Don’t Sweat the Technique

I have a very bad short-term memory. It’s always been that way, for as long as I can remember (badum-tish) and what this leads to is a fair amount of repetition in daily life. I’m also a great sufferer of inertia, that my brain can get caught in cycles of ‘I’ll do that in a minute’ and it never happens. It is why, more and more, I am pushing out of those established comfort zones into places where I’m forced to react more and function less. I’ve also come to the important conclusion in the last few weeks that, like it or not, a lot of this stuff has to happen alone, without either reassurance or praise. In fact, as I discovered yesterday, sometimes most of what happens is for my own benefit and nobody else’s.

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My husband is not a regular reader of my posts online. Many of the people I call friends don’t read them either, finding me too prolific to keep up with. I also had to chuckle this morning as it transpires someone whom I enjoy interacting with a lot thought they’d muted me yesterday when instead they’d unfollowed. This was one of those moments where me asking the question out loud bought up the mistake and this morning, all is well. However, as I am well aware why this happened, it gives pause for thought about what makes a solid online relationship work to begin with, and undoubtedly that has a lot to do with give and take. I learnt an important lesson about this person yesterday, completely by accident, and I’m very glad I did. My feed would be less than it is without Simon in it, but the fact I prompted him to mute is a lesson learnt.

Sometimes, you have to stand alone for the things you believe in.

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I said a lot of stuff yesterday that caused certain people issue, who then left my feed as a result. However, I’m still convinced what I said was fair, and I wouldn’t go back on anything that transpired. I wrote a post for my paid job yesterday on how my favourite MMO isn’t a place to go hide in when things get tough. If you want to do anything properly, in my head, there has to be a notion of effort inserted, and that can often come into direct conflict with other players notion of what is acceptable application and what isn’t. The next two years for the UK and anyone who never asked to exit the EU will be, at certain points pretty difficult to live with but I’m sure as Hell not about to bury my head in the sand or in a game in order to pretend difficult things are happening. For some however, that’s the least of their issues, and although I’m prepared to accommodate all such opinion, that isn’t the place where I live.

Then comes the notion of whether making a noise is worthwhile.

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What bothered me most yesterday, and this doesn’t go away, is how entitlement has become a badge of honour for some when once it was selflessness and application that mattered more. The needs of the one constantly outweigh the many, and more and more people would rather play alone than participate in group activity because, they say, of the toxic nature of the random gaming player. However, playing alone is, especially in group-based content, the very definition of toxic behaviour. Most simply wish to avoid ‘drama’ online but honestly, it is often only through conflict that we discover the true meaning of peace. I really don’t use social media to start fights but honestly, sometimes, the arrogance and narrow mindedness of some people is staggering. It is as if, in effect, they are the only person that matters, and that’s just so wrong on so many levels that it beggars belief.

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I’ve seen a number of personalities of late tweet out messages from fans which ask them to stop talking politics and just go back to being mindless distractions from daily life, and a reassuring number reply that actually, that’s not going to happen. Before the world went to shit and all we had to argue about were cat memes, it was okay to not worry about all this stuff ‘in public’ but now, everything has changed. Those public figures who show me they can think outside of their basic needs are undoubtedly heroes. This is the mindset I feel everyone should aspire to, but then comes the reality check. No, I can’t fix everything and NO you can’t make some people understand, however hard you try. If everybody thought the same, life would not be as rich and varied as it undoubtedly is. Sure, I can teach my kids the value of dedication and application but it matters just as more understanding how to do nothing and to goof off.

Balance is where its at, and maybe yesterday I worried a bit too much about being ‘right’, which in its own way makes me as bad as the people I often belittle. In the end, even when Life the MMO requires you to interact, you do have to learn the value of solo play. Early morning, late night, on a treadmill or at a keyboard, I must be able to be a decent self-arbiter. These are the moments where what matters most is not to be right but open, to other people’s reactions and how that makes you feel, to decide what matters most without blindly sticking to your path. Nobody said this would be easy, either, but the analysis is well worth potential discomfort. Learning to be comfortable alone is one of the hardest things I’ve ever learnt, with being confident in my own judgement a pretty close second.

Both things however have been well worth the effort expended.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Sweat the Technique

    • I don’t. I really don’t, but time and again because people assume I’m talking *directly to them* this is what happens. I can have a point of view that is contrary to somebody else’s and still be friends. If I choose to express my point of view in this way, and someone decides not to grasp the wider point and focus on a perceived slight, I’m screwed.

      This is my writing style. If individuals decide that its unacceptable, then it is what it is. It has very little to do with anything except my personal expression.

      In the end, if you change that, it fundamentally alters what I am.

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      • Yeah I get that, I was going off your phrasing though.

        I went looking for the person who collects money for something at work and asked her if she was the “person who takes the book money”. She got upset with me because I said she was stealing the money. So I really get the damned if you do, damned if you don’t thing.

        I am all for allowing differing view points to co-exist (within reason, I’m against Nazis for instance). My ideas on what is “right” and “wrong” are often at conflict with others. For me personally, it’s picking the battles. In a WoW context, I think that barrel game mod is cheating. I have guildies that use it though and I don’t see the value in antagonising them over something that doesn’t really affect me and will only cause friction where none needs to exist.

        I enjoy a good back and forth discussion of opposing view points, but not everyone does. Some people outside the conversation can think it’s a full on disagreement, when it’s actually a friendly exploration of different thoughts. I think it is important though to make a point without disparaging people where possible. It’s hard not to be misconstrued sometimes, and I’ve lost friendships because I got jack of having my words constantly twisted. Being attacked all the time isn’t good for me, and if the other person really thinks all I ever do is attack them, then we’re better off without the friendship.

        I’ve taken the approach in life that not everyone will like me, and that’s ok. I do my best to treat everyone with respect and consideration and if others want to twist that into something its not, then I can’t stop them. I will stand by my views, i am who I am and I’m not going to become someone else to keep others happy. Screw that. However, I tend to hide away because it isn’t worth it for me.

        Too many people default to assuming the worst possible interpretation rather than giving people a chance to clarify.

        I think I’m rambling now so I’ll stop here and go back to slaying demons!

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  1. You may recall the initial state of Warlords and bonus zone Apexis farming in groups. I disliked them completely. It was not because they were toxic. It was because they made the game a joke, swarms of locusts devouring all in their path. You followed the group, and in short order had completed your objective. It was not fun, was not compelling, you certainly didn’t become a better player. And now we are back at an amalgamation of Thunder Island/Timeless Isle/Tannan Jungle. And I already have seen talk of where the good farming spots are as a group.

    Grouping to kill a big summoned creature is great, elevating the health of mobs to force grouping, and making the mobs irrelevant not so much.

    And I will say too, that while I read your blog(s) almost daily, when you stray into marking snarky comments, such as The Orange Man, I just tune out and close the blog. You are a better writer than that.

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