Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quiet Zone

I don't do editorials very often and strictly speaking this isn't one either.  But I ran across the old Peanuts cartoon above and remembered how much I enjoyed its homespun philosophy when it was alive and kicking in newspapers. Frankly I was taken by how much that cartoon applies to my personal way of thinking, perhaps not so much by choice, but by the fact that silence often keeps trouble at bay.  

There are some notable historical exceptions, of course, namely Sir Thomas Moore, whose silence in the matter of his King proved to be his undoing.  But I actually refer to those of us who are card-carrying members of Club Dread, introverts all.  I happen to be one its long-term members at this stage being reminded by the Wombie about a pitifully introverted situation when I was buying school clothes way back when.  I said "It doesn't make any difference" when when the poor clerk tried to assist in my search.  

And I'm getting worse.  I probably don't have enough years left to become a wacko-style recluse, but I find the avoidance of social situations increasingly relieving.  But I digress.  I see all over the news these headlines:

"Waylon Jennings son apologizes..."
"Ben Carson apologizes over Prison remarks..."
"Rep. Alday publicly apologizes..."
"Fox News apologizes..."
"Louis Tomlinson apologizes..."
"Steele to Rush: I'm sorry..."
"Matt Barnes personally apologized..."
"Amy Pascal apologized..."
"Judge apologized over remarks..."
"Alan Grayson apologizes..."
"Golf channel analyst apologizes for lynch remark...
"George Takei apologizes..."
"Boomer Esaiason apologizes..."
"Ariana Grande apologizes..."

Type in 'apologizes' in your browser and be astounded at the page after page after page of recent and more recent apologies over stupid remarks people have made.   A lot of these are Tweets or Twitters, or whatever term is used.  I know nothing of these forms of media.  I don't Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat and rarely do the Facebook thing. I blog.  Facebook seems a lot like the old adage we heard in the AIDS days, "When you have sex, you have sex with everyone that person had sex with."  On Facebook I post something then I find out it went to all manor of person place and thing.  It scares me. But I digress again.  

Seems like people use these social media platforms to keep their legion of fans interested in them (mistake number one) then have to apologize to everyone when they say something stupid (mistake number two).  Mark Twain's adage, "Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt" holds as true today as it did a hundred years ago.  None of the social media platforms are leaving very soon (mistake number 3) so we'll be living with all of these individuals who must keep their names in the headlines in order to keep themselves or their brand relevant (think Caitlyn).  

For me, I shall remain the silent guy in the corner of the room, either too afraid to reveal my foolishness, or too scared of making social mistakes, which seem to linger with me more than they should.  I have often said that extroverts provide the savory spices that make a stew (the world) a memorable feast.   Introverts, meanwhile, make sure the kitchen is well stocked and that there is an audience.   Introverts may not be the loudest, or funniest, or most popular at the party, but then, we seldom have anything to apologize for the next morning.     

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