Yes – this is my online rant about why I wish that online rants would go away…
You know the ones – an open letter to meat eaters about how you don’t understand vegetarians (or anything about life), an open letter to my child’s Sunday school teacher who didn’t speak to my child in the right tone of voice, blah blah. I don’t like them for the reasons below in addition to them being a tiring tactic (though they usually still are effective at creating media storms and engaging strangers so the demand is still high and obviously my stance is a minority).
I actually started this post a year ago and didn’t finish it but still had the interest in circling back to it. Since I feel that strongly about it, I guess I’m just going to say my piece for a minute.
Why I wish they would go away or really what I think could be a more productive and neater use of time:
-While it builds community with a ton of people who say “YESSS I’ve been thinking this for such a long time”… there is always a contingency of people whom it belittles or casts out a group of people – case in point, many people may agree with me on this subject but I’m sure people have posted them and maybe now you feel slightly bad cause you didn’t think about the population of people you may be hurting? A different way of approaching the situation: maybe start a meet-up (or find one) or a support group just for people who are in this same niche.
-They make things way more black and white than they are in reality. The ones about “introverts” and “extroverts” always makes me a little nuts. I read the open letter about being an introvert and wonder if my whole life has been a lie. Nearly all of the list applies to me but I know that I have some extrovert tendencies too (apparently there are varying degrees of intro & extro & ambis, whatever hah). I’m pretty sure if someone just sat down and spoke with 5 other human beings, they would conclude that many of their “crazy feelings and habits because they are introverts” are common human tendencies. Just saying. But again, I understand the interest in BEING A PART OF SOMETHING, and SOLIDARITY, and CONNECTION. I just wish that was done in person and that the connection lasted. If you’re like, omg, I am pretty much the exact same person as that person, wouldn’t it be nice to become their friend?! I know it can’t always happen that way, but I’m dreaming here in the open space where I can write whatever I want.. Again, join a community group, volunteer somewhere that is likely to have like-minded people. If you’re too busy, can you free up some time to find different people to talk to than you’re currently surrounding yourself with..? Just some thoughts.
-People are not perfect all the time. While I try to be intentional with my words, I am so horrified at the thought of my life being scripted. Candid camera or a drone snooping in my window are my worst nightmare. What if I am picking my nose. There is probably a raging anti-nose picker society that would come after me and I’d have to live in a hole the rest of my life [There is more about this one than I can eek out at this juncture] but I honestly can’t stand the MASSIVE online attacks.
Let’s look at an example. For instance, an open letter to someone who wrote something discouraging on a student’s paper. The imperfect teacher could already be going through any number of bad situations and now they have become an internet sensation and maybe the student needed to be pushed a little. Do I think it is cool to constructively stand up to bullies (whether adults or children) and not stand for some of the sensitive matters that have come up in the “open letters”?! Um, yes. But it’d be even better to be a bit less of coward than an open letter writer. Talk to the person and talk to those in the community affected. Let it be a teaching moment for many but approach it in a way that you know that the recipient of your constructive criticism is a mere mortal too. Be human. AND THEN CALL THE MEDIA if you all want to have the story broadcast. Then we would have some Positive News! That way if I ever get cable again (or find somewhere that our digital antenna can pick up more than 1 local channel), I can cry during the moving feature piece they do about it.
-I’m sure that there are some times when an open letter is the only way. Again, not black and white, I understand that.. and if your open letter affects change and does more good than damage to anyone, well I guess that was well played.
Well, guess I need to take my own advice and thoughts to heart. So I will be off creating a meet-up for people who dislike blog rants, or will be looking for work in the community that will likely include internet rage haters, and will try to talk through the situation with open posters next time there is an open letter posted. Then I will be calling Diane Sawyer.
Disclaimer: I totally dig some lighter subjects such as “10 things you should do before you wake up each morning”, “5 ways to get rid of warts”, and so on. Please dear internet, keep those blogs coming I beg you. And I know that I’m probably in the minority of people who are put off by open letters on the whole but I have a feeling most people have cringed due to at least 1 open letter, right? Anyone with me here?