Is Online Communication Making Us More Rude Offline?

Riding home on the metro a few weeks ago, I was one of many San Franciscan sardines commuting after a long day at work. As was to be expected with the abrupt stop-and-gos of the train and the complete lack of personal space, my fellow passengers and I accepted that things were going to get physical. I held a pole for balance while my other arm held an open book in front of my chest. My goal was to take up as little of the horizontal plane as possible. A quarter of the way into…

I got no car and it’s breaking my heart

At age 16, I failed my first driving test. It wasn’t that I was a bad driver, but driving just made me nervous. What didn’t help the test was a grumpy man in the passenger seat who likely started working at DMV when cars were invented. Though I eventually passed, my initial failure was debilitating. I told myself that I was a bad driver, but oh well, I hated driving. My defense mechanism was to avoid driving as much as possible for the rest of high school. This is nearly…

“Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” -Mark Twain

“So there’s absolutely nothing you can do? I really need these books to arrive by Saturday.” “Well, we don’t ship on weekends.” “Okay fine, by Friday.” “Well, you need to understand we’re a warehouse. We can only start printing once you order your books. Sometimes we end up with a pretty long queue of books to print.” “So there’s absolutely nothing you can do?” Much like the lump that was now trapped in my throat, I was trapped in a cyclical conversation. Last Monday, I was notified that a pre-release…

Foolish Heart

I consider myself to have a pretty strong hold of my emotions. I am not flighty or especially over- or under-sensitive. Though current research in Neuroeconomics would probably tell us otherwise, I am, on the whole, rational about my goals, motivations, and choices. So naturally, I am always taken by surprise when my emotions trick me. When, with an air of superiority, my emotions laugh in my face, mocking me for thinking that I was in control. In the fifth grade, something awful happened to my group of friends. A…

When Angry, Count Four; When Very Angry, Swear.

Years of English teachers have tried to hammer to my core that words have monetary values. Those three-letter words like sad and mad were supposedly “cheap” while synonyms like anger and fury were “rich.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to realize that word-length is not positively correlated with word-value. It’s all about the semantics. Anger is mean-spirited. It makes enemies. It ignites war. It is arguably foolish and usually replaceable by some constructive action. Anger is authoritative discipline. Mad is much more valuable, though, because of the emotion that…