Still a dog, but no longer barking

How much virtual water has flowed under the bridges on social media?

Yesterday, something happened. It made me recall these two cartoons – do you remember them?

I have been both these characters. I am still the dog, but the egotist I’ve been working on. Successfully, I hope, but only others have the authority to judge.

When that something happened yesterday – a slight thing, petty and of little consequence – a former self would have rushed at it, like a bull at a gate, seeing a challenge, intent on oneupmanship, getting in the last word. Egotism – what is it good for? It probably had some evolutionary advantage but now that we’ve got where we are, can’t it be jettisoned, like a spent cartridge, a new and better virtue taking its place?

Having been all over social media in all its various guises, from early chat forums, to blogging, through all manner of Facebooks and Twitters, and back to blogging, I like blogging best. I like how it’s a personal space into which you invite others, and in turn others invite you into there’s and there exists a code of propriety, of respect and manners and civility. In contrast, those other media forms seem full of egos and hatred. It’s reached a point when even role models and statesmen and stateswomen join in. It’s why I left.

Humility is the virtue which should slide gracefully in the place left by egotism.

Nobody knows you’re a dog – Peter Steiner (The New Yorker, 1993)

(“Someone is wrong”) Duty Calls by xkcd (Randall Munroe)

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