Tuesday 25 March 2008

Internet Emotions? What Are They?

Some of you may well realise that this post is based on actual experience.
Since you know that, there's no reason for me to allude to what it was, and so I won't. It's history now.

But it's based on a bit more. This is an evolving medium, and looking round, I see a lot of people are asking questions on this point.
In a sense, we're all beginers at this, it's a new medium, the medium hasn't found its feet, and nor have we.
Though maybe we're getting there. Day by day, I think our relationships with eachother online evolve, certain concepts are developing, concepts of how we see eachother are changing.

And perhaps we are getting wiser.

Somebody recently told me that my posts had got more interesting since I'd had to show the real me a bit more. Now in fact, there's a lot I always meant to keep back. Now, pretty much everything about me lurks in the archives.

And in a funny sense, now it's come to that, it is a weight off my shoulders. I don't have to hold back. I still have to retain anonymity, mainly, to protect my career and those close to me, but otherwise, I've nothing to hide.

Of course, that doesn't mean for an instant that you know me, or can EVER know me, no matter how many posts I write, even if I write thousands of posts over the years, you'll never really know me. And the same is true of you. I'll never REALLY know you.

It's the same principle that a photo rarely tells you what a person looks like. When do you ever see someone in suspended animation? You don't. You need to see several photos of someone to get any idea of what they are like in motion. Which we always are.

Now of course, this puts us in a funny position. Take Electro-Kevin. Over the last year, one picks up a lot about him- he's very open on his blog. But there are, obviously, things none of us can EVER know about Electro-Kevin, which, were we to meet him in a pub, we would pick up in a matter of minutes. His intonations, the way he stands at the bar, his mannerisms, his laugh. The REAL bits of his character, which would show the person he REALLY is.

The barmaid who sees Electro-Kevin in the pub and thinks 'Hmm, he's all right!', might not in fact like his blog.

Herein lies the problem. We're pouring our souls out here a lot of the time. We write with passion, enthusiasm, with emotion.
And often, that comes across.

And the power of words IS Erotic. Othello tells us that. We can come across blogs and be mesmerised, a person shines through that can captivate us. I'll be honest, more than once I've come across a blog, where, knowing the blogger to be female, one gets a kind of crush.
It's great. They're no more flesh and blood than the pin ups of Liz Hurley that you had on your walls as a teenager, but you can leave them comments, like a lovestruck teenager, and they answer back.

Let's be honest, some of level of flirting is an integral part of blogging. As of course, it is in real life interactions. I do it every day, with almost every woman I come across within a certain age range. Only on the internet, you can slip into delusion.

Because it ISN'T really flirting. It SEEMS to press the buttons, and we respond to it as if it is, but it isn't.

Because the real emotion you actually feel in this blog crush, ISN'T EROTIC.
It's platonic. Purely platonic.

The problem is, in real life, when we get that feeling, it is usually coupled with some desire to be physically close to that person. Body language, tone of voice, mannerisms, it is a whole person that we are attracted to.
On the internet, really it IS just a mind, and part of their mind at that.

We're just not used to such strong platonic desires, and thus, we wrongly label them in our own minds, as being erotic.

It is something beautiful I think, but we haven't understood it. We see a mind that inspires us, a mind we feel we connect to. And that isn't, in itself, an invalid connection. What IS invalid, is reading more into it than that.

Even exchanging e-mails, yes, you get to know a lot about a person, but not nearly as much as you THINK you know.
Even on the telephone, no, you don't know them- how can you?
In fact, speaking on the phone to me, would be positively dangerous. My voice is my best asset, and I have a definite telephone voice, low, lilting, seductive. It's my business voice, it is my flirtation voice, down the pub, it disappears, to be replaced by a far louder, more abrasive, coarser, Brummie dialect.

I know it's my best asset. My business voice has definite hypnotic qualities. I have learned how to use it over the years and I use it on the phone, without thinking. If I'm speaking to a woman, I just naturally slip in to it.

None of it, of course, is real. It's a mutual delusion. The internet allows us to cross barriers, to communicate with people from walks of life, we'd never otherwise come into contact with. There is a certain excitement, I guess at penetrating beyond the walls of a blog, and finding what lurks behind, in a world so very different to ours.

