I love that I get to write about nothing and everything. If an idea strikes me I can put it out there and anyone who wants to read it is able to.
Most of the time.
My dad and I were joking around the other day and he said, I’m pretty sure in jest, something like “Oh yeah? Well, I can make up lies about you and post them on the internet!” (My dad just got Facebook. Help me.)
I ripped back with something equally mature, “Oh yeah? Well, my lies about you will get a WAY bigger audience!”
We laughed and moved on with our day, but it brought to mind a semi harsh reality.
With mediocre power comes great responsibility and even greater natural censorship.
If I get mad about something I can’t just rant about it on my blog. I can’t take apart the guy that cut me off in front of the gas station and I can’t post about the teacher who may or may not have been responsible for me leaving the building with rage tears streaming down my face because he may or may not have passive aggressively insulted my kid and ruined his day.
I have to be respectful.
I have to remember that I live in a small town and while I should be able to write whatever I want based on my First Amendment right, I also have to continue living here. It isn’t ok to just go off because I can.
I have to be mindful.
I’m going to remember that my words may carry and I could have an impact that I don’t see firsthand. What I say can trigger another’s perspective and actions.
I have to be considerate.
What if the guy who cut me off did so because he just got a call that his child is sick and he didn’t see me in his panic? What if he got a call that his brother, who teaches at my son’s school, just had some sort of scary interaction with an irrational parent and he needs backup?
Then, I realized that this doesn’t just apply to me because I am a writer and my words have something of a greater reach than I might have on my personal social media (God willing).
This should apply to all of us. Small town or otherwise. Remember that just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Just because I could put Judy on blast for loitering in the school drop off lane doesn’t mean it’s ok. Maybe she’s under a lot of stress. I don’t know.
It doesn’t help anyone to be mean.
Writing is therapy. Write stuff down. Get it out and then throw it away. If you have a valid grievance with someone, talk to them. You’ll either resolve it or you won’t, but you’ll be doing so like an adult.
Rage ranting on the interwebz is unhealthy.
Does that mean I’m perfect? Nope.
Does that mean I’m not going to call out the next stranger who Judgey McJudgersons my parenting at the mall? Probably gonna light that up.
But, as a general rule, can we all agree to try to love each other?
And, seriously, Judy. Get your shit together, huh?