talktooloose: (Saints in Love)
[personal profile] talktooloose
I'm on a company retreat now. In the week before we went away for this extended 3-day exercise, I floated the idea of hosting an open mic. I tried to word the invitation as gently as possible, asking if people had a song, a poem, a piece of writing—their own or something they admired. I said it would be a good chance to show some sides of ourselves we don't usually see in the office. I got a resounding silence in response and dropped the idea.

I was disappointed because I had wanted to sing some of my songs to the group. What did end up happening was a wild karaoke plus an X-Box dance game. Both of these things involved people making wild fools of themselves. The contrast got me thinking: there is an apparent gap between people's shyness and their comfort with shrieking wildly in public to AC/DC tracks or busting moves in a game. But really, the very extravagence of the foolishness was a mask. It is much easier to jump and scream in public, because you have deniability: "That's not me: I'm just being a good sport."

Actually sharing something of your soul is way beyond most people's comfort level. Even with colleagues they have known for years, in some cases people who are supposedly good friends, standing behind an actual emotion, a discordant philosophy, a piece of true joy or heartache is TMI.


Date: 2011-05-10 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'm so sorry.

Date: 2011-05-13 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had a similar initial reaction.

Date: 2011-05-14 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It wasn't bad. My colleagues and I don't suffer bullshit in silence.

Date: 2011-05-13 08:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
People are willing to act like idiots - they always have a certain amount of plausible deniability: good sport, for a lark, 'I was so wasted', whatever. They just want to act like screaming, drooling hyenas, barking laughs back for whoever is the most ridiculous in the most normalized way.

It is sad, and ridiculously frustrating for people like us. 'Don't be so serious', 'such a downer', &c.


Date: 2011-05-14 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did my part for the idiocy, but then I got depressed and went for a walk.

Date: 2011-05-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know I don't know you, but I have to say I think you really hit on something here. It's interesting that there are certain "acceptable" ways of looking foolish (ala reality TV). But most people are much more afraid of really exposing something of themselves...perhaps because if people laugh then, it's impossible to say "oh, I just did that because I was so wasted."

Coming from someone who posts anonymously for the same reason...

Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

Date: 2011-05-14 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for commenting. Long-form fic writers always welcome!

I post anonymously on LJ, too. For one thing, I can talk about things more openly without scaring family and colleagues as on FaceBook. For instance, I'll make posts about non-monogamy here but not on FB. Also, I will rarely talk about feeling depressed or horny or whatever on FB. It's a trivial platform with poor privacy control.

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