Snarky Behavior

Is Blogging a Neurotic Activity?

September 29, 2007 · 1 Comment

“Self-Improvement is masturbation.”
–Tyler Durden

“Depression is closely followed by delusions of grandeur.”

“A witty saying proves nothing.”

I was listening to MC Paul Barman’s “Cock Mobster” (while not doing my economics homework) and was compelled to look up one of his lyrics (which turned out to be the Karen Horney quote above). Which got me on Wikipedia reading Freudian criticisms of psychoanalysis, and different frameworks of coping strategies and behaviorial analysis. Wikipedia is the SHIT.

Now, I’m deeply suspicious of pyschoanalysis because I think that frameworks can be distorted to create sloppy archetypes that hypochondriacs and quacks will defer to when “explaining” the behaviorial nature of human beings. But there are certainly some interesting observations raised by some of the theories that undoubtedly hold merit.

While listing out the 10 “needs” of neurotics, Horney starts with 3 classifications: those “Moving Toward People,” those “Moving Against People,” and those “Moving Away from People.”

Self-effacement, aggression, and withdrawal. Sound like any bloggers you know?

Self-effacement: Bloggers will be the first to tell you that they operate within a “community” which they call “the blogosphere.” Certainly they demonstrate a need for approval (1) by their peers and a need to restrict life practices within narrow borders, preferring anonymity or inconspicousness to the limelight (3).

Aggression: Bloggers who write about current affairs or deconstruct arguments do so because they are exercising a need to bend the wills of others (4, 5). They exhibit a need to be recognized by others for their opinions (6), and moreover, to be admired by others for their wit or original thought (7). And boy, are they self-promoting (8).

Withdrawal: Bloggers sit in front of a computer all day, and are inherently asocial, despite any protest for the existence of an “online community.” They need to be independent… publishing on their own terms (9). And they need to be perceived as perfectionist, because it is the fear of ridicule that drives them. (10)

Certainly several of these characteristics apply to me. Not to say that these are necessarily bad things. Neurotic behaviors only becomes psychoses when they are exercised desperately and unconsciously.

Self-expression is motivated by many factors. It certainly seems healthier to make manifest the pursuit of self-actualization via quasi-anonymous writing than more suspect and explicit methods, such as the power pursuit of politicians, bankers, and highest brow intellectuals.

But what do I know… I’m just a blogger.

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