Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogging: Outlet For Inhibitions?

© Donna Loos "Inhibitions" Acrylic and Copper

So now aside from being so full of. . . opinions, blogging also provides an easy and ready outlet for our inhibitions as a species. That is the conclusion reached by Mr. Daniel Henninger in his column in the Opinion Journal. According to him, a "Blogs Trend Survey" released last September, America Online reported that only 8% blog to "expose political information." Instead, 50% of bloggers consider what they are doing to be therapy.

Half of the bloggers surveyed confessed to self-medicating themselves by writing blogs and exposing to the public their repressed inhibitions; so in effect blogging for them, provides the “therapy for the uninhibited”. Much like being in a confessional?

But why the big fuss about inhibitions that we keep away from the public.

Granted that we have been taught early that repressing one’s inhibitions is generally not a healthy thing, and could lead to bad traumatic experiences later on in life.

But still somehow, we draw the line, granted an imaginary line, about things that we should continue to be inhibited about in public. Vile language could be one. What about our innermost sexual fantasies, maybe? Henninger mentioned the case of the alleged cannibal who was indicted recently here in the US. He had intimated his dark secrets on cannibalism on his blog. His writings may now form part of the body of evidence against him.

In fine, inhibitions do have positive roles in our lives, and they keep us honest and in civil concourse with the rest of our kind.

But does blogging really shatter the boundaries of inhibitions and becomes or has become whatever strikes a blogger’s whims and fancies?

Mr. Henninger admonishes and warns his readers with the phenomenon called disinhibition, “which is the breaking down of personal restraints and the endless elevation of oneself”.

Have we breached that point?

I say we may be aggressively approaching the threshold, unless we take stock and re-orient our collective focus.

When one visits the eclectic world of personal diaries, one can readily see unmistakable signs where age-old inhibitions have been breached and exposed to the world and we find ourselves none the better for them.

And in political blogs where the discourses are most heated, partisan and incendiary, readers are served daily a fat dose of insensitive, unkind, unchristian, etc. language that ought to have stayed where it came from – the side of the road where sewage and other debris are collected. So we could be fast approaching a break in the levee that has held our collective uneasy peace and harmony in constant check.

Other observers, of course, do not share this gloomy prognosis, for blogging specifically.

Rather, they believe this retrogression extends to all facets of culture, this newest medium being just a mirrored reflection of what is happening overall.

And of course, others cannot make heads or tails about this, whether it augurs well for some thing good or is a portent of things evil. But definitely, it leads to some kind desensitization to the evil and ugliness in this world.

But how does one get desensitized with vile language? Doesn’t it typically bring out the worse not only in the one originating it, but in the one reading and receiving it?

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