The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Black, white and the flashing red light‏

with 23 comments

When you’re a view stats junkie, all you focus on is your next hit. That feeling of euphoria that comes about by seeing someone comment on a post. That rush that can only be achieved by releasing site views and search terms into your bloodstream. For me, the quest for a fix involves pawing at my BlackBerry every eighteen seconds, day and night, yearning to see the flashing red light that indicates someone has liked, subscribed or felt compelled to comment. I know constantly looking for the light or feeling for the vibration (I do occasionally remember to put my phone on silent) isn’t healthy, but it’s what I do as a stats-addicted blogging strumpet.

Just to clarify, this is NOT the type of flashing red light I’m talking about. Source:

In this obsessive state, tunnel vision takes over; there is no middle ground: you are either black in your constant quest for hit after sweet electronic hit, or you are white: throwing your BlackBerry and laptop into the river before curling up fully clothed under a shower, attempting to go cold turkey from the compulsion to check your blog statistics every six minutes.

Irrespective of whether you are black or white, this battle against blogging makes you lose sight of things: time; ensuring that you have more than an orange and soy sauce in your fridge ; what point you were trying to make with the confusing colour metaphors; and, most importantly, the grey area.

The grey area is the demilitarized zone of opinions and personal beliefs. It’s a part that’s usually forgotten about when we judge, argue or write someone else’s opinion off as wrong. While it’s easy and self-serving – albeit incredibly naïve – to assert that our opinion or belief is the right one, it’s critical that we recognise there’s a lot we don’t know and can’t see from black or white. As we’ve discussed, coming from either corner tends to see us have blinkers fitted; this inadvertent narrowing of our perspective results in an inability to see more than about ten feet in front of our specifically colour-coded noses. Isn’t it about time that we accept that between the absolutes of right and wrong, there’s a lovely shade of grey? I hear they have wildflowers growing there. And pancakes.

While I’m adverse to making resolutions of any sort – especially on New Year’s Eve – I think we should all resolve to try and spend more time in the grey area from 2012 onwards, especially before judging others and condemning them for thinking black instead of white, or vice versa. Just remember: mixing black and white produces grey; therefore, the grey area is the location from which to listen, learn and debate. Colours don’t lie.

See, I told you there’s a grey area between black and white. Source:

23 Responses

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  1. Ha! I’m not the only one that obsesses over site stats!!! Well here’s a comment for you to feel all warm and fuzzy.
    I’m wondering – Is my laundry not folded in the gray area?
    Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only crazy blogger out there. It’s the Sally Field complex- ‘you like me, you really like me’. We all want this. 😉


    December 31, 2011 at 09:58

    • Yay, comments! The elation will add to the 10:00am vodka buzz…

      By the way, I prefer to be referred to as unique or eccentric; crazy insinuates that I’m throwing cats out of a shopping trolley at people.


      December 31, 2011 at 10:04

  2. Mate I can relate to what you are saying, after unleasing to posts on the world in the last 2 days, getting views and even some comments it was an absolute rush to see that people where taking the time to see what your thoughts and ramblings where.


    December 31, 2011 at 10:10

  3. Congrats! After being a long time “refresher” this post convinced me to subscribe. I hope the buzz was as good for you as it was for me


    December 31, 2011 at 10:11

    • Thank you for subscribing to The Dissemination of Thought: you should really seek professional help about it, however, as I’m pretty sure it indicates an underlying issue.

      My buzz was totally adequate.


      December 31, 2011 at 10:38

  4. You had me at pancakes! Let’s find a map! Ha ha


    December 31, 2011 at 10:19

  5. Another comment to keep that buzz going! Brilliant post. I love the grey areas.

    Adrienne schmadrienne

    December 31, 2011 at 11:04

    • The grey areas are definitely more amusing than the black and white ones. Did you know that in grey areas, it rains donuts and Scotch comes out of the cold water tap?


      December 31, 2011 at 11:14

  6. Okay, eccentric it is. You’re right- crazy is a little strong. I wouldn’t ever throw a cat out of a shopping trolley or accuse you of the same (here in the states we say cart). But that would indicate you were at a store shopping for cats and had several in your trolley. Which would be really cool. I think in my grey area there is a kitten store, and I will be buying several cute furry ones. Along with anything that has Nutella on it.


    December 31, 2011 at 11:28

  7. Thank you for finding my pathetic little blog. You are my new hero. In fact, I think you could very well be me, living much more productively in an alternate astral plane. If I didn’t like your writing so much, I might have to kill you. Thank you for inspiring me to get up off my pathetic cold-macaroni-and-cheese-eating-with-fingers mongrel ass and doing something, even if it is really nothing more than reading and appreciating someone else’s work. Say, perhaps if I compensated you; not necessarily monetarily,but with virtual cheeseburgers or implied sexual favors, would you perhaps ghostwrite for me? With your work ethic and my…I don’t know, something…we could be sitting on Jimmy Fallon’s lap in no time. *Or at least snag a guest appearance on his show*


    December 31, 2011 at 13:21

    • I’d like to think that we could antagonise Jimmy Fallon to the point of tears.

      Thanks for your kind feedback and offer of virtual pickles and/or sexual favours. Enjoy looking around The Dissemination of Thought, but please don’t touch anything with those mac and cheese fingers.


      December 31, 2011 at 13:30

  8. Haha… what a fantastic post. Its good to know I’m not the only crazy one checking my stats during dinner!


    December 31, 2011 at 14:30

  9. I usually just check stats in the afternoon. But now that I know I can hook my cell up to the WP stats… well, I wish I hadn’t known that. 🙂

    Neil Fein

    December 31, 2011 at 14:40

    • It seemed like a fantastic idea at the time, but WordPress for BlackBerry is like having a drug dealer that lives in your spare bedroom.


      December 31, 2011 at 14:49

  10. shit ya, me too, and I don’t haven have internet on my phone. My computer now is like my best pal, and as I always attest – keeping my lower extremities warm. I can’t barely sleep anymore… I’ve progressed – 3am every night.
    I feel compelled to share this with you… I just found it last night it’s on storytelling (and brain function, among other things)
    “The School of Life” series: Susan Greenfield neuroscientist
    (from 20:30 to about 29:00… but it’s all really interesting)

    Cakes McCain

    January 1, 2012 at 01:48

    • Blogging feeds that narcissistic desire I have as a writer to have my work pondered and accepted. While there will be – and have been – times when reader’s opinions differ to my own, it makes no difference to the overall result: the fact that I’ve engaged them enough to leave a comment – be it positive or negative – is incredibly gratifying, and hits like a grammatical tsunami of euphoria.

      Thanks for sharing the video!


      January 1, 2012 at 08:30

  11. By far the best out of all your blogs. Fact of the matter is some people will not admit they get the “addiction” but don’t kid yourself people, if you are always looking for that red flashing light on your phone then you are well in the trance.

    cameron k

    January 1, 2012 at 07:37

    • Thanks for the feedback.

      Regardless of whether your addiction is a real or metaphorical one, it can cause you to lose sight of things that aren’t in your direct line of vision, including the grey area. Hopefully people take a step outside their black or white this year and spend a bit of time in the grey area: the place where new ideas, rational thoughts and the consideration of differing opinions is the norm. Oh, the pancakes in the grey area are the size of bin lids, too.


      January 1, 2012 at 08:02

  12. Interesting thoughts and perspective about the grey area.


    February 11, 2012 at 16:16

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