Over the last few weeks, I've drafted a couple of blog posts - mostly just in my head, but also in a growing chain of emails to myself of quotations from relevant pieces from around the web - about some lifestyle choices that, in attaining cult-like followings, seem to have consumed every corner of the internet I visit.
"Every corner of the internet I visit" is an interesting phrase, though. We self-select the communities in which we participate based on how we self-identify (or how we want to self-identify), and what we read and hear from the echo chambers of our communities can overwhelm everything else to the point that it becomes hard to imagine that there is anything else.
I've been thinking about that recently as Jon and I have embarked on tangled conversations about misogyny on Reddit and in gaming. He sent me an article the other day that summed up his thoughts as a redditor and, interestingly, the last paragraph can serve to support both his participation in and my hesitation about the website:
In my experience, Reddit is just a microcosm of humanity. It’s a generally tech-savvy and scientifically inclined sliver of humanity, sure, but a much more diverse group of people than you might think. Any other Reddit user could write a completely different piece than mine, detailing his exploits on various subreddits that I've never even heard of. Just like any group of people, some of them are immature, insecure bullies. Some of them are people I would never want to associate with in reality or on the anonymous Internet. But most people IRL are great, and most of Reddit—or at least, most of my Reddit—is, too.It's easy to forget that, just as this writer has "her" Reddit and Jon has "his," I have "my" blogworld, a strange bubble in which every lifestyle decision becomes not just one to make for yourself but one to defend to others. It's easy to forget that many of the trends I can't seen to escape online, amplified by groupthink, probably haven't even been noticed by my offline communities. It's easy to forget that even oft-maligned Millennials, with our self-absorption and exceptionalism and hunger for recognition, don't participate in the exact sort of navel-gazing that's the hallmark of the blogging community that I (and many of you, dear readers) choose to belong to.
This isn't subtle at all, but I know I should keep perspective on the things that get me worked up around here and I just wanted to share my thoughts on it. After all, I can't be the only one who needs the reminder?