forwards, it's the way things are. Still i have noticed how people still seem to be caught by surprise by an aspect of humanity that the enhanced distance and ability to make relationships haze like and intangible, has made loud and exposed. People will hurt each other, misunderstand each other, and do horrible things as soon as they can avoid looking the other person in the eyes.

Its nature. Mankind is a social animal, but most of it doesnt have the ability of empathy. Thats a skill you're either born with, anhd its rare, or that yuou have to work very hard to get and you can loose very easily. Being tactful, understanding and handling human interactions in a clean, non-messy way is very very difficult. And not getting hurt by others ios even more difficult. But it isnt the tool's fault.

The large distance that communicating through the web allows you to cover, and the way people can be honest or hide themselves behind a mask completely, has made social circles larger and the concept of a "relationship" much more wide and comprehensive. But yet people are even more sensitive and neurotic. Interacting with others without feeling like assholes, or adding pointless meaning to every word other people says, sliding into paranoia, obsessing on words, surviving a new etiquette where every single gesture must be carefully planned since people will talk and stress every single mistake, is hard.

Breakups are still hard. They always are. But the faceless, void big empty of speaking through emails or chats (and that happens at close distance too, cause most will jump on an opportunity for a painless way to distance people in a second), has made them a nightmare. It's like texting to the Nth level. But it always was hard. Nothing has changed, all it has become is more obvious an even id the yapping sociologist will love to yadayada about how "unpersonal" things have become, it's the same thign, with different clothes.

The main point, and its a very very very difficult one, is remembering that no matter what they write or how they react:

-people either really dont care about you or have other stuff on their heads.

-if they care they can be hurt as much as you do, even if they act like they're invincible. you will think you're an idiot and the only one who is losin sleep on an ambigouos sentence but they're suffering too. and if they're not, theres nothing you can do to make them

-no one is really anonymous. a few are but those people are like the shady cvreeps at the bar. just stay away

-an emotional distance will save you a lot of trouble. that doesnt mean be numb but it means take the bad stuff as any other bad stuff, that means Momentary, not really that tragic and suriviable.

You will get snarked, side talked or ignored. You will get hurt. Or you will hurt others. But it has no gravity. It's how people are, in their very essence: their animals without claws or fangs that use emotions to cause pain. But it goes away. Even when it seems like evrything is collapsing, you can still get over it. Its more easy that the list of steps you ahve to go to block people, and ignore them. That is a mess. Theres no way to cast people out of your bubble anymore, in a way but thats an icnetive to be harder. As soon as you get at the right distance, people are squirming fleas. ANd thats how you get peaceful, and win. Sorta.

Hurts. A lot. But fades away.

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