Sheesh that post took an Hour to write, too.!
Lucky for you readers I'll summarize. I'm a social retard. Since High School, i haven't made friends easily. And when I get let into a circle of friends, I never feel totally accepted, so I tend to overcompensate. I make a lot of jokes, and jibes. I come on too strong, or I lay back too much and they think I'm aloof. People get sick of me, or get offended, and I don't process the message right away, because I'm not good at seeing the polite signs they give.
When i leave a group of friends, I move or get a new job, or whatever, I'm not good about keeping in touch, because I've grown accustomed to doing things by myself. Around my hometown, I don't make friends easily, because I feel smarter than 95% of the folk around me.
So, when I got on the internet, it was wonderful. i could find groups of people with similar interests, people who were intelligent, people whose work i admired. Through e-groups and forums, I feel like I have a community. I value that, and it hurts when that community is threatened. I felt like I wasn't living and working in a vacuum. It is an artificial sense of community, though, i now realize. Sarcasm is hard to detect on the internet. Sometimes things are posted by me in jest that are taken seriously by others. and vice versa. Sometimes things are said by me in all seriousness, that are taken as jokes by others, and vice versa. Feelings get hurt, but among guys, you don't mention that your feelings are hurt.
Well, the offending party might not realize they hurt your feelings. And communities can crumble.
I realize that I post too much on certain groups. more than a lot of people. well I start out innocently. I answer questions where I can. I get positive feedback, I want to return the favor. I joke a little. I get a laugh or a groan. I'm used to that. I feel accepted. Then before I know it, I'm posting 7 to 8 times a day to the same group. I twice as much as the next most frequent poster. I realize that people could get sick of me.
So I'm going into exile for a few weeks or so. I'll still lurk and send signals thru my avatar, but I won't post to the group until my average comes down some.
Now let me get something off my chest. Six months ago, somebody whose work i admired, somebody I had always been congenial with when we'd meet, took upon himself to attack me in a public forum used by the majority of the people in our industry. His attack was unprovoked, and insulted my character and the level of my talent. He took on himself to address the fact that I posted alot, and to, in a very nasty tone suggest I improve my social life and spend less time on-line. This hurt me. In a fit of anger, I posted back, but quickly e-mailed this person an apology for returning fire in a public forum. I also emailed one of the administrators, and in that e-mail, in an attempt at humor, I speculated as to why this person would suddenly attack me, Like Pearl Harbour. I never got a reponse to my emails from either party.
yesterday evening, in another industry forum, before another growing audience of my peers and folks I admire, six months later, this person again attacks me, and insults me, usinng language the admins had to delete. I respond politely, and again I speculate wittily as to why he would make another unprovoked attack.
In his response, he explains quite handily that my speculation cannot be true. And apparently, he had been contacted by the admin from the first site, and my speculation had been relayed to him. And he's nursed this grudge against me since. I immediate apologize for the mistake. But it seemed like a logical reason for his tirade to me. mea Culpa.
But now feathers have been ruffled, and I think I have annoyed folks there that I consider friends. I think i need to spend some time away to let wounds heal.
But i can't help feel that if this person had simply replied to my e-mail six months ago, we could have cleared up this misunderstanding, but now more egos have been bruised, and for six months he built a grudge, and for those same six months I had a mistaken negative opinion of him.
and now i hope that this will post because I'm not writing about it again.