Monday, January 07, 2008

On Negative Attention-Seeking in the Blogosphere: Have you ever noticed?

I work in mental health with children and their families. A phenomenon I see everyday is the child who is caught up in the habit of seeking "negative attention." It occurs to me that some blogs in the blogosphere exist for the negative attention they receive.

It all starts with a perceived hurt. The blogger decides,"I'll show you, person who hurt me! I'm going to say all the bad things about you I can think of. I'm going to call you names. I'm going to go off on you, and then you'll be sorry!"

When it is a child we are talking about, our heart goes out to them. When it is an adult, our heart still goes out to them, but with a caveat. We say to ourselves, "I can see you've been hurt, but you are still responsible for what you do." God the Father is merciful, but God the Father also judges. At least that's what I've come to believe as a Baha'i.

Negative attention-seeking for an adult has its consequences. It eats at the soul. It causes distress. That distress is a sign to us as adults to get our act together. We can make the changes needed, and the distress goes away. I think that's pretty neat. -gw


Sholeh said...

I find that the filters that most people would have in the physical world vanish like smoke when faced with these perceived hurts. It is so easy to push that "post" button...

Marco said...

Isn't that also a typical behavior of some media?
Some media bosses think bad news are a good business!

dan said...

it's even worse on the internet than in real life - the perception of anonymity and detachment from social and physical reality can really bring out the worst in people.

and what Sholeh is describing is sort of like email rage... our thoughts flow much faster through a keyboard than when we are talking to a real live person - no visual cues or tone of voice to respond to.