Before you get your knickers in a twist, I know that there is a blog out there called Things I Can’t Say. It’s written by fellow Carolina girl, Shell and I think she is an AMAZING writer. But her title was too good not to steal, or borrow, or imitate. It is the best form of flattery, right?
It’s all about having freedom and creative space on our blogs. But how much freedom do you really have? How much freedom do you give yourself? Where do you draw the line when it comes to writing? This is what’s on my mind this week.
Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: What are some things you wish you could blog about but can’t?
Here we go…
I think that sometimes we get so used to blogging that we forget that not every thought that enters our mind needs to come out through our fingers. I think the same is true for any form of social media.
I don’t want to see someone’s personal drama played out on Twitter or Facebook. It’s uncomfortable. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I will watch that drama unfold until the bitter end but I always stay far away from it. And yes, it is uncomfortable. But it’s kind of like a train wreck. I can’t look away.
I read things and I just want to blurt out exactly what I’m thinking. The whole formula Twitter party that I wrote about on ShePosts. I had some opinions about that. Justice for Trayvon – yes, I could write several posts on that. President Santorum? Is that a possibility? Another blogger – did you really just say that?
Oh yes. I’ve never been accused of NOT being opinionated. But what do you do with those opinions when you’re a writer and primarily an essayist? Your instinct is to write about it.
Some of my thoughts would be extremely controversial. I won’t tell you how or why. Because generally speaking, I’d like you to want to come back and read my blog another day. And the truth of the matter is that not everything that we hold inside is meant to come out. You can talk about it with a friend, a peer, a spouse. Yes. You can talk about it. Especially with like-minded people.
But if you think that the internet is the place for every whim and fancy that enters your head, you should think again. We need to temper our thoughts and emotions before we write. We need to research and understand and THINK before we write. I see so many knee jerk reactions out there and I think that angers me more than my own opinions.
“I don’t want to see someone’s personal drama played out on Twitter or Facebook. It’s uncomfortable. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I will watch that drama unfold until the bitter end but I always stay far away from it.”
This is me. Exactly.
Great post, Fadra.
100% agree! I dislike seeing big train wrecks on twitter and facebook. Not appropriate in my book!
At least we have the chance to be silent observers online, if we choose.
Ahhh, train wrecks. Like you, I read them, can’t look away. I write a lot of posts that don’t get published. I pull myself back. Because not EVERYTHING needs to be shared, I struggle with exactly HOW much to share though. Good post.
Wow. I won’t write it unless I plan to publish it. But if I wrote in the moment? You wouldn’t even recognize this blog! I try to make sure that no matter what I share, it’s relatable and hopefully not negative.
If I only had the nerve…so much I’d love to blog about but worry about criticism. The stream of consciousness Sunday is a great idea. I’ll give it a try on my blog. Thanks for the great inspiration.
This is as close as I come to blogging what’s really on my mind. Because I don’t think too much about it. I just put it out there. Sometimes it’s scary but I have some built-in filters, at least.
I too have certain issues which I would not share on the blog especially if it involves family members or things which are drama related.
Sometimes you WANT to get that stuff out. You want to release it on your blog and just let it go. But then you remember that once something is written, it can’t be UNwritten.
Oh, but the Internet is such a tempting place to dump whims and fancies! The temptation is too great sometimes, especially in the 140-character medium that is Twitter. So short, so easily composed, so easily sent. No wonder celebrities get themselves in trouble on Twitter so much.
That 140 character bit is damaging to some while others thrive on it. I personally love it but see wrongs daily when people share to much or start a war.
Oh yes. I seen people share WAY too much!
I will say that I have this “Fadra after dark” rule on Twitter. If it’s after 11pm, I have been known to let loose a little. But it usually comes with a warning.
Great piece, Fadra! So true, the bit about wanting to air your opinions and yet wanting readers to come back again. The two are not always compatible.
And the personal drama? Totally agree.
Thank you for posting this.
I will admit that I once wrote a post about being passive-aggressive that WAS actually a bit passive-aggressive. But that’s as close as I’ll come to drama.
Honestly, sometimes I post something on Facebook, that I know will start a debate. Mostly, anything that goes against every right wing ultra conservative person I know around here. But, I do still try an be respectful.
Personal dram though? Never. Ever.
So you’re one of those, eh? Only recently have I started posting on me PERSONAL Facebook profile some of my thoughts about being a conservative (did I just admit that to you?) I figure it MY place and I never blast liberals. I think about it. I just don’t do it 😉
I’d link up my own things even I can’t say post I did a while ago, but I know that I took more than 5 minutes on it. 😉 Because even I don’t say it it
I want to read it!
My earlier comment was supposed to end with “it all” not “it it.” Nice editing by me. LMAO
Forgive the wonky spacing on this one- some of my posts got a little funky when they were transferred over to WP. Here’s what even I won’t say: http://thingsicantsay.com/2011/09/pour-your-heart-out-things-even-i-cant-say.html
Oh please do. We’d love to read your perspective!!
