|See? A picture of a cute a kid.|
Irritating encounters raise interesting questions about blogging and ethics. You don’t want to be too, um, frank? about people you know in real life because blogging about them is the equivalent of bitching about them to the whole world behind their backs. Even if no one reads you and you’re anonymous-ish ::: waves :::, Murphy’s Law – or perhaps Dooce’s Law? – dictates that the person will find out eventually, you’ll hurt someone, and you’ll be That One Person Who Bitchs On The Internet Instead of Dealing With Her Problems.
Not that ruffling feathers is bad and being liked is the be all and end of life. But it’s really not okay to be dick. If you wouldn’t say something to someone in person you shouldn’t put it on the internet.
But the flipside of completely excluding any thoughts or reactions you wouldn’t voice in real life is that it’s often random little often well meant conversations or encounters that are the tipping points in life when you’re wrestling with a new idea or feeling. It’s just one straw out of many but it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, so it’s helpful to be able to put it down in words and think it out. There was something about that encounter that for you, at the moment, was important.
I had an odd, fleeting exchange with an acquaintance** today that I wanted to blog about but I didn’t. Because what if they read this? How would they feel? Is that fair to them? They’re not the problem. I’m not angry with them. They made a throw away comment that just happened to be that last drop of water that breaks the surface tension.
It’s like that one time some guy threw a tantrum about his parking space, that one phrase on pinterest, or that one idiot in the state legislature who made an exceedingly poor choice of words regarding women and hogs. It’s something that ends up playing a key role in your realization even though ultimately they’re just random anecdotes, a drop of water in a bucket.
It’s all well and good to talk about tipping point anecdotes when they’re already out there for all the world to see but what about when it’s more personal?
Now I’m sitting here thinking: do I just write stuff like that anyway and try to make all that clear in the post? Or do I ‘change names and details to protect the innocent’ and pass it off as fiction? Or some combination of both? Or just leave it out entirely?
Leaving it out entirely would be the easiest way to go but then I risk becoming one of those blogs that spends its whole time being “OMG LOOK WHAT I BOUGHT AT TARGET! IT WAS ON CLEARANCE U GUYS!” “MY KID IS CUTE AND I TOOK PICTURES!” “I MADE A CRAFT!” but doesn’t take the time to touch on many of the aspects of life that are ultimately meaningful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for good deals, cute kids, cute pictures, and DIY hobbies and want to read and write about that too. But anyone who thinks those are the truly important aspects of life in general or parenting specifically is an idiot. And being as I write mainly for myself at this point, I find the idea of writing a blog for idiots particularly distasteful.
** ZOMG WHAT IF IT WAS YOU?!?!!!11!!!?