Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Time to Criminalize Extroversion

Another day, another sunrise, another blowhard declaring introversion a pathology:

The researchers also ... found that the women who contribute to the online encyclopedia exhibit unusually high levels of introversion. Women in particular, they suggest, "seem to use the Internet as a compensative tool" that allows them to "express themselves" in a way "they find difficult in the offline world."
Oh dear gawd! Someone start charging the electroshock apparatus and readying the strongest possible doses of SSRI pharmaceuticals! Somewhere in the world, a person, quite likely a woman, is on the verge of expressing herself on the internets in a way that she finds difficult to do in real life! This must be stopped!

Along with Nicholas Carr, I pine for a return to the good old days when such abominations were not made visible to tender old people and innocent children; when, instead, the world's wretched, socially-retarded, maladjusted psychopaths either remained in absolute silence or wrote out their filthy excretions on little scraps of paper and hid them around the house -- out of view of decent people, such that extroverts of the day would not be disturbed by them as they blabbered on about nothing, swaddled in the adoration of their own precious speaking voices. Carr continues:
The study is consistent with other research into the motivations underlying online social production. Last year, researchers at HP Labs undertook an extensive study of why people upload videos to YouTube. They found that contributors are primarily driven by a craving for attention. If the videos they upload aren't clicked on, they tend to quickly exit the "community." YouTubers view their contributions not as pieces of "a digital commons" but as "private goods" that are "paid for by attention." .... the findings do lend a darker tint to the rose-colored rhetoric that surrounds online communities. A wag might suggest that "social production" would be more accurately termed "antisocial production." [emphasis mine]
I share Nicholas Carr's bottomless contempt for cretins who "crave attention." Is there anything more despicable or pitiable in the realm of human social interaction than someone who not only desires attention, but takes action to garner it? Sweet Michael Jackson's pederastic Ghost (too soon?), can't we all just stay silently to ourselves and stop looking for others to notice us, talk to us, respond to us, and otherwise validate our petty interests, trivial preoccupations, idiotic priorities, and brittle self-constructions?

Oh dear. Now I'm not sure if I'm for or against extroversion. Or introversion. I will need someone very, very talkative to help me through this. Goodness knows I shouldn't be looking to the web for any guidance -- the sort of people who post things to the internets are fucking crazy.

Sarcasm aside*, if I've learned anything from watching countless hours of televised sports, it's that the best defense is a good offense, and that defense wins championships, so fellow introverts, if we're going to win this thing, it's time we go on the offensive and begin a movement to criminalize extroversion. People who love the sound of their own voices? Hard time. People who "just stop by to catch up"? Life without parole. People who gin up conversations with perfect strangers? Meet all your new best friends on the chain-gang. People who live for being the life of the party? There's a party in The Big House. People who can't manage to shut the fuck up for any five-minute stretch of time while other human beings are present? Unleash the heart-stabbing sting rays.

Shame on you if you have read this far, for by doing so, you have enabled my contemptible craving for attention. Damn you!

* Not really - more like switching to another level of sarcasm. My pathologies run deep. I mean, you are reading this on the internets, aren't you? Q.E.D.

1 comment:

Aimée said...

Hmm…I wonder what kind of justice would be in store for my mother-in-law? Surprisingly, none of your punishments seem adequate for her crime.