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GUEST POST by Kronykal Jones: The ‘Internet of Feels’

GUEST POST by Kronykal Jones: The ‘Internet of Feels’

Let’s talk about emotions. Now I know what you’re thinking. Kron?! Wtf?? Yes, it’s me, and I want to talk about feelings. We’re all on social media and before you engage further, gather round, sit your ass down and listen up. I’ll wait while you have a shot of your favorite poison.

We good? Ok. Then let’s do it.

Feelings are important. They truly are. They’re the basis of empathy, which is extremely important, and often lacking, in our society. Without empathy, compassion wouldn’t exist. Hope… Love… Kindness… All of these things require empathy. Feelings. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m dead inside. I’m heartless… A robot… Those closer to me know that’s not so. It’s true that I don’t really wear my feelings on my sleeve. I’m practical. I’m a realist. I believe in logic above emotional irrationality. But I do feel. Sometimes very deeply. And sometimes I make decisions when I do. If you make a decision based purely on emotion, there’s a very good chance you’re ignoring some important pieces of information that will eventually show that you made the wrong decision. In other words, you’re probably going to fuck up. You might even hurt people. On the other hand, if you make a decision based purely on thought, ignoring the emotions involved, you’re also ignoring your own basic humanity. Sometimes you have to be callous. Often you don’t, but you go that route because it’s efficient. Maybe it saves some money. Maybe it saves some stress. The hassle of it all. That doesn’t make it the right choice.  Humanity has evolved through both thought and emotion. Without both, we would never have achieved the things we have. Leonardo da Vinci once said “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in”. You need both emotion AND knowledge to bring forth wisdom. Wisdom, in my opinion, is the application of lessons learned. Anyone that tells me they have no regrets has never learned a valuable lesson. Regret is the birth of wisdom.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well… everything. On the internet we’re removed from the face to face interaction that triggers that thing inside us that usually says “Stop. That’s too much.”. Add anonymity in to the mix and all bets are off. Accountability goes out the window. There’s no repercussions. There’s no cost to you. I have taken advantage of that many times. I’m guilty. I’ve said many things online using this persona as a shield. Would I have said them otherwise? Actually, yes. I have always been careful not to cross certain lines. I don’t post swastikas or use overly derogatory terms. I’m simply direct. Some might say mean. Meh. Maybe sometimes. I tend to piss people off though, and some of those people are perfectly willing to take things offline, in to your personal life. Plus some of the people I… irritate… happen to be actual killers.

So the mask is necessary. I really wish it wasn’t, to be honest. I would have no problem attaching my real name to anything I’ve ever said or done online. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case for everyone though. In all the years I’ve been on the internet I’ve seen so many horrible things said and done. Truly hateful, nasty things. I’ve seen lives destroyed. I’ve seen self-destruction. I’ve see hatred of every kind. Maliciousness fueled by arrogance and ignorance. I can’t count how many hackers I’ve seen pop-up, wreak havoc and go down in flames. Sometimes I try to talk to them. I tell them where they’re headed. I tell them exactly what’s going to happen. They never listen. Not once. They’re mostly kids, you see. They’re invulnerable. Indestructible. They’re going to live forever and be able to do anything they want. Don’t you know that?! But they fall. Every time. Usually once one goes down, that one will drag the others with them. Reality hits them like an 18 wheeler and they start listing out every single person they know and every single thing those people did. Anything to save their own asses. I suppose I don’t blame them. When one is faced with that choice, it’s amazing how quickly ones integrity becomes malleable. Because let’s face it… in most cases the people they’d be protecting would spit-roast them in a heartbeat and they know it.

There’s very little real loyalty on the internet. In the military I knew that I could count on the people I served with. Without being specific, I’ll tell you a story. Once, while serving and doing my job, something happened. It appeared that I had screwed up. Not just a little bit, but a lot. When that happened, each person I worked with was called in to an office and asked what they thought about what had happened. You see, there was no way to actually prove I had screwed up. Each person, without exception, said that the thing that happened could not have been my fault. They didn’t even hesitate to back me up. I know this, because at the end of the process I was called in and told these things. The powers that be sat me down and explained that I was off the hook, and it was because everyone I worked with had told them there was no fucking way I screwed that thing up. They had no way of knowing whether that was true or not. Not a single one of them ever asked me. Even over a beer. That’s just how it worked with us. That’s how it should work. Now… did I fuck up? I’m not telling. It’s not the point. I took that experience and made it part of who I am. If you’re a friend of mine, I got your back. Period. That doesn’t mean I’m going to turn a blind eye if I find out you have a basement full of dead bodies, but it does mean I’ll go to you first, talk to you, and then walk with you in to the police station. I’ll be armed, of course. I’m not stupid…

