The internet, the wonder that it is, is both a blessing and a curse. It allows us all to connect and interact in a way that never even seemed possible a few decades ago. We can share our stories, our lives, our pictures with people all around the world, people we would never have occasion to meet otherwise.
There are so many good things about the existence of the internet, so many valuable resources, so many now-relied upon resources, so much interconnected-ness that we tolerate the negatives it brings.
Most of the time, anyway.
There are times that those negatives become so overwhelming that people like me start to wonder if this is all worth it. At times it's too much. The comments, the attacks, the accusations, the demands, the assumptions made. We try to not take it personally, but sometimes it is impossible not to. We are human.
So far, at least, something has always reeled me back in, something has convinced me to log back on, to keep my head down, to keep doing it.
Reality is, for as much as the negatives knock us back, all the positives outweigh them by at least tenfold. It's just hard to remember that in the moment.
I've had too many moments of late.
This online world is a strange one, that's for sure.
I have a few friends, fellow writers, in places I've been right now. The ugly, real, painful places. The places that we could write about if we were so inclined, but the places that we won't write about for one reason or another. Maybe it's because we are protecting someone else. Maybe it's because we are worried about collateral damage. Maybe it's a desperate attempt to kid ourselves into believing that everything will be just fine if we don't acknowledge it all. Maybe it's self preservation.
No matter the reason, we don't write all those stories. We won't.
People out there, our fans, our readers, they might think that we tell all the stories, but we don't. For as painful as the ones we tell are at times, they couldn't hold a candle to the words left unspoken.
Part of being a writer so willing to be open with at least as many parts of ourselves as we are comes with consequences. The greatest of which is that we can form genuine connections with readers which is an amazing gift. It is usually the thing that motivates me to come back when I want to run away. Sometimes, though, those connections are misunderstood and people who we don't actually know, people who don't understand that they only know the stories we are willing to tell, they begin to believe that they know everything about us. They begin to believe that we are as real and tangible to them as those people sitting right beside them in reality.
We aren't. Because we can't be.
We have to keep our boundaries. We have to keep some things close. We have to protect those we love. We have to erect walls. And all of us, all the bloggers out there in this online world, we all have different limits.
Not everyone understands.
If you're out there reading this right now, and there was a time when you've asked one of us a question that we didn't answer or when we haven't continued a discussion or when we've simply chosen not to respond, understand that there may be a reason, and that if there is one, the reason has nothing to do with you.
It has to do with us. I promise.
Either that, or (far more likely) we just never received a notification for something. The internet is notorious for eating comments. Things get lost in cyberspace and we get blamed.
We're doing the best we can with the platforms we utilize...ones that are often glitchy. We are busy with our children and our jobs and our families and our friends and our lives, so sometimes we can't always be as responsive online as you might expect. We are human. Most of us moderate our own pages, manage our own comments. We, for the most part, don't have people supervising things for us when we are at the grocery store or on vacation or driving a kid to the hospital. We are human. We're doing the best we can, trying to somehow balance it all with the lives around us. Trying to protect our families, trying to protect ourselves, trying to do it all while doing what we love - writing.
We're doing our best to share what we can until we run into that boundary.
Please don't drag us across it.
Please don't blame us when we won't go willingly either.
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