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I am finding myself more and more angered by some of the opinions folks are throwing out there and I am so tempted to respond with my own venom about it. It takes so much energy to hold it in but I want to be accessible and don’t want to put people off by some of my more controversial opinions. It’s such a weird world out there in cyberspace. Everything you write can be critiqued and twisted and used to hurt. We all have to be careful and think if we want to invite discussion and real interaction.
I want to “get into it” sometimes as well. But instead, I walk away. Or I tweet cryptically about things that people will never really understand. I’m more inclined these days to start sharing my opinions as long as I feel I can personally justify. I never want my blog to become a place of personal rants because that’s just draining to read.
I had to forfeit this week. I can’t do this one. I won’t even try. I posted and put up the badge, but yeah, this ones not for me. For a million reasons I can’t say. 🙂
S’okay. I didn’t even write what originally inspired me to write on this topic.
I hold back a lot on social media, but mostly for my own sanity. I don’t want to get into arguments with people about our differing opinions. And as far as the blog goes, I have a pretty biting wit and sarcasm at times that lots of people don’t get…so I save that for speaking dialog with friends, and keep it out of my writing.
Wait til we meet in person. People often don’t get my humor. I think I’m full of sarcastic wit but people tell me I’m dry and it’s sometimes hard to tell if I’m joking. I have written tweets and comments and then deleted them *just* before I hit send.
Yes! Same here. I use the backspace button quite a bit because I never know who my sarcasm or slightly twisted sense of humor will insult.
I too stay FAR, FAR away from the drama. To me, the internet only shows a few sides and not the whole thing occasionally. I’ve seen arguments where I shake my head and wonder what they are thinking. I stick to the good things in life and only post about me personally if I am complaining. 😉
I think the internet attracts a lot of polarized people and views. You have to be very careful or you get everyone on the social media bandwagon. With great power comes great responsibility 🙂
I managed to work in a picture of South Dakota in this week’s post. 🙂
Oh yeah! Can’t wait to see it 🙂
Love this post! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in regards to my current situation. What to share, what not to share, and how I can help people with what I *do* share. It’s a delicate balance, and I hope I’m meeting it.
In regards to “drama”, a word I’m starting to despise because I think it’s misused a LOT. When people start hashing out their children support issues on their Facebook statuses, yeah THAT’S uncomfortable. If they’re sharing some other news though, I’m cool with that. I feel like we have to be at least somewhat open if we want to help other people. It doesn’t mean we have to spill all the dirty details though.
I agree with you on opinions, too. I’m afraid I’d lose some readership.
I’m with you totally. And the few times I’ve advised bloggers on this issue, I tell them to write with your heart and make it personal but make it relatable. Then people want to read and care about you because they feel a part of it.
Personally, I feel sad for your situation but I’m anxious to see you blossom in your new life (because I know you will).
I don’t write a lot of personal information on my blog. I had a previous one shut down because of posting some personal opinions – boss found it (though I was annonymous) and told me to shut it down immediately. Me being young and worried about my job at the time, I followed her orders.
You know the story about Dooce, right? That’s how she became famous! But I would have done the same thing. Thankfully, I don’t generally write about anyone I know unless I assume they will be reading it. I’ve only gotten in trouble a few times 😉
There are things I won’t write about in my blog, Twitter, or Facebook. I stay away from politics, and try to stay away from writing about past relationships, marriage, death, heartache–. I barely mention my pen name and what she writes- erotica. Sometimes when I feel the need to write about personal stuff, I actually write it under my pen name’s blog. I love this prompt you chose today, but I didn’t use it.
Totally okay if it’s not the topic you were feeling today. I once made a vow to always keep things positive, which I try to do. But I also said I’d never talk religion or politics. Then, I decided we need smart, understanding, and moderate people to learn how to talk about these things. There’s a lot of learning we can do.
I agree very much with this. Sometimes I watch the drama unfold, but I’m usually late to the “party” and cant’ figure out what happened, anyway. I guess drama can spring up just about anywhere.
Drama IS everywhere. It’s just not always in a public forum like the internet.
I’m often shocked at the amount of oversharing that some people feel comfortable with. And sometimes that sharing might be acceptable in some spaces, but it just doesn’t translate well to say twitter or FB. And sure the occasional train wreck might be interesting, but when it’s all drama all the time I finally have to tune out.
OH! And I just thought of something else I could have posted about! Man, now I have publishers regret. *g*
Sometimes I wonder if the oversharing comes from a lack of maturity, lack of close personal relationships, or sometimes just the need for attention. I’ll never know.
I adore this post, so much so that I had to comment, now, on a Wednesday. I agree with you! I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of oversharing online. I do get personal on my blog and I am honest about a lot, but I still hold some stuff in. What I hold in are things I know will be misinterpreted by others, thoughts I haven’t fully explored within my head, and things I know could hurt others. I think more than anything, before hitting publish, we should be aware that our words are power, as much, we must choose them carefully!
Well, here it is on a Saturday and I’m finally responding. I have this rule where I rarely write in the moment of fresh emotion. Because everyone lacks a little clarity in that moment. And I have respect for people around me. The only time I broke that rule was when my cat died and I had no choice but to write about it. It’s hard to read it sometimes but it keeps some of the moments alive.