To put it in context, most people I know in real life, lead lives that bear some relation to mine. I work in a sector, which has its own codes of practice, which aren't those of other sectors. The way I lead my life, is perfectly acceptable within that sector. Temperance and sexual fidelity, are exceptions rather than the norm for salespeople. My friends are all fairly similar to me in outlook, the way we interact with eachother, the mores which we are agreed upon, are those we consider to be right. Not everybody in society would.

Most people who read this blog, lead very different lives to me. They do, it's fact.
That's the joy of blogging. When I have discussions with my friends, we tend to see the world, if not the same, at least in a similar way. And of course, we all know eachother.
That's why blogging is so much more rewarding. It's throwing yourself into the great unknown, and making some surprising friends.

And in a sense, they are real friendships. But they can only REALLY be platonic. No matter how strong we may think we feel.
And I think we don't always see this straight away. Maybe we have to be once bitten twice shy. Maybe one has to see the huge personal damage- to both you and the other party- that come from neither party standing back and being objective.

Oh, I know people are going to say that there are many internet romances that have worked and quote me a tale where it did.
I'm sure you're right.
But as sure as hell, the vast majority met and found they weren't meeting the person they thought they were meeting.

And that's not because either party lied.
But because both parties saw the other through a self-constructed prism. They saw only the words, or heard only the voice and their minds filled in the blanks.

And people will say that people make love over the internet, or over the phone. Cybersex, phonesex, etc.

Making love involves two people who actually know the three dimensional form of the other, desire to feel the warmth of their three dimensional form and unite.

Mutual masturbation at a distance of hundreds of miles is not love making. It is not even sex. It's a delusion. It's not wrong, anymore than looking at porn is wrong, but please don't glamourise it.

The whole thing is fantasy, and dangerous fantasy at that.

Dangerous, because it becomes a hope, and yet a fear at the same time.

The thing is, people have real lives. They have real careers, and real friends. They go to real parties, they meet real members of the opposite sex.
And you can't really expect to have an inkling of the real life of someone you don't know. For example, you know what I would say about how I see my friendship with my friends. You don't see them, except through my eyes. If you knew me in real life of course, they would be real people, with their own personalities.

And when these things go sour, they can go sour in a far more damaging way than real life equivalents. They can cause more damage for a start.
But also, there can be much more bitterness and anger.

I think, there is an element where people think they have been misled. And in a sense, they have. Misled into thinking that these things are what they can't, in reality, be.

You can delude yourself that you love someone you've never met, but you don't.
Not in that way. Platonic yes, romantic, no.
And that's where people fall down.

But aren't we all yearning for that special someone? And isn't it oh so tempting to think that that platonic connection is something more?
Because maybe, we do free ourselves and open ourselves up to forming platonic connections in a way we don't so often in real life. We're more guarded, less trusting.

I think what we find here, is that actually, we end up quite liking people we wouldn't give ourselves time to get to know in real life.

But would we like them in real life?

I guess maybe, we don't really always need to know the answer, and maybe we shouldn't push the question too far sometimes. Maybe we should accept the beauty that exists in the way we interact as avatars.
And when we e-mail eachother, just accept that for what it is too, two minds, sharing thoughts. In itself, that does mean something.

It's perhaps a new kind of friendship, a new kind of relationship that defies our preconception of categorisation.
And maybe, in trying too hard to find terms for these connections, we force them into boxes they don't really fit in.

I suppose, in a sense, of all the regret I might personally feel for the situation that happened to me, the saddest part was to realise just how much someone hated you (still hates, I think). To realise that someone who you thought kind of got you, was now drifting deeper and deeper into a falser and falser picture of you, based on the fact that really, none of you had ever really known eachother in the first place. And now the gaps that had once been filled in, in the best light, were refilled in, in the worst light.
And yet somewhere, in the innermost recesses of my heart, was a faint tingle remembering a conversation about Nietzche. Somewhere, in all that debris, was a platonic friendship lost. And I always regret the loss of a friend.

I think one can develop deep and meaningful friendships with people through this medium. I have mentioned before how important one of my online friendships is to me, and it is important to me, very important. I understand the dynamics of it far better than once I would have done. There is no conceivable way I would see her in anything other than platonic terms, and vice versa. She's- very sweet, I guess that's really all I can say, and that's probably all there is to say really. She cheers me up. She adds to my life, in a good way.

