Much has been written around the blogosphere about the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. As of this writing, the top three keywords on Technorati are about the killings at Virginia Tech. Here at the Blog Herald, Tony has written about bloggers’ knee-jerk reactions, while Lorelle linked to the April 30 day of silence. I don’t mean to disrespect the victims and the bereaved by focusing on the periphery rather than the issue (32 innocent persons have died). But here’s another interesting blogging-related angle, as blogged by none other than my own mom (yes, my own mother is an avid blogger, and is into problogging, too). She asks: what if Cho Seong-hui, the gunman, were a blogger? Cho had been described as a loner, and had manifested violent behavior prior to the shooting incident.
I would only like to think of the “What if”. What if he were a blogger? Would he have done the same? I am inclined to say, maybe not. If he were a blogger, he would have diverted his energies and negative thoughts into writing. He would have vented his anger in the blogosphere. Blogging would have been an outlet. Bloggers may be alone, they may be lonely, but they can reach out to others. They also have other people reaching out to them at the click of a mouse. Blogfriends are just a click or even a chat away.
If he had surfed he net, he would have found that there were other people who were in a more miserable state. Maybe, he could even have sympthized with other people who are in the same helpless frame of mind.
Technology is a double-edged sword. As easily as one can get online to acquire information on creating weapons, and as easily as one can commit fraud online, people can also turn to the Internet as an outlet for releasing whatever negative emotions might be pent up inside. Then again, blogging could be used for bullying others online. I’m not into psychology, but having dabbled in literature writing, I agree that writing it all out might have an alleviating effect when you’re full of negative emotions. And connecting with other people online might help, too.
Still, Cho has been known to have written expressly violent literature. So that probably means writing could not have helped. But blogging is as much about networking and connecting as it is about writing.
Of course, things have run their course, and what’s done is done. We could only ask what if?