What has happened to our nerve? We’re constitutionally protected, but we’ve willingly abandoned our free speech anyway. We’ve read that employers and organizations are trolling social sites, demanding passwords and friend status so they can investigate you as a person, passing judgement on facebook quips as a stand-in for your character and worth.
In response, we’ve become paranoid and vapid, opting to blend into the woodwork for fear of being singled out, or refused, or punished.
Then what good is this blog or any other form of expression if I don’t tell the truth? A Rant in particular is meant to be uncensored, to expose myself. I sometimes find myself thinking, hmm. Do I really want to put my dirty laundry out there? Or hmm. If I put what I really and truly deep-down feel…hell, I might get sued. Or at the very least disowned. embarrassed. humiliated.
Inevitably, I get a few comments like, “why would you put that on your blog?”or “you should watch what you say on facebook”. Why? Isn’t the very point of those things (depending on how you’ve adopted them) entertainment? A blank slate to be painted as I see fit? Uncensored freedom? No?
A friend of mine has two profiles on facebook: one where she points professional contacts and a separate one that uses an alias and talks freely about santacon, the playa (for you Burning Man fans) and other unconventional, off-the-beaten-path interests. Believe me, that second page is way more interesting.
My sister, after a particularly pissed-off facebook post about work frustrations said “that no one wants to read that”. I said, “too bad! I put what I want. And if one day, its negative…so be it. I am talking to the universe.” I don’t want to watch my mouth in my free time. (And civility is what LinkedIn is for.)
While out to lunch, another friend and co-worker was laughing at the subject of my recent blog about birthing Republicans, where I touted legalizing pot, and asked if I was sure I wanted to publish. Hell yeah!
Does expressing my opinions now hurt my chances at getting a job in the future or of anything else I might want to do, but haven’t thought about yet? If I desired to become president, could my reputation withstand the investigation? Heck no! I’m not perfect, but I’m definitely not ashamed of my opinions, feelings, or thoughts. Am I supposed to be anti-emotional? Is our collective goal to be bland? Seemingly. Like so many other situations, I refuse to blend into the background.
It’s quite possible that, if you don’t like the opinions I hold, the people I associate with, or the interests I have…we won’t find anything that attracts us to each other, creating bonds.
If we don’t say what we think on something as benign as social media entertainment, when and where can we be ourselves? And when can we speak the truth?