I think for so long, our society has downplayed the importance of platonic friendship. I think here we are discovering it's beauty again, we are making friends, valuable friends, in a way not tangible in real life. They are just different to our real life friendships. But not necessarily less meaningful.

But they can't be romantic. And we can't fool ourselves they are.

For romance, really, you have see them walk, hear them talk. You have to see them in 3D and want to hold them tight, to caress their cheek, feel their breath on your neck.

We have such potential here, we really do, in forming personal interconnections in a wholly new way.
Blogging is amazing, it really is.

And those of you I consider my friends (Those of you who receive e-mails with my name at the bottom), I love you all to bits (PLATONICALLY!!!!!!).

But Romance.
Let's start getting real, people get hurt.

When two people look into eachothers eyes and their pupils dilate, their arms touch and they slowly move towards eachother, when their lips slowly press against eachothers, when their hearts are fluttering like a butterfly, when the taste of the other's lips is sweet as strawberries, THAT'S romance.

And THAT only happens in real life.


Anonymous said...

Good post.

I often think of that myself, the dynamics of internet relationships and have often come to the same conclusions.

Friends? Yes. But I don't for half a minute believe in all this online romance malarkey.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post Crushed. Leaving aside the romance aspect of it, although I agree mostly with what you have said on that part of it I can see some people meeting on line and liking each other, forming a friendship, then meeting in real life and reconciling that person with the one they think they know and falling in love. But it's a big risk to take.

I think it is amazing the friendships we form online and how much those people mean to us. What we learn from them in the exchange of ideas and information, not only in our blogs but in our emails, is so worthwhile and we do have a deep attachment to them, in that we care about them, we want the best for them. Who would have thought that would grow out of having a blog? In a way it's almost the best thing.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be an echo, but this is a truly great post.

This medium allows for some amazing and unexpected friendships. Many of these friendships are so dear to me that I wouldn't want to endanger them with romance, even if I were so inclined. Many out there who I admire and respect, although I must admit, there are those who pique my interest. I'd be a liar to not admit that.

There is something to be said for the mystery inherent with knowing a mind before knowing the whole being in the flesh. In many ways, we do get to know the whole being, leaving the physical aspect superficial and even irrelevent.

But as I said, I respect the people I meet over the blogs. I'd rather not jeopordize my friendships with romance and attempts at it. They would not respect me for being a philanderer with only women's blogs on my sidebar or some crap, either, not to mention, if I were constantly leaving strong flirtations hanging up here in the open air of cyberspace.

It's a good dilema to write about, the transference of emotions and instincts to this medium. This is were we can truly live up to being an enlightened species, rather than turning it into a giant frat party or the like. Flirting is one thing, but being an iRomeo or an out and out bore is another thing entirely.
And I seemed to have fixed the computer I was logging in on. Nice to be back.

Anonymous said...

> But as sure as hell, the vast majority met and found they weren't meeting the person they thought they were meeting. And that's not because either party lied. But because both parties saw the other through a self-constructed prism. They saw only the words, or heard only the voice and their minds filled in the blanks. Incorrectly.

Yes. That's why I'm afraid. :-)

> When two people look into eachothers eyes and their pupils dilate, their arms touch and they slowly move towards eachother, when their lips slowly press against eachothers, when their hearts are fluttering like a butterfly, when the taste of the other's lips is sweet as strawberries, THAT'S romance. And THAT only happens in real life.

Then to give it a chance, one has to meet in real life. And yes, even if you risk losing the friendship that was... well, then, it's a gamble ;-) And I'm a gambler :-)

It's a meeting of the minds... and you can fall in love with their mind, but there's so much more to them than that. And in one of the millions of alternate possibilities that exist, it. might. just. work. (where you both find that even if the image you had isn't the same as the reality, it's acceptable..). I don't buy lottery tickets, but I play roulette, and it works for me.

But still... I'm afraid ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oestrebunny- Yes, but you have your feet firmly on the ground.

I guess some of it comes from the the fact that blogging is new and still exciting. I've been blogging over a year, and it's still exciting.

