Positive Cynicism – There are changes and there are changes

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

Last week, Blogger changed its user interface. The “new” Blogger has actually been around for a few months — I’ve been using it since around mid-January — but this week it went official and changed everyone over automatically.

As with anything online, the change immediately began a gigantic bitchfest of people on Blogger griping about having a new interface. Just like they do every time Google changes the Blogger interface. They rend and tear and gnash their teeth, they swear that this is the worst thing that’s ever happened in the history of Google decision-making and then they get used to it and eventually defend it as the warmest, most comfortable-est friend they have when it comes time to bitch about the next set of changes Google makes to Blogger.

I find it all a bit silly. Not just because, personally, I like the new Blogger interface, but also because most of the bitching is just an immediate reaction to not being able to find the drop down menus and comparing that to something completely outsized like having to relearn English or the sudden change of the alphabet. But really, come on, it’s just something you’re comfortable with and you’re irritated that you have to spend the couple of minutes navigating the new button placement. That’s really all it is. Someone didn’t come into your house and knock down a wall for better chi flow or some bullshit like that. It’s just a new screen.

Seriously, if it’s that big a change in your life to get used to, maybe you just spend far too much time online and need to go over to Livejournal or some other FREE service that you use for FREE and totally at Google’s discretion. Eat some fruit and take a walk and gain some perspective. And don’t write things about how you aren’t going to blog anymore because then it just makes you look like a reactionary whiner when you do.

I said some of this on my Blogger this weekend, and immediately got angry comments from people who should know better. Now, because I’m actually very polite (I just play a grouch on the Internet), I didn’t name anyone specific, because I didn’t want to call out one or more persons and embarrass anyone. I just wanted to say that I found the displaced rage hilarious because, once again, this isn’t the Tower of Babel, this is putting your blog tags in a sidebar and actually making it less of a hassle to put a link in your text. But nonetheless, there were colleagues who felt my amusement was directed at them personally and tried to take me to task for not being understanding enough of their frustrations. (One person, who I like a great deal, told me that he thought I should be able to appreciate the disruption and irritation of arbitrary, random, pointless changes in one’s environment; the fact is, I do appreciate such disruptions, but this seems like even less of a disruption than moving a TV show from Mondays to Thursdays. Are people actually annoyed with me for not finding it that big of a deal?)

(Oh, also ironic is that none of the people who commented on my post were actually people I was annoyed with for whining about it … None of those people actually read my blog. I do think it’s funny, though, that the people who commented apparently recognized themselves in my words, which kind of says maybe they knew they were whining about it a little …)

So I don’t know; am I overreacting or underreacting?

Here’s where I think I’m mainly coming from: last week, I had to make the decision to put my beloved pet rabbit to sleep. He was approaching nine years old and rapidly deteriorating. When you have an animal and you put so much love into it — and that love is returned unconditionally — he becomes a part of your family. To suddenly lose all of that is something you can never fully prepare yourself for. Now he’s gone, but I still feel like I see him out of the corner of my eye, or I expect him to run around the corner, or I hear a noise and think it’s him … Hell, I even realized today that I still leave the bathroom door open a crack in case he comes nosing in, because he always hated when he didn’t know where we were.

My bunny being gone is a major change. That is a true disruption to my environment. I had to end the life of a loved one because he was in pain and his body was giving out on him. I feel a pain and sadness that has yet to go away.

I don’t want to play the dead pet card — and I didn’t, because it seemed classless to do so — but it’s hard to get worked up right now over a change to the Blogger interface, which is less of a disruption and more of a brief hassle. Pain in the ass? Sure. But life-changing event? Get a grip.

I didn’t play the dead pet card because, honestly, I like to think that I’d still find the bitching pretty stupid even if I wasn’t grieving. Because I’ve been using it for months and it took me less than an afternoon to master it. And this is coming from someone who still can’t figure out how to use Photoshop.

Come on, guys. Your home didn’t suddenly start filling up with water. Your ceiling didn’t cave in. You didn’t just discover that you were actually adopted. You just couldn’t find the “edit” button at first.

Not to be a dick, but I find the conflation of those things completely hilarious.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

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Comments (1)
  1. MC April 23, 2012

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