If you peek through my blog, you’ll notice I haven’t been as active lately as I was a couple of weeks ago. This is 1.) because I was on vacation and went crazy for awhile there and 2.) I’ve had some stuff going on in the real word, and it’s not the kind of stuff I think you want to hear about. Which brings me to the Like button.
The stuff has kept me busy so I haven’t stayed as up to date on the blogs I follow as I prefer. I’ve spent the last few hours looking through posts, and finally had to stop because they were blending together. During that time, however, I found myself considering reasons not to hit the “Like” button.
Aside from the obvious (“this is a stupid post,” “I hate mayonnaise, so I’m not going to read about it,” and “I have no idea what they’re talking about”), I repeatedly had four reasons for skipping over the Like and Comment sections:
1.) The Depression Journal: Some people write fantastic posts about depression. I’ve enjoyed (and even liked, oh my) a few where the person was trying to enlighten their readers about particular mental illnesses, some of which included depression. I appreciate anyone who is willing to share their story. As a collector of stories (aren’t we all?), I tuck them away and try to remember them when some instance occurs in my life and that story could provide me a little more empathy.
I do not, however, like posts when the writer has “Depression” as a category. Categories and tags are different. Tags are about the topics in a post. I can handle depression as a post topic, but when a person has a whole slew of posts about how their college courses make them want to cut themselves, well… I feel that isn’t my place.
If I thought I could craft a comment that would dissuade a person from self-harm, I’d do it, but I don’t have that kind of confidence in myself. I’m also a cynical person who isn’t sure whether the writer really has a problem, or if they want attention. If I already don’t feel I can make things better, I don’t want my otherwise useless comment or like to encourage anyone, whether they’re making it up or not.
2.) Politics: I went through that phase of my life where I had an opinion on everything and thought everyone needed to hear it.
But they didn’t need to hear it. And most of them didn’t want to hear it. The ones who did didn’t like my opinion so much as they liked arguing so they could hear themselves share their own opinion.
Discussion of politics has its place. I’ll talk to most people about my beliefs, but not on WordPress. This blog is my creative outlet, not a place for me to argue or scare people away from my words. While I’ve read some great posts about political issues, I’ve found that a large number of them are those same people who are writing for the sake of enjoying their own opinion, rather than trying to change anything.
3.) Religion: You’ll also notice I don’t talk about religion. My feelings here are very much like my feelings about politics: I’ll talk to you in person, but my blog is my creative outlet, not a place to debate whose god is right, or wears the coolest outfit.
4.) Diets: I have plenty of admiration for people who take control and make themselves healthier, whether it be by diet, exercise, or other. The problem is that a lot of the people who blog about dieting say things like “I can lose a pound a day if I don’t eat and drink Diet Coke all day.” Since I never know if the writer is a starve-yourself addict who lives off Diet Coke, I skip over these posts as well.
Another important belief of mine is that there’s an exception to every good rule. I don’t believe in absolutes. Today I liked a post that had politic ties, because it was an interesting perspective from a person who felt guilt about the decisions of their local leaders. I also seriously debated commenting on a post where a writer asked “is it okay for Christian writers to swear in their books?”
That was an almost. The answer seemed simple to me, but then again, we tend to find our own beliefs to be the obvious.
What do you think? Should I break my rules more often? Do most people have restrictions about their online presence?