I think it comes from the medium being new. In time received wisdoms will be passed round, and people will see this as it is. We're the pioneers if you like :)

jmb- Well, I think if it happens the way you describe, then yes, I can see that working- as long as people don't have expectations prior to meeting in real life. Because often real life, won't live up to the dream. But on the other hand, on that occasions it did, I suppose it COULD actually worked out rather well. Most people hop into bed without knowing someone, in this case they'd have a slight hard start, if there actually was chemistry in real life.

But people would have to prepared that there probably wouldn't be.

I agree, it certainly gets you interested in things you wouldn't have thought of. It's interesting to see worldviews that are so different because, they are from titally different parts of the world. It gives a far wider perspective.
I agree you do find you FEEL people's personas, I can remember which comment came from who, because, in a sense, I've started to recognise thought patterns. I sometimes wonder how accurate the voice I hear these comments in is. Probably not, I suspect. In fact, there's one blogger who I have spoken to, and I can still hear his REAL voice in my head, but when I read his blog, I still hear the voice I always imagined for him, which is very different.

I think we do form genuine attachments, certainly I feel like certain bloggers are a type of friends/family, etcetera. It is something that makes me optimistic about the future, because I think anything that brings peole together, has to be good.

Eric- I think, as I say, we're all new to the game.
I think there's a statistically likely probability that there are female bloggers in your sidebar you would like in the flesh. But yes, the mystery is interesting.

I think one thing I find, is that it DOES make it more easy to have genuine platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex, which I do like. In RL I always have a dangerous tendancy to spoil that, or hormones get in the way.

I think (in fact I've said this for a while), we should try adopt the ethics of the workplace to a certain degree. You can flirt as much as you like, but the integrity of the medium should come first. I mean, ultimately, if we are claiming to be 'citizen journalists'- though this blog is probably more a 'citizen column'- then we should try behave that way. Of course, we'll reshape those values in our own way, but it' good way to look at it, I think.

Eve- I can't really comment overmuch on your own situation, and big scary vikings kind of worry me a little, so I won't pass judgement on what I know nothing about.

All I can really say, is that even in real life, relationships often start in a SLIGHT prism. How many relationships start at work? I've had several. And there's an element of error even there. Because we act a little bit at work.

Whatever people say, having a wide social circle and going out a lot are the best places to meet people ACTUALLY BEING WHO THEY ARE.

You only really know somebody I THINK, when you see them interact with their friends, because that's how they'll interact with you.
I have learned to be cautious about women with no friends of the same sex, there's usually a good reason.

If you're responsible adults, no reason why the friendship should be lost. There's something very adolescent about getting bitter because romance doesn't pan out.

Again, I suppose IF it was genuine, it wouldn't matter that you were wrong on all those points, because the mind you loved was the mind you found. That can never lie, I think. If you start to find that you dislike things you subsequently find out, then it wasn't real in the first place.

In your shoes, I'd be apprehensive, but you're a big girl and a sensible one- and a philosophical one- so you'll be all right :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, friendship comes in all shapes and sizes and each friendship should be cherished.

I agree with JMB and her comments about the romance aspect and meeting in RL, someone dear to me took this chance and it got rather messy and complicated!

Anonymous said...

I knew that underneath the logical fasad is a boy who still believes in fairytales... ok ok, sorry, that sounded to girlish, someone who believes in myths/fantasy :)

Wonderful post cbi. You do not only have the gift of words, to touch people and express their inner feelings and thoughts, but you have an amazing ability to make them think.

And that my friend is a gift you should feel blessed over.

regarding phonevoice - well, i have entioned that my voice has a tendancy to become husky ala chainsmoking for 40 years whenever i get "man-cold" and ppl always give me weird lookz and say i have a sexy voice... freaks! the worst part is when one of my customer told me that my voice wasn't meant for decent phonecalls!

Cheers my friend - lots of platonic hugz to you ;)

Anonymous said...

> Again, I suppose IF it was genuine, it wouldn't matter that you were wrong on all those points, because the mind you loved was the mind you found
Yes, it's true.... the fear then is just that one might find oneself more shallow than one thought ;-) (and then again, marriage isn't just a marriage of the minds)

> and big scary vikings kind of worry me a little, so I won't pass judgement on what I know nothing about
Hehehe, that's true ;-) Am proud of my big scary viking :-D

Anonymous said...

I think our reasons for being attracted to someone over the internet are almost always necessarily different than what would draw you to them in real life. They have to be... the dynamics of the relationship are too different.

