Friday, July 27, 2012

toxic disinhibition.

when i was a student in the early nineties i was rather inhibited in classes and not too free to express my own opinions. however, i would have loved to have had some space where i could share the entirety of my ideas. two decades later this kind of space is available to every single student - the internet. i plan to introduce blogs and forums and other online communication platforms in my teaching, in order to offer the students a channel for less inhibited expression.

disinhibition is a wonderful thing. all the ideas we were anxious to share can now get out in the open, not only to be shared, but also tested and contested, which is a prerequisite for further development.

but do all of us take more freedom in the same way? no sir! some of us get disinhibited in a benign way, saying the good things we were too vulnerable to share face to face, while some of us use this increment of freedom to fire away our frustrations and hates. that is called toxic disinhibition, practiced by 'haters'.

this train of thought led me back in time to the early nineties, when former yugoslavia started disintegrating. the communism, which had not been nearly as severe as that in the countries behind the iron curtain, finally fell, and prospects for prosperity and catching up with the modern world opened up. ideological social restrictions loosened, and people were free to express what was on their minds. i remember my great enthusiasm when western chocolates started flowing into our stores, when bands like the sugarcubes had concerts in the country, when europe was at hand. but instead of using the benefits of the new position, we used our freedom to irresponsibly unwrap unprecedented lunacy and stupidity and hatred from our hearts. the toxicity was overwhelming. it is, i'm afraid, still here, and probably to stay.