On a forum in which I participate, various people have taken it upon themselves to psychoanalyze the personality of one of my friends. It’s a bizarre thing to read. I imagine it would be even more bizarre to be the subject. People who haven’t actually met the person in question seem all-too-eager to find fault.
The temptation is, naturally, to defend my friend. But I won’t. Because in the world of the internet, that would be to concede that the matter was even worthy of debate. ‘Don’t dignify it with a response’. There’s no point. Nobody in the history of the internet has ever had their opinion changed by someone else correcting them.
“Oh, thank you for pointing out the flaws in my argument, and providing me with facts which support an alternative thesis, I have now changed my view as a result.”
THIS NEVER HAPPENS.
No, instead it will only serve to prolong the discussion. Because there is no point in arguing with people who are self-evidently wrong. It’s like arguing with someone who says the Beatles were crap. I mean, if someone holds that opinion, that’s okay, but clearly they are not the type of person who is ever going to let ‘facts’ intrude upon their world view. They’ve made up their mind - and now they’ve closed it.
Besides, I know how wrong ‘public impressions’ can be. I’m sure, to several, I come across as a complete dickhead, obnoxious, surly, unapproachable. When, to me, I’m merely struggling to overcome my own insecurity, awkwardness, and embarrassment.
And anyway – the whole business is simply a Rorschach test; people projecting their own personal issues onto somebody they don’t know, where their opinion tells you very little about the subject, but rather a lot about the person doing the criticising.