I do have regrets. I’ve made mistakes. Anyone that says they haven’t is either lying or lacking self-awareness. I’ve made so many mistakes I can’t count or remember them all. Some were huge and I’ll never forget. Some will haunt me until I die. I always try to learn from them though. My biggest regrets are the times I’ve hurt people. People that didn’t deserve to be hurt. It’s not always unavoidable, but often it is. It just takes a little more effort. A little patience. Empathy. Don’t automatically react. Take a moment. On the internet that’s easy. You have time. It’s not rapid fire face to face interaction. Wait a second. Is what you’re about to type necessary? Are you just being an asshole? If so, does that serve a purpose? Sometimes, quite honestly, it does. Fighting fire with fire, so to speak. Often it’s not, and taking a moment can turn what will probably be a giant flame war in to a reasonable conversation. What are some other things you could say that will make the person you’re speaking to take a moment as well. Provoke their mind to kick in if you see their heart leading the way, or vice versa. You will absolutely find that many people are reasonable, and they respond to a reasonable approach. It comes down to this. You can either throw gasoline or water on a fire. In the end, the latter is almost always better.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you can’t reason with people. That seems to be the case much more often online than offline. (S)Kids, like the asshats you see trying their damndest to burn the world down are generally walls. They won’t listen to you. They can’t be reasoned with. Ignore them if you can. If they make that difficult, well…. that’s a whole other topic 😉

There is always a thought process that things on the internet aren’t real. They’re not important. You can always unplug, after all.

“Don’t get mad on the internet…”

“Don’t let them get to you…”

“It’s just words on a screen…”

To a large extent, those things are true, but feelings cloud logic. The biggest lie people tell themselves is that it’s not real. It really is. That’s a real person you’re talking to. They have a real life. That really needs to be drilled in to people’s heads on the internet. You’re looking at text on a screen, but it’s a person typing it. Just as you are. You need to always act the way you would if that person was standing right in front of you. You need to empathize. Think about what they’re saying. I don’t care how ridiculous you may think it is. Think about it. THEN and ONLY then, should you respond. If you’ve decided, using your heart AND your mind, that the only response is to pick apart their point of view like a Jenga tower and then gleefully skip away while the rotting corpse of their argument is steaming on the ground, so be it. As long as you do it for what you believe is the right reason, and not just a reaction.

That is all.

Kronkyal Jones (@Kronykal)


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27 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Katerine

    Awesome.

  2. Profile photo of Laurie Lamb

    Excellent post. Your character shines through your words like a bright light. 🙂

  3. Profile photo of Sarah Elizabeth

    Thank you for taking the time to write and share this, Kron. I absolutely agree, and I hope everyone takes the time to read this and really think it over. #PeaceLoveFreedom

  4. Profile photo of Kronykal Jones

    Thank you 🙂

  5. Profile photo of rm1evo

    Good read. Good advice.

  6. Profile photo of Fkaerin

    Glad you were able to share @kronykal . @th3j35t3r I like this guest blog thing. Helps me understand the community. Fantastic people here. Good to “get to know them” without “knowing” them. If that makes sense.

  7. Profile photo of Darren Plane

    Spot on Kron, people forget that actions have consequences, even online. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  8. Profile photo of Diamondlover7

    Thank you so much for sharing Kron. The “don’t let them get to you” and “it’s only words” is bad advice that I’ve given others. The nastiness/bullying online does leave its footprint and it is very real. Everyone should read your blog post and appreciate its wisdom.

  9. Profile photo of Wingedgift

    Great post and so true…there ARE people on the other side of the screen. I know anonymity is necessary. But that doesn’t give a person free reign to be horrid and an ahole

  10. Profile photo of Rae Rae

    I hate to admit it but this really touched me personally. Especially since I’m struggling with some issues…regrets…truths… & don’t have those ppl who I can trust enough to tell all to so I can get some advice. I’ve never had that. Never will.
    Background: I’ve always been the one without the filter…in person & online. Yeah, my inner dialogue malfunctions a lot. At work I used to read an email that pissed me off & automatically reply. It turned out to be a 2 page rant of regrets I couldn’t squirm my way out of. That’s when my boss gave me the best advice ever. Just as you did Kron. She said that whenever I read an email that enrages me that much to sleep on it. Or reply without sending & reread it when my emotions are controlled because once you hit send, there’s no going back.
    I have since learned that no matter what or how hard you try you will never be able to control another person’s actions but you can control your reaction. We just need to remind ourselves to stay in control of said reactions. I’m still guilty of that reminder part at times but I’m not perfect. I only try to be a the best person I can be & in my heart I know I am that friend to some who I’ll never find for myself & I’m ok with that. Because some ppl are worth taking a bullet for.
    Bottom line, this blog was well written & well needed…even though it came from you. Lol. I’ve only known you or Kron rather for a short time. But there were many times for some strange fkg reason I went to you for advice. Yeah I know, weird right? But you never failed to deliver. You always answered me honestly & helped me more than you probably thought at the time.I thank you for that. I consider you the friend I’ll never know in person. You are simply Kron to me…but a friend nevertheless. Cheers 🍻

  11. Profile photo of SGT_B _DUB

    That picture is pretty cool too, with the bianary and the blue.

