Writing has always been an escape for me. An experience of pure joy, honesty, relief or inspiration. Ever since I was a little girl who would get carried away writing stories in school, to feel so proud when the teachers would tell me how imaginative they were, to hear them read aloud to the class as examples; writing has always been a good thing to me. A necessary and wonderful thing which shaped me into who I am.
With the technological developments that have happened since I was much younger, and sharing your writing with the world being such a normal thing now, it was kind of obvious that I’d delve into blogging I guess. And as much as I love it, even more than ever; today I wanted to talk about some of my worries about writing.
I don’t have anywhere near the audience of some people, obviously. I’m not trying to suggest I’m some bloody superstar over here. But I’m more aware of what I write about, and the people who are viewing these words all across the world. I have almost 4500 people following me on Twitter. When a new blog post goes live and I promote it on these social accounts, I can see the numbers going up. I can almost feel the eyes on my blog in those moments.
This is a fantastic and amazing thing, something that continues to inspire me. After all, it’s what I want… isn’t it?
However, as time goes on I’m seeing more and more reasons to be ‘careful’ about what I write.
I see others writing about taboo subjects, or sharing their honest opinion on an issue and being torn down for it, or being applauded and admired in the thousands.
In the blogging world, the world I’m active in all the time, this online community that grows bigger every single day; I see it happening. There are people who do something wrong, or even people who don’t; and they are called out for their words or actions. They can suddenly be the next piece of gossip, the next social media drama, the next person to be torn down and publicly ruined.
I want to write freely and never hold back, but there’s also that terror of being the next person attacked. And it really is like an attack, don’t you think? To be clear here, I’m NOT saying that those who do something wrong, or spout vile words or dangerous ideas shouldn’t be called out. I know in fact how important it is they they are, whether to create a discussion, or educate, support others, or show that we won’t stand for this shit. I know, I get why it’s important to do that. But it’s terrifying to watch if so many people get involved, and so many are attacking one person. Whether this person is wrong or not, I’ll admit this ‘pack mentality’ that we can see sometimes, really scares me. There are those who genuinely want to make a difference, or stand up for something they believe in. But there are also others; those who see this from the sidelines and jump in, eager to seem on the ‘right side’ and just dying to be involved, to feel superior and validated within this mass of people.
So yes, if someone is spreading vile and oppressing views, they should certainly not be tolerated. But I’d love each of us to really take a moment too, and think about how we deal with that. Perhaps we can create a discussion rather than jump in attacking them, perhaps talk to them privately, perhaps we can educate them in some way. Or perhaps, sometimes, it may be better if we see plenty of others already jumping in, we should stand back? If you have nothing new to add to the discussion, maybe don’t do so just to be another one in the crowd.
Today I simply wanted to share these thoughts and worries with you guys, in the hopes it might make one or two people stop and think about the power words can have. They can be used for good or bad, and they can also be taken the wrong way. It’s worth thinking about.
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