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When You Become More Outspoken Online, And Then When You Taper Off
There was a time when becoming more outspoken online was quite imperative. As time goes by, I feel less inclined to be candid about opinions or thoughts I may have. I know longer enjoy the tit-for-tat discussing or debates others seem to thrive off of. These always seem to leave me feeling a bit drained, where the other participants seem to get a burst of energy from such discourse. I literally would have to go for a walk and look at the trees to feel centered again, and I realized why, finally. I am a bit of a people-pleaser and I do not like conflict. The outspoken thing of a few years back was a way to give my more introverted self a voice I do not have in social settings, but eventually, I realized it does not ring true for me. I do not get off on the conflict debates and differing opinions generate, so I am learning to abstain.
I am finally learning to get to a point where I am just a peace with nature, but for those who are more reserved in person like me, I do understand the appeal of being more candid with the written word. Many people continue to feel the need to share their opinions far and wide, but I am tapering off on it. Today I am trying to focus more on my art and photography, and look at the beauty of what nature and animals have to present to me. It is not that I no longer enjoy the written word, as I continue to read veraciously, but I am learning to practice the art of commentary restraint. The world is not beating down my door to hear my opinion about this and that, and I actually feel drained when I make a comment that others do not agree with. I do not get off on the tit-for-tat exchanges, and that is okay.
So what made me more outspoken online? When did this shift occur, and why did it happen? It evolved when I stopped being afraid to share my thoughts a bit more, and when I started expressing one thought, the floodgates burst open. I was still quite introverted during my more candid period of online discourse, but I started writing things that amazed me. Things I would never have the courage to say in public. Sometimes I know people do not like what I have to share, but I turn might not like their opinions. Fair enough, as long as we are civil we can all feel how we like. For instance, many people are pretty open about their opinions regarding politics and religion, and more and more I have become this way also. I might not necessarily express those thoughts in a forum or a social setting, but on a blog, I am okay doing that. However, when someone starts disparaging others and claims that are not what they are doing, that is something I find a bit alarming.
Conversational Turning Points
One friend always had really candid things to say about people. Yes, her family worked hard and that is respectable, but she actually said people who do not pull their weight should all be shipped to third world countries so the industrious people there could move here. I thought that was a bit harsh as she grew up in a highly motivated and educated household, and not everyone has that advantage. At the time I was reserved in holding back my thoughts, I never would have voiced any opposition to her opinion.
These type of comments always felt a bit brisk to me, but then I realized something: the majority of things people say are just their opinion. Eventually, you have to surmount the opinions of others, and find the truth and honesty in your own mind. Writing has helped me do that because I am finally able to ponder what I truly think and feel, and even though at times I feel a bit insecure, via writing I am able to get these thoughts out, and realize it is all going to be alright. When something feels really scary or daunting, just get out a piece of paper and start writing about it.
Even though you might never become the assertive type who will stand up and express your opinions in one on one conversation, you can most definitely express what you are thinking in a blog or by writing in your journal. So do not despair if you are still the reserved type who is afraid to speak up and out because writing will help you get there via the written word.
Why Did I Start Tapering Off?
Expressing your opinion is great, but then it can get exhausting. The ongoing political debates are beginning to feel like a rehash of old issues, except we just insert the name of new people in. The people who thrive off debating seem very good at still finding common ground with their opposition, but I never felt capable of doing that. If I get in a divisive discussion with a person, I just feel that charged energy hanging in the air.
There is the saying if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all, and even though this probably seems like a ridiculous old school marmy code to live by, sometimes it is true. Just because something is so true for me, or if valid for you, does not mean it is the kind thing to say. Is being right always right? For many people they can disagree on a constant basis and feel energetic, but that is not my way. I need to listen to the birds, and just enjoy their song. I need to realize I might feel very strongly about something, but my opinion about that is not going to make the general populace shift their direction.
Alas, I am more of the reserved type, and I am destined to go for a hike. Writing about that is far more enjoyable these days. When I walked up in the hills one day I realized how ridiculous all this back and fourth truly was. My opinions are simply mine, and I can expect anyone in the world to live the way I do.