Over the last week there have been blogs a-plenty typed up, published, posted, shared, commented upon. Millions of blog posts.
The massacre in Iraq. Robin Williams’s death. Racial upheaval in our nation. Russia. Ebola. Celebrities. Weight loss.
Words have been written with seeming authority. Readers have taken these words in, let them sit in their gut. They’ve responded. Some out of anger and hate and angst. They’ve responded with vitriol that eats through the soul like acid. Others have despaired of the state of humanity (is there any good left in the world?).
Yet others have taken the words of bloggers as full on truth.
This blogger (that would be me) wants to point out the man behind the curtain. Go ahead, pull it aside. You’ll see that in blogging there is no Wonderful Wizard. Just regular old humbugs like me.
Bloggers don’t have the world figured out any more than you do.
Yesterday I read a post by an insanely popular blogger. Let’s just say I wish I hadn’t. And I’d rather not be responsible for the pollution of your mind in linking up to him. Also, I’d rather not contribute to his site getting more hits (or page views).
This blogger wrote irresponsible words about suicide. He wrote in absolutes as if he was the ultimate authority on the matter because he’d “struggled with depression” before. He said that this is how it is. Double stampy. No backsies. I’m right, you’re wrong.
Guess what. He’s not an expert on depression or suicide. He’s a blogger.
Not a psychologist or social worker or doctor of any kind.
He is a public figure using his platform to spout his uneducated opinion.
This kind of hooey happens every single day in the blogging world.
I call bull-manure on that.
Can I tell you something about bloggers? We’re all trying to get as many people to click on our blogs as possible. And we like getting a bunch of comments.
Because publishers look at that. Because, if we run ads, each click gets us a couple more pennies in the jar. Because some are attention seekers who get a thrill from inciting online chaos.
And so, some bloggers will do anything to get people to read their blog. They don’t care about the backlash. They don’t care who they hurt. They will be as provocative as they can to get more attention/hits/comments.
So, they manipulate you.
It is no different for the big news corporations. Say the most shocking thing and get more viewers.
I don’t like being tugged around like that and I’m guessing you don’t either.
This blogger I was talking about, the one who said ignorant things about suicide? He’s constantly writing these uber controversial posts. Whatever. He can do what he wants.
His words about suicide were irresponsible. Foolish. Poorly timed Especially considering how large his audience is.
And it was a trick to get folks all riled up.
Because that’s what some bloggers do. And they sully the work others do to use their blogs to make the world a little more beautiful.
If you’re a writer, the words you write are powerful. They can be weapons or balms or whoopie cushions. Your words, spoken or written, exit you and enter the world and have eternal impact.
Let’s be careful with those words. Can we please?
Let our words be tempered with love and weighed in wisdom.
And, for goodness sake, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, be an adult and keep your words to yourself.
Stilling the words in order to listen is always an option.