Warning: Self-indulgent blog post.
Why do I blog? A question I often ask when I’ve sat up into the wee small hours writing a post and only my husband and mother (god bless ‘em for their loyalty) read it. Bloggers are warned not to get fixated on site stats but is there anyone who doesn’t?
Over the past few days, I’ve been asking myself “Why do I blog?” in the sense of “Why do I blog when sh*t like that can happen?”. I’ve ranted so much about my little blog’s eventful week that my rant tank is empty. So I’ll cut a long story short. A well-intentioned post of mine has caused offence to a couple of people. When I say “a couple” I don’t mean any more than that, I literally mean two. (Well, there were three but one was less abusive so I don’t count them.) One word describes how I felt about the force and manner of their reaction: gobsmacked. If you feel hard done by and want three words to encompass the fact I was asked to take the post down: knocked for six.
Ricocheting between tears of sadness and tears of indignation, I could quite easily have deleted my blog and my Twitter account. Social media suicide, I guess – the fashionable, techie way to do a Reggie Perrin in the 21st century. It struck me like a great big sledgehammer that however little visited my blog might be it is still very public property and as such I am (as is any blogger) an unwitting target for the less polite, less measured people who inhabit the blogo- and Twitterspheres.
As a sensitive type, I find it easier to express my thoughts via a blog than I do when I’m required to think on my feet face-to-face. Yes, I hide behind a screen and in doing so can invest a lot of myself in what I write. What I’ve learnt over the past week is that if I want to be a happy blogger I must get myself a thicker skin. If I blog for me and for the people who are interested in what I write then why should I care what random people who stumble across an isolated post of mine think? Easier said than done.
J. R. Bowen (I’m presuming this isn’t Jim) says that “The cyber bully is nothing more than a coward with a gadget”. That’s something to remember on those days when your epidermis is feeling paper-thin. Perhaps those bullies will learn that debate is more important than trying to dictate. In the meantime I’ll be shaving my skin to make it grow back thicker. Or is that my moustache?