  12. Profile photo of Scott Kindorf

    I have a new-found respect for you, Kron. A very well-written and well-thought-out post.

  13. Profile photo of Isabella ✘✘

    You wrote something better than what a man could ever write.

  14. Profile photo of

    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Profile photo of 76. Vet. Minds and hearts: they're the best targets.

    Kron:

    Great post. Thank you for the skill and the courage.

    We all sit squirming, hoping someone will understand us, but not wanting to give that condition a name, or to expose it, because when we display our good side, a segment of humanity takes our feelings as weakness, and their predator side takes over. It’s very brave of you to talk about feelings. And that’s the shits, because this is 2016 and humanity should have grown more than it has. More people should talk about feelings so we could all compare notes.

    Once in a while you use a valuable tool in your tool box: the “fuck-it” mode. Thank whatever prevails that you can slip out of attack mode and go there. I think we’d all be on the other side of the bend if we didn’t give ourselves permission to use that tool once in a while because there are some really dicks out there.

    As for loyalty, I have more loyal friends inside the ‘net than outside it. That’s because I can’t hang out with my brothers- and sister-at-war anywhere else. The civilians who gravitate toward warfighters and do their damn best to understand us are really fu**ing cool as well.

    In addition to that, I sort of think respect comes before loyalty. People have been reading your mode and mood for a long time here. So never kid yourself, if you have loyalty — and you most certainly do — mark it up to respect. Gathered AND given. You’re among the few who give as much as you receive.

    The rest, all those who ride sidesaddle on ducks — or whatever they’re into — are mostly neutral. The others, the trailing edges around the ‘net are filth. They come from the trailing edges of humanity. There’s always that. Given the tasks you assigned yourself, you’re bound to meet more of these miserable unfocused maze rodents than most. Some of us don’t get that pleasure anymore because we heard the dinner bell.

    Short version: You have a lot of loyal friends. It’s just that most people can’t show that in 140 characters. We love you, brother. That is all.

  16. Profile photo of Liberty Speaks

    There is not just one word that can be used to describe your Post/article/story though one did come to mind after reading it…WOW. Alas, that word just doesn’t give it justice.
    A person can read your post and insert the sentiments into damn near all facets of their lives. It is not often that sage advice is openly given, and even rarer that it is listened to and applied. Usually it is the young that don’t see the value, not because they are ignorant, but as you said have a feeling of invincibility. I can relate to this rose colored lens because up until I had the equivalent of an 18 wheeler roll over me, I too, had the audacity to think nothing could harm me, and no one could know more than I did. The mix of concrete, motorcycle and car proved me wrong quickly, and I can say what doesn’t kill you will leave a scar. Over the years as I have aged, I now reflect back on the advice I was given and ask myself, why it took so long to finally listen to it. There are no quick and good answers. I have however, learned that mistakes will be made, and regrets are a part of that. I have embraced mine, and how I live my life reflects this. My mind tells me that I have cultivated a balance between my logical and emotional sides. You perfectly described this by saying

    “You need both emotion AND knowledge to bring forth wisdom. Wisdom, in my opinion, is the application of lessons learned. Anyone that tells me they have no regrets has never learned a valuable lesson. Regret is the birth of wisdom.”

    On the internet, as well as in our real lives…those words you wrote can either define us or destroy us. It is an individual choice, and I am hopeful we will choose well.

  17. Profile photo of Kronykal Jones

    Thanks one and all for the kind comments and sharing of personal insight. -K

  18. Profile photo of Lady_Red06

    Good write-up Krony ! Looking forward to more of your insight posted.

  19. Profile photo of gecko

    thanks for your excellent observations put into the written word to which i can certainly relate.

    regret is the birth of wisdom. yes, it is.

  20. Profile photo of JΞSTΞR ✪ ΔCTUAL³³º¹

    Great post Kron. I always like to remember when getting into it with people online and their argument has no substance this one thing. “Facts don’t care about your feelings” – keep on keeping on.

  21. Profile photo of D

    This is singly-handedly, the best post, I think that I have ever had the pleasure of reading!

  22. Profile photo of V

    Very nice Kronster, very nice.

  23. Profile photo of MamaBear33

    Excellent post Kron, and so on point…I definitely enjoyed reading it, and it gave me a little insight into you as a person 🙂

  24. Profile photo of KCOR

    Great words for every human interaction – not just online. Thank You.

  25. Profile photo of Mark McKenna

    Krony just re-read this post. The world was crazy when you wrote it, crazier even now. Though it’s almost impossible to develop loyalty and friendship on the internet, sometimes the character of a persona shows through and I do believe you’ve captured that in your post here. None of us are perfect, all have our regrets, but the weight of the wisdom that you carry shows in your words. I believe that these are heartfelt and, by triangulation with my own relationships that are face to face (sans persona), could understand how you built the kind of loyalty you experienced in the military. All said, however shielded we are from each other’s lives, I appreciate this community and the service it provides through a well engineered concept by Jester. I really enjoyed reading your post. Please consider a follow up! Cheers.

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