Sunday, September 2, 2007

look at me.

bah joo seh yo...

'forgive me',
in Korean. the literal meaning of this phrase can be loosely translated to say 'look at me' -- quite a fitting title for the following rant.

my biggest problem with this blog is lack of exposure. although in theory one should journal for one's own benefit, i'm afraid i'm far too vain to be satisfied with such a limited scope. i hate writing day in and day out [a heart wrenching three whole days, so far] knowing that my little posts may never get read. the only evidence i have to refute this fear comes in the form of a currency coveted by purveyors of social networks and online forums everywhere: the comment.

thus far, i have two comments to show for the three lengthy diatribes i have composed [not including this one, of course]. this is an extremely disconcerting ratio. i greatly appreciate the acknowledgment received from what may be my only two readers [allie and shelby, i love you both very much] but i'm afraid my ego can not be quelled by even the most heartfelt responses of only two individuals. after all, in the world of online networking, isn't it always about quantity not quality? aren't we all more concerned that the box on the right side of our myspace page can enumerate our several hundred "friends" than whether or not those "friends" are anything more than passing acquaintance? and doesn't our heart sink when there is no bright red message on the left side of our homepage to alert of us "new comments!"? it's like the disappointments we felt circa 1995 when there was no jovial greeting of "You've got mail!" to justify sitting through the lengthy and all-too-familiar whirrings and buzzings of our old friend the dial-up modem. but i digress...

what is it about comments and how is it that they have more in common with crack than just the letter 'c'? i think the answer lies in a very basic human instinct: the desire to be known.

comments are validation. it's an acknowledgement of existence -- a reward for the bravery that exposing one's identity to the world wide web requires. regardless of their actual content, each comment seems to say, "I know you're out there," "I see you," "I hear you," and the best even say "I understand you." and isn't that what we all want? to be understood? to know that somewhere out there someone feels what we feel, hurts the way we do and can prove that we aren't actually as crazy as we think we are? it's no wonder that the internet now serves as the middleman to all manor of communities both great and small, common and obscure, seen and unseen. with just a few simple clicks and the right keywords inputted into the correct search engine, even the most outcast outcast can find that he/she/[none/both of the above] is in fact, not alone.

so is this desire for such superficial validation healthy? debatable. but when one finds themselves deprived of this attention, how does one cope? where does one go for the acceptance one so desires? how does one stop referring to themselves in pretentious pronouns such as 'one'?

simple: find satisfaction within. although i think she may have been exaggerating a bit, i think whitney houston may have been on to something with the whole 'learning to love yourself' thing. i don't know that it was the greatest love of all, but it's certainly up there. the thing is i shouldn't need the validations of comments to promote my writing. i do, after all, have a desire to write in some kind of professional capacity one day so in theory, i should welcome the practice with or without the acknowledgement. i shouldn't seek the comments that tell my ego that i'm a good writer and instead be satisfied by the simple fact that the act of writing itself is making me a better writer.

and yet, the spirit is willing and the flesh is so weak.

so my friends, please forgive me.

bah joo seh yo.

please, look at me.


Allie, Dearest said...

i just have to respond. i hope others follow my cue.

i get really sad when there's no new messages.

Allie, Dearest said...

you totally have to leave the comment on your own blog, right underneath mine. that way everyone can succintly follow the conversation without going back and forth to try and find the trail.

i appreciate that you do the "christian" thing.

jHong said...

thanks i try.

but then again i do like the notion of peaking people's curiosity about the other person's blog and perhaps redirecting the readers' interest??

but then again, you are the only person that reads this blog apparently so there really wouldn't be a point to that would there?

Tana said...

Well said.