What do you do when you have a lot to say, but don’t dare to say it?
Right now I have 32 unfinished blog posts laying around – including this one. 32 incomplete gems in the making, screaming for my attention. Some of them are properly aged, with the most ancient draft being a long post I wrote late 2011 about how I reverse engineered the Tidal Android app. Back then, it was called WiMP, and annoyingly it lacked proper head phone audio control support. But that wasn’t something a little hacking couldn’t fix, right? On my way through the code, I discovered clear text API passwords, and other funky stuff that probably shouldn’t be made public. So the post was never left the drawing board. There are also a bunch of incomplete reviews in the sea of unfinished posts, seasoned with drafts that aren’t much more than quick notes I’ve made whenever an idea has tried to form in my head.
In the collection of neglected treasure, there are also about 10 opinion pieces. They are written on a variety of topics, from my thoughts on a proposed ban on porn sites, to science fiction-esque gene manipulation with CRISPR. Among the many drafts, these opinion posts are the ones I’d like to spend some time and energy to finish.
But it doesn’t just take effort to voice ones opinions, defending them can be outright exhausting. Particularly if you’re like me – an conflict adverse, unskilled debater.
Opinions are good. I’ve always had them. In safe, non-confrontational environments, I’ve even voiced them from time to time. This site, for instance, is a great for just that. It’s, quite literally, my own domain. I’m judge, juror, and executioner, with easy access to the big, red “trash” button next to any comment that doesn’t float in my kingdom. Whenever I’ve written an opinion piece on this website, however, I’ve rarely received any critical feedback. What I write is hardly controversial, and very few people stumble across my ramblings. With 800+ millions websites on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Until recently, I think the only one who has shook an angry fist in the air is that airline pilot.
But all that changed a bit when I started publishing links to what I write on Facebook. Now my scrawls and scribbles suddenly have an audience. And for some weird reason, that audience often has opinions that differs from mine.
The Last Word
Which bring us to the topic of discussing and having an argument on the internet. It can be pretty damn draining. People tend to forget their manners. Also, no one wants to lose an argument. When you lose an argument, you’re left with that annoying feeling that you were wrong. Opinions you might have had for years on a topic you feel strongly for have been crushed by simple arguments of logic by a more skilled debater. And who wants that?
How do you win an argument, then, particularly one on the internet? You write the final comment in the thread! It doesn’t really matter what you write, though. as long as you get The Last Word. A friend of mine – who absolutely hated to lose an argument – developed his own, annoying way to always get the last word. He would end every discussion by uttering the words “yeah, that’s how it is”. Or something to that effect. The point is that he always got the last word, thus becoming the Champion of Every Argument. Wikimedia has a great article describing a lot additional techniques that can be used to win an argument.
But even though I’m a coward who don’t want to participate in an argument on the internet because I don’t want to lose it, there are still a lot of things I want to say. That is, after all, one of the many reasons I’m keeping this site online. So stopping to voice my opinion would just be plain stupid.
So I guess the coward just has to face his fear.