However, with regard to friendships, I've been surprised at the comfort level and sense of naturalness that has came about on my two encounters thus far. Sure, you can never predict their quirks (which always trips me up a little... I find it so intriguing how people perceive me through my words), but the transition into comfort is so much smoother.

Anonymous said...

Cherrypie- Each friendship taken on its own terms. All friendships have their own dynamics.
They aren't always imediately explainable.

It's a risk, a big risk. But as long as no one meets with romantic expectations, all well and good.

Crashie- Myth contains inner truth. Myth is almost the psychoanalysis of man's body chemistry.

I like to think my thoughts aren't in vain :)

Do your purr on the phone? I do, a low. throaty purr. And 'Mmmm. You have a lovely accent, you know.'

A woman with a low voice and a Liverpool accent. Mmmmm.

Cheers for the hugs!

Eve- We always are more shallow than we think.
Sad, but true.

And you're his little valkyrie, I'm sure :)

Princess P- Well naturally. I'm sure I come across very different here to what I do in real life.

I think sometimes we can pick a lot up, but we can also be hugely wrong. I have made huge reassessments over time in the mental images I have of certain bloggers.

My image of yourself for example, seeing the pictures of yourself on your blog, were false.

I suppose I see you as a smart version of Phoebe from Friends, but I'm probably totally wrong :)

Anonymous said...

JMB Tell me would youmlike this guy to date your daughter, who begs them to marry him and beheind her back is telling people she is a net stalker? Who cajoles naught pics and then threatens s and DOES show them around the net, whilst coming here everyday after threatening her into silence with violence, to clean up his image,project mental abuses onto her and play the victim som wome like you can fawn over and enable them?
I am gald you think this is a great post. I htink it disgsusting how you have made the assumption you nkow this guy ,without thinking why does he obsessively write terrible things about her
SArte you so dozed out, you do not see aq public raping over..and a warning off tom other wowmen what will happen to them if they talk?
DO oyu miss his I can control people like dogs posts?
You dodn't know this guy because you have not been a victim of him and never will.Women will not ocme forward now that he rules the sphere with fear. Keep patting him on the head JMB Keep supporting a emotional predeator online.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ubermouth.

Look, I'm sorry to break it to you, but relationships happen between real people who have met eachother.

People get hurt by these delusions, as you did, and, as a result of your hurt, I did- or more importantly, my blog did.

So they should clearly be avoided, shouldn't they?

How the hell you think you are a victim is, and always has been, beyond me. Someone deciding they don't want to talk to you any more, is hardly the biggest crime in the universe. Write to Jacqui Smith, maybe the government will pass a Criminal Justice Act just for you.

I've tried to make peace with you, you continue to spurn the offers, what more can I do?

Read the post again, take it in, think about it, and go off and remember, you won't find love online.

Try the pub, usually works for me.

Anonymous said...

Ubermouth, you are wasting your time with this guy, he is clearly living in a fantasy world of his own and soon others will also see this.

Crushed, I'm sure I am not the only one that sees through the pious front you put up as a cloak over your natural predatory nature. I find it amazing that people do not spot the contradictions in your posts never mind the aggressive comments you leave at other sites.

I was also disappointed to note that despite your stance on censorship it appears you have deleted a comment left previously. I'm not surprised though that you have done so as it spoilt the carefully created image you want to project.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you here. I have fallen in love with one man online and we began a real life, beautiful love-affair that lasted a few years. In fact, we remain best friends to this day.

Emotions are real, just because your attempt at it with Uber didn't work, doesn't mean others cant.

I do however feel that earlier rather than later, people need to meet in real life, to decide how real it can be, offline.

Anonymous said...

Winston- We meet again, oh defender of the indefensible.

Yes, she has wasted hours of many people's time with this. Most especially mine.

As for your comments, don't presume that you make my comments policy. I deleted a comment, I refer to the fact in the comments sections that I deleted it, it was deleted for good reason.
No comments are permitted which contain personal information. In fact to have answered that comment would have involved a farly brutal response to your little friend, which would have publically humiliated her. Hence deletion was the correct thing to do.

