Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Careful, somebody might hear you

I am really enjoying my time off work at the moment. I have having good times with the kids, with Mr G  but also with me.  I am getting time to organise me, tend to my needs and reset my very spun out clock. I have decluttered my wardrobe and drawers, finally fronted up to the beauty salon for pedicures, manicures and the all important summer "de-fuzz" - which truly, without sharing too much, probably wouldn't of surprised me if the beautician didn't call in wild life support as my bikini line could of been mistaken for a feral koala! *Shudder*....but organising me, recharging my burnt out batteries and resetting my personal clock involves much more than just environmental and physical appearances, it involves reconnecting with what generates my value system.

Sure I have started looking at some creative pursuits and I have read a few books but this week I have started to  read the paper.. a bit more. Reading past the weather (how will I dress myself and the kids today), past the movie guide (which talking animal movie this week), I read through to some more analytical articles, meaty stuff, stuff that enrages you, gets up your nose, lights up that urge to go picket a corner and my goodness how it felt good to feel certain parts of my brain re-opening and resume functioning. Specifically, I am enjoying the social commentaries that challenge the status quo and the reader. Writers that have the courage to raise ideas and urges the reader to leave this page and seek further reading, think about it and come back and say what you think, are really grabbing me . I love these provocative writers with their gaul and courage as they stand solid in wait for a response, begging for a good debate, not a dumb "oh you're an idiot mate" but a considered debate.  Of course there will be complete fools on the writing side that you just want to wallop up the backside, but they too have value as they will make you think about your position and how your position is composed.

One article  in todays' AGE newspaper  really grabbed my attention for a number of reasons, particularly as it has a  " blogger beware" aspect.  Both bloggers are hard hitters, both intelligent people, both raise excellent ideas throughout their blogs,  but one is said to have gone too far writing about the other and she won't  be taking it any more, she has threaten legal action.

This article  alerted  me to the fact that blogging, regardless of the reasons for which we do it, be it creating a online journal, an album that documents a family's or hobby's growth, a tool for emotional healing or venting etc...we are publishing opinions and we can be held accountable if our content hurts another person or business .  We are putting our ideas and therefore our influences "out there", therefore we need to really be aware of what we are saying and whom we are saying it about. Our blogs are not exempt from defamation laws.

For the most part of my blogging experience, the majority of the blogging genre I blog with are sound, with a few exceptions. I have read a few blogs containing some incredibly sensitive stuff providing no warning to the new visitor that some material on that blog may distress some readers, such as the sharing of traumatic events or expletive language.  I have also read posts where the blogger has received a comment that displeases them and in no uncertain terms tells them [the commentator] to @#$%& off, "it's my space, i'll say what I want". But is it our space?

When I think about this, I come to the answer of  "no". No, it is not private if you do not have an  "invitation only" blog, it is just like a public place.  If I am in a public place, even a cafe, I cannot truly expect my privacy. Social convention usually prevails and allows our "private"conversations to take place in the public space, without people butting in with their comments.  However, I think we all might be guilty of chipping into someone else's conversation in public, yes? Ever conversed with another parent? Commented on a stranger trying a dress on in the next cubicle? Of course you have, we all have! It is ok, we are out there in public, it is a risk we take and often it is all for the better - I know a kind word from a stranger has indeed made my day.

Blogging may seem like a new frontier to many of us, perhaps you feel like a pioneer?  It's the feeling of freedom we get from the anonymous space that is charged with possibilities endless. We can be brave and safe all at once. But my guess is due to the rapid increase in new cyberspace inhabitants, the current cyberspace style of management that depends largely on self regulation of users abiding by agreement bonds and faceless "site managers" ( do they really know if someone is breaking the agreement rules?) will soon mirror the worlds we live in.

Is it only a matter of time (when "they" work out a way to harness the bloggersphere) that cyberspace  will be heavily governed and organised and regulated by elected or non elected bodies and we will be faced with harsher penalties for upsetting others' apple carts as we do in the real world?   What kind of censorship will ensue? What kind of input will the cyberspace community be afforded if and when this occurs?  Given that it is a global phenomenon, will a new global charter be required for cyberspace?  Oh my what a can of worms! Makes you want to stick to crochet posts only and sit back in apathy, whilst "they" sort it all out and determine how we will blog in future times.

So until then cowgirls and boys, enjoy free blogging just as we once enjoyed smoking in the pub with a beer at the bar, spittoon at the door,  just remember your manners and don't blow smoke in others' faces - it is rude and can be harmful!


willywagtail said...

Good post. I think if a blogger writes in a controversial tne they should expect, at the least, the odd controversial answer. They blog to the public, the public do not have to be sheep who follow. They can be people with opposite ideas. However, even a difference of opinion does not need to be written in a rude way. From being a doormat I have become someone who has learned to stand up for what they believe and enjoys a good 'discussion'. It is a huge step for me and should be encouraged in all people so that they do not become downtrodden. But some bloggers are expecting their readers to be doormats and only comment if they agree. Cherrie

Taylor Made said...

Very thought provoking post...I'm not into leaving negativity ...I would rather just move on..but each of our spaces are always fair game when you push publish .x