Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Of Blogs and Ken

First, an apology. I set up this blog page to share my musings and I really haven’t shared anything of late. The truth of the matter is that I have nothing to say. Is that okay? (Good morning, good morning, good morning, yeah . . .)

I do get a kick out of reading other people’s blogs, mainly because they seem to be such exercises in self-indulgence. Have you noticed the current penchant for incivility? (“You lie!” cried the out-of-order senator on the Senate floor.) I’m not saying blogging is the root of the problem, but it is certainly a symptom, or at least related tangent. After all, it is so easy type away one’s indignation at the president’s policies, the politician’s unbending stance, the talk-show host’s picadillos, the current state of liturgical music, the total collapse of one’s favorite team in the playoffs, or that jerk who cut me off on the freeway while I was talking on my cell phone. What a world we live in! How can I get back? I’ll show them: blogs and blogs of negative diatribes!


That’s the problem right there. Too many people are expressing exactly what they think and feel (generally a good thing; get it off your chest) and sharing it immediately without thinking through the ramifications (a not-so-good thing). Blogging is such an anonymous and empowering medium. As the 1980s saying goes, “On the Internet, nobody knows that you’re a dog.”

I think it was mom (always a good quotable source) who said: “Think before you speak.” We need to listen more to mom.

Another consideration: What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet.

I often counsel young people to think twice before they share photos of their last drunken party on Facebook, or post blogs of frustration laced with four-letter words against their teachers or parents. This stuff may come back to haunt them later in life. In fact, the Internet has been around long enough where I actually know a few people who are regretting something they posted just a couple of years ago because it apparently made the difference in their unsuccessful job application. Yes, of course, their prospective boss Googled their name. These days, who doesn’t?

I guess this is a rather long way of explaining why I might seem hesitant to post my innermost opinions on a blog. I do feel that I might have something worthwhile to share, but I also don’t want to contribute to the negative incivility that seems to be characterizing this first decade of the 21st century. I also don’t want stuff to come back and haunt me.

But I’m a writer and I make a living as a writer. And being a writer means taking the risk to put yourself out there. Maybe it’s time for me to do just that.