Monday, October 03, 2005
Don't say anything at all...
The internet makes people brave - a world of people sitting in their pajamas, hair disheveled, contacts out/glasses on, typing furiously to a screen, the drama of their lives. It's a world of business men and women, sneaking to skim blogs while their fingers itch over the button to fill their screen to with spreadsheets or presentations or company email. It's all about hiding behind the screen, behind your desk, behind your glasses and pint of Ben & Jerry's.

It makes me brave enough, sitting here in my gym clothes, with my hair still tied back in a sloppy ponytail - the same one that swished over my shoulder blades while I pounded away on the elliptical machine - I'm dirty and lazy, but hiding behind this computer screen, I'm brave enough to be vulnerable. It's a freeing experience - to post bits and pieces of your life, and to smile as others post little hello's or encouragements. And it's a mental adventure to click the next button up top and find yourself in new worlds, page after page of people - all sharing fragments of themselves from their safe little homes, across the country, across the ocean, behind the screen.

Unfortunately, tucked beneath the cloak of this online world, there are also people who are also brave enough to be mean. This is all spurred by a comment I received on one of my stories. It was a flippant little comment from a cyberspace stranger, suggesting that I might as well hang myself. The comment itself made no sense in regards to the writing, and I take no offense to it, as it seemed nonsensical to me. But it does remind me of thin the line is between fascinating and frightening in this online world. I imagine my son one day being online – and how virtually defenseless I am to protect him from the slings and arrows, so to speak.

It makes me wish that everyone could adhere to the simple childhood mantra that our mothers and grandmothers and teachers all recited: If you can't say anything nice...

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19 Comments:

Blogger Karl said...

nice paragraphs. Enjoy the "behnd the screen." What's funny is right now, I am in my PJ's, my hair is a totally wreck and i'm squinting at the screen b/c my contacts are not in, well played.

Would have to agree with that... have been many mornings where I have sat here in my pj's working away, writing the all important emails all the while thinking.... if they only knew how unprofessional I looked. hehe.

It's a joy - really!

But I'm with you.... nice is better.

Yeah you're on the money but who the hell cares? If everyone knows the truth anyway, there should be no room for pretentiousness.

Blogger Empowerqueen said...

Your writing leaves the reader wanting more!
Your new boss is awesome. You will be grateful for time you give to him now, it pays off in phenominal ways you can't even imagine.

Grace be with you.....

Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

Very true, very true. On the internet, people are free to be themselves, or to pretend to be people they've always wanted to be. At times, such people are rather awful, but I fear twas ever thus.

No excuse for the rudeness you encountered, though.

Blogger Michele said...

Interesting. I have a sort of rule that I have to shower, dress, do my morning rituals, etc. before I fire up the computer. I know if I don't do these things first, I would probably sit in my pj's all day and type. LOL So, I make concessions to the "real" world and get dressed first. LOL I love your comments about "hiding behind the screen" though. You are right on the mark. And, yes, people will use feeling hidden as a forum for being mean and nasty. To those folks, I think they must be very sad and lonely and are taking it out on the rest of the world--hidden from prying eyes and thinking they won't be seen. However, there is a Higher authority that sees what is in their souls. I feel for them...

Blogger Jeff Milner said...

Your post is right on. I wish I was articulate on my own site.

Blogger Imaginair' said...

Your words are simple but touch me !!

Blogger Neo said...

Mella - Want me to kick their butt for you?

Seriously though, in a large percentage of people there will always be those that are jealous of other people's talents and passions. They look for ways to try and be negative, and try to bring you right down with them.

Let their negative energy, turn positive through your writing.

That's usually what I do with my songs. I let it fire me up and let it all go.

Peace

Blogger JulieWinters said...

Out of all of the non-cool meaningless blogs I've encountered, yours is by far Super-green:) You can either check out my blog @ http://roomwaview.blogspot.com/
or not. I still think your blog rock!!!

Blogger JulieWinters said...

**Rocks** oopsy boo-boo. You see what happens when you write with messy hair and no contacts!!!Anywho... Enjoy my comments:)

Blogger Mella said...

Hahaha, thanks everyone. It's good to know that I'm not the only disheveled online author out there.

Blogger Stephen Newton said...

Mella,
That's one of the best descriptions of the blogger's world that I've seen. Working from home like I do, I've networked in every condition, from completely dressed to otherwise, and outside of video conferencing (where I have to at least look OK from shoulders up), I love being able to work like this. The whole phenom is fascinating.

Regarding your fiction, here's a site you may be interested in. http://www.honestcritiques.blogspot.com/ He is an editor in England who will read up to 1000 words of your work and then let you have honest feedback to let you know if your work is ready for prime time. I'm waiting for his critique of my work.

Anonymous Nancie said...

I can't understand why people act like idiots online. At least if you acted like an idiot in real life, you can twist your own words around to make it sound like you weren't *really* being an idiot. The person you tried to offend question whether or not you said that or at least understands that there is a slip-up once in a while.

Online, it's permanently in type (unless the owner deletes it). An no one will side with the idiot, because it's so obvious that they are being idiots. Some are so ridiculously obvious that they are idiots that whatever they are trying to do backfires and instead everyone scoffs at the idiot. Not to mention that eveyone has a chance to retract what they are about to say before they hit the "publish" button.

I've always thought that these idiots were lonely 13-14 year old males who think they are "tough" and can't understand why they are laughed at and no one takes them seriously.

But I wonder if it is someone who is really shy and "nice" in real life, unable to make a stand for themselves, trying be the opposite of what they are like in real life.

If they hate themselves then they try to be what they percieve as the opposite of who they really are - but instead of being assertive, they end up being mean idiots instead.

BTW - you are an excellent writer. I have the imagination, but I could never write it down - at least not to my own expectations. Perhaps I'm a perfectionist, perhaps I'm really not that good. That's why I blog. It's good that you didn't take offense to it. You probably have a decent outlook in life.

Anonymous cm said...

Just hit NEXTBLOG and got yours. I love the way you write. Will definitely visit again.

Blogger Daniel Levesque said...

I get mean on my blog at times, but I'm exactly the same way in person. Mostly nice, sometimes mean.

http://ravingconservative.blogspot.com

Blogger Michele Cozzens said...

I liken people on the Internet posting f-you comments to those wearing sunglasses while driving great big SUVs and flipping off all the drivers around them. People can be very bold (and rude) when there's no real accountability.

Going public is an invitation to all kinds. You are a very talented writer. Take the positives as well as any CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms and flip off the faceless jerks.

Blogger Emma said...

Yeah, but that wouldn't be very interesting, would it? If everyone had grown up in your house?

I find solace in knowing that there will always be people who disagree with me just as there will always be people who agree...

http://emmafox.blogspot.com

Blogger Mella said...

Emma ~ I welcome disagreements and opinions that differ from mine. I welcome constructive critisism. What I don't think is necessary is being just plain mean - it's uninteresting and uninventive - and it offers nothing to a conversation.

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