Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The thing that kind of irritates me about the widespread adoption of social media is that we've pretty much Big-Brothered ourselves into a corner. Sure, I've got my First Amendment freedom of speech rights, but you can bet your ass I keep a pretty tight censor on myself most of the time. It's not that I'm terribly worried about offending anyone, because of my personal beliefs offend you, well, too damn bad, but I don't want to get myself in trouble or "dooced" or wind up in an awkward situation with, say, the family members who only know me as the adorable five year old with blonde pigtails hanging down to my ass, and haven't quite registered that I have, in fact, grown up. My grandmother doesn't need to know how much I swear. I suppose if I were to have a love life worth mentioning, that's not something I can just blurt all over either. I envy the other bloggers who can do that. Who don't have to watch their step. That's the whole damn point and I can't commit to the concept because while my sassy foul-mouthed Internet Self is probably my favorite self, it doesn't always jive with the polite and professional Real Life Self that I am required to be. If that makes sense? I don't know if I'm making sense.

On the one hand: I'm still more open and honest than I would ever have been in real life. Using social media, I've learned to open up a bit. But I'm only about 75% of the way there. I can't seem to make myself jump that last hurdle and be completely "authentic" and "genuine" and "real" (those are the right buzzwords, right?) because... because I don't know who my audience is, and I don't want to take any chances. My Twitter feed has gotten boring because I've been checking myself before I tweet anything. It's too public. It's almost lost its value to me, because I can't connect with people like I used to, I can't be myself. Facebook, whatever. It's a glorified photo-sharing site for me and a means of communicating with people when I don't feel like punching out the buttons with my stubby thumbs on my Blackberry to send text messages. It's basically my equivalent of one of those spinny things from way back when that you stuck people's cards on (shit, I can't even remember what those are called and I'm too lazy to google.) It's my list of contacts, and it lives in the cloud. It IS the cloud.

I feel like my freedom of expression isn't what I'd like it to be. I feel like I've been bullied into being politically correct by the mere fact that I have to assume that everyone is watching. I miss the days when "tweet" wasn't a verb to the majority of the public. I miss being able to say what I really want to. I miss being able to swear profusely on Twitter. You'll notice that I don't have this blog linked to Twitter, even though that would make the most sense, given the heavy population of my fellow bloggers on the Tweet. They're not the only ones there. I'm handicapping any potential growth of this blog (as if it were equipped to be anything other than my sounding board anyway - God, this thing is useless. I can't even do it properly) because I don't want people in my real life to find it. I'd rather write for strangers - they're usually more empathetic anyway. My "people" don't really live around here. They're scattered everywhere. The handful of people that get me, are already here and reading (at least when I don't get too verbose), and there is no one else I interact with regularly that needs to see this. At risk of sounding overly emo - no one really gets it. You all know this. You know how it is. If you're a blogger, you get it. If you're not, you don't. Simple.

I hate censoring myself. I do. But it's not worth it to open the floodgates, to tear down the dam, to dive in head-first the way others can. It's not a risk I want to take. No, that's not true. I would love to be able to. It's just not something I can do.

Mostly: I'm cranky because I can't write the blog post that I really want to write. I can't vent my frustrations or candidly discuss what my deal is right now. Because I think I've kind of figured it out. I think. But I'm going to keep my lips zipped and fall back in line, because Big Brother is always watching and I don't want to stir the pot. At least not right now.

Anyway. I'm gonna glue my smile back on and pretend like everything's super fine and great because that's what the other part of the social medias are about, right? Pretending your life is better than it is. It's all fake anyway. You either write about how it's shit, or you write about how you've got rainbows coming out of your ass. I guess that's all that's worth writing about anyway. The stuff in the middle is mundane. Nobody wants to read that. We're all living it.

I don't know why I'm in such a bad mood right now. I just feel beat down, I guess. I'm out of money and I'm out of ice cream and I'm running out of patience for all the stupidity and selfishness in the world and I'm running out of steam to fight any of the good fights. I'm tired of feeling useless and untalented and unappreciated and undervalued. I'm tired of saying yes when I want to say no. I'm tired of playing everyone else's game. I'm tired of fighting all of these battles by myself. It makes me sad that that I'm letting the dream I've had since I was ten - writing - fall by the wayside because I've convinced myself I'm the type of shitty writer that comes a dime a dozen and I've only been building myself up for disappointment. It's a stupid goal and nothing is ever going to come of it. I can't commit to anything worth a shit and there are an endless supply of actually talented writers out there that I have no business competing with. I wish there was something else I wanted to do. Something I could actually do. I don't know how to fix that. I'm tired of my shitty blog posts, but it's the only thing I have to hang on to - write anyway, write anyway - that post I linked to a while ago, it's become my mantra. Just write something. It doesn't matter what. If it weren't for this blog, I'd have nothing TO write, and I'd be even more sullen and crabby about the whole thing. But like I said... it's not going anywhere. It's just a self-published piece of shit and the Internet is full of them. And I'm not fishing for compliments so don't patronize me by giving them. I'm not stupid. That's my other problem. I'm all too aware. I know the score. I know where I stand in the scheme of things. That's the one thing I've always been, is smart. I observe the world and I know how it works. I know what my place in it should be. Whatever. Maybe I'll acquiesce to it someday. Right now? Right now, I don't even know what I need. A good cry, maybe. A good scream. To sleep it off. By tomorrow I won't even care, I'll have numbed myself back into complacency and I'll go about my daily life with only a slight trace of bitterness carried over from this verbal meltdown.

And for the love of God I need to restock my freezer. I'm going to go through withdrawal if I don't get some sort of icecreamesque goodies in there soon. I might have to dive into my savings account. I don't know if I can wait until payday.

Whatever. It will be fine in the morning. I'm going to post this anyway because I bothered to write it so I might as well. I guess it's better to release the crazy into the wild than to keep it here to myself. Lucky you.


Ashley, the Accidental Olympian said...

I love how you ended this rant with a comment about how you need to stalk your freezer.

Come over, we'll have a glass of wine and cuss a whole lot. You'll feel much better after.

Stacey said...

It's called a Rolodex. Also, I'm going to have a spoonful of ice cream (Strawberries & Cream) before I go to bed in honor of our shared love of the delightful frozen treat!

Terra said...

I know exactly what you mean. My family reads my blog and while I try not to censor myself too much, I think I'd be a different blogger if I knew they weren't reading. I think id take down a lot of the blocks I put on certain topics.

Steph A said...

"I'm gonna... pretend like everything's super fine and great because that's what the other part of the social medias are about, right? Pretending your life is better than it is. It's all fake anyway. You either write about how it's shit, or you write about how you've got rainbows coming out of your ass. I guess that's all that's worth writing about anyway. The stuff in the middle is mundane. Nobody wants to read that. We're all living it."

AMEN. I never feel like i have anything to post anywhere, because my life is so totally normal. It's not terrible and it's not perfect—i don't have a perfect house or a new baby or any really profound wisdom about marriage—so why would anyone want to read about me? And i feel like most people are pretty fucking normal, too, but they manage to convince themselves and the rest of the world that they're perfect and unique.

Tori said...

I used to censor myself. I stopped. Because my colleagues don't read my blog or Twitter, and my family knows who I am. They know I say "fuck," they know I love booze, and they know I occasionally talk smack about them. And sometimes this gets me some backlash, but for the most part, people just get that this is who I am. And, surprisingly, they like me anyway.

PS. Where can I send the ice cream?