The general thrust of your comments is invalidated for several reasons. You don't exist. You only appear when Uber finds herself unable to deal with comments sections where she puts herself in silly positions. You are just a hyperlink to a wikipedia entry, chosen to coincide with my own pseudonym. You are one of two things, a real life dupe, who only hears your friends highly fabricated version, or a coward who won't admit who they are.

Either way, a sock puppet of course.

I'm not going to bother commenting on your ridiculous statements, because they read like a script written by your little friend. Which of course, they are.

Ms S- Maybe so, but before you had met, really, it was a platonic attachment, surely.
You may have liked eachothers minds and decided you wanted to know the other person, and it turned out the other person WAS everything you hoped for.

But until you know that, until you have met, then it isn't real. A possibility, maybe.

I'm guessing you were probably relatively grown up and mature about it and saw everything within its proper context.

I'm not saying it can't lead to people meeting, just that it is only then that the real world commences.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, you got me, it is probably a bit of both and I do feel I am wasting my time sometimes but there are times you can not just stand by and be silent. Is that not what blogging is about? Your views on life and feedback.

I can understand about the comment policy but wonder why in that case you sometime use her personal information when you post and comment. A tad hypocritical.

The facts of the case are however written in your own hand. Anyone looking through your posts and comments can see how you contradict yourself if they actually read and digest despite all your edits to remove the worst of your thoughts.

She has not done herself any favours with emotions swinging wildly between love and hate in her own responses but as Ms Smack says she thought you had a relationship and the rest of us, people with normal emotions, know remote relationships can be very intense. You on the other hand were just playing a game with her mind as she swings at your whim between mother, friend and internet buddy. How strange is that? Emotions that are so different between men and women and to be still posting after all this time shows that you must have had stronger feelings than you like to admit. It seems to me that you are the one keeping this going from my limited viewpoint. Hope you think it is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Winston, bottom line is, I asked her to stop contacting me.
She turned vindictive.

The damage she did as a result cannot be justified.
Whatever her emotions, they shouldn't have affected my blog.

It's the principle of the thing.

But yes, I learned from it.

And predatory, I'm not.

Anonymous said...

Winston, I've thought about this, and I'm actually going to state the facts as simply as possible.

It's a shame this comments section has been monopolised by this topic. The aim of the post was to prove exactly why these situations generally are to be avoided.

Whatever the dynamics of the situation in question, I really had no choice other than to request a complete termination of contact.

Those reasons would have stood, regardless.
Firstly, she wanted to take up time I didn't have.
Secondly, she wanted to be treated diferently to other bloggers in the public sphere. I couldn't have that.
Thirdly- most importantly, she had intruded into our personal lives. My flatmate and best friend found that unacceptable and made it clear they would prefer it if I stopped contact with her. Ultimately, I wasn't going to oppose them on this. They are my family, in a real sense.

She is aware that these were the reasons contact had to end, and would have had to end, regardless.

Now look at her comment, above. Since then- September, this is what I've had to put up with, not only in e-mail, after e-mail, after e-mail, but in her repeating that same sort of stuff in as many places as she can- to my detriment.

You refer to stating facts about her in my posts- she laid my whole life online, stuff I never wanted ANYONE to know.

This is partly the point of the post. It was always going to impossible for her to understand my world, and vice versa.

It is the damage done to this blog that hurts, and still hurts. It is the sort of hatred exhibited in the comment above, that hurts. I don't like being hated.

But I have tried to draw a line under it, with the recent post that seemed to so upset her, and with this post explaining why these things should be treated carefully, period.

Which is why, as I say, once bitten twice shy.

I don't think the internet, is a place to find romance. I think it possible you may actually decide to meet up with people in RL, on the basis you are friends. And of course, if you did that often enough, something more might come of it.

But in this case, it was all wrong. And I've tried, so hard to make peace with your friend, to show her that the whole thing was a destructive delusion- for which she bears equal responsibility.

Treating online connections with people you haven't met as having romantic significance is irresponsible. And I realised that back in September.

And I will never be that irresponsible again.

Now I really hope- finally- she can stop hating me with the venom that she does.

Are we a bit more clear now, winston?

Anonymous said...

Each to their own, if it works for some and they are happy, who is anyone to say otherwise. Like how should it make a difference and bother anyone what others think. If it don't affect your life, its up to them what they do, not necessarily wrong just because it isn't your thing. I like how people get bent out of shape over what others do when it has no direct bearing on them.