I bring you this list of things I do to stay sane on the internet more in the spirit of catharsis than anything else. In saying it, it no longer binds my heart. I am free! And so on.
By no means is this intending to be convincing: you do not have to choose your reading material like I do. By all means read things that piss you off. Even more important, read things that piss me off. Someone has to do it. I choose… you.
That said, I bring you Mary’s rules for staying sane on the Internet:
- re-read Charles’ Rules of Argument monthly;
- do not syndicate an RSS feed if anything in it ever causes me to stand up and pace around having an imaginary argument with the author;
- do not syndicate an RSS feed if more than one-twentieth of the posts are commentary about weblogging as a fabulous community building tool (and that number is only one-twentieth so that Crooked Timber and Easily Distracted slip under the radar), making exceptions only for people in their first months of weblogging;
- unsubscribe from an RSS feed when I read less than half the content;
- permanently unsubscribe from all mailing lists on which I read less than half the content;
- temporarily unsubscribe from mailing lists when at least two posts in any one thread cause me to pace around the room having an argument with either their author or everyone who’s contributed to the thread;
- permanently unsubscribe from a mailing list the third time the previous condition is met (I make exceptions for the LinuxChix lists because they’re the only very active and vibrant social lists I’m on); and
- delete unsent about one third of all emails I compose to mailing lists.