A necessary evil of blogging, as I’ve found out in the three or so years I’ve been writing HoT.
If I wrote a secret diary I could probably get away with a lot more moaning, bitching, naming and shaming. However, I made the decision to ‘go public’ and so I have to accept the consequences. Once I have typed the words and uploaded a post, I lose ownership of it. Other people interpret my words as they see fit.
I’ve had two examples of friends that I got extremely angry about things that I’ve posted on HoT – one about 18 months ago and one fairly recently (pre-46 Days). Ironically, the posts that I think may have riled them weren’t actually about them at all. Those two people didn’t enter my head for a second as I typed the words, posted them up and let them out into the wilds of the Internet. One of the friendships is on the road to recovery (we’ve been falling out with each other periodically since we were ten years old and probably won’t stop!) and the other is broken beyond repair. The break was their choice not mine and is also based on things I apparently wrote about on Facebook as well – amazing what people can read into your words if they really want to fall out with you. As they subsequently defriended me on Facebook, but not before telling me exactly what a horrible person I was, there’s no way of rescuing it.
I’ve always been very clear in my mind that I haven’t targeted anyone, deliberately or inadvertently, on HoT. My posts are inspired by R and G (obviously) and, as a keen observer of people ( bloody nosy), by a whole host of things I see and hear, both in ‘real life’ and online. I’m not SO stupid that I would coldly and callously decide to make someone, (particularly someone I know) a target of my words. That’s a pretty weird thing to do, right? It’s not like I sit in front of my laptop with a hitlist thinking ‘Ooh! They’ve pissed me off I’ll write a little poison pen letter on HoT’, shrieking with glee as I write pure venom designed to hurt someone. I’ve been bullied pretty badly at various points in my life and I know how soul-destroying and confidence-sapping it is. I simply wouldn’t put anyone else through that.
If you like what I write, read it. If you don’t…well, don’t. No-one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read it. If you have an issue with something I write then I’d rather discuss it in a reasonable manner and we can go from there. Don’t imagine all sorts of things about me, build them up so that I become a monster and then press the destruct button on the friendship. If I ever go too far (I’m willing to accept that my sarcastic, dry sense of humour is not to everyone’s taste), I’d rather know so I can pull back, or at least have the opportunity to defend what I write.
The lobotomy post I wrote on Thursday was inspired by something I saw on Twitter the previous day. It wasn’t aimed at any of the people in that particular discussion, but I after I put a link to the post on my account someone I know professionally contacted me and asked if my post was aimed at them, with a little winky emoticon afterwards. I replied in a jokey way and they responded in kind. Matter settled. We moved on. Isn’t that how adults are supposed to behave?
I now put caveats all over my posts. I can write something sarcastic (my sarcasm really is my downfall) but I have to write a disclaimer at the end of it. Why? One tires of hearing how much they suck after a while (I can beat myself up perfectly well – I don’t need you to do it for me) and frankly I don’t need the added hassle in my life. The caveats and disclaimers will remain, but if you see anything that you think is aimed at you, it really isn’t. Ok?