If I had a penny for every time someone asked me to stop blogging about something, I would be able to build a life-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty out of them.
That may be a slight exaggeration, but it’s really only a slight one. The amount that people either ask or order bloggers to stop blogging about something really boggles the mind.
It’s not just me, either. Every single blogging friend I have has been asked at least multiple times to stop blogging about something for some reason or other. And every time I hear that, I am mystified.
I don’t know if this is some big secret or what, but there is this remarkable feature on the internet:
As it happens, blogs are all just people blabbing about whatever they want to blab about. Some people do this professionally; some people do it for funsies; some people do it to destabilize the foundations of society. But all these people have one thing in common — they are speaking into a void, until someone starts listening. Whatever power a blogger has to shape the narrative of a tiny slice of the internet is the power you’ve handed to him or her by clickety-clicking through their words every day. If you hate a blogger, or wish she would, say, stop talking about Ebola, the most effective strategy is to click that red X of GTFO.
That’s right, blog readers. You have had the power all along to ignore the ever-loving crap out of me. You can click me out of your virtual existence without even hurting my feelings, and we’ll both be better off for it!
We won’t both be better off if you get into my combox and start admonishing me to blog about something else. That’s the least effective strategy, because even though 99.9% of the time I ignore it, it irritates the sh*t out of me 100% of the time.
Because here’s the deal: my blog is my turf, yo. It’s public turf, like a blacktop instead of a fortress, so I can handle attacks and disagreements and vicious Freejinger forums. But it’s still my turf, and I’m neurotic, anxiety-ridden, and overly fond of both swear words and my gay friends. I don’t play well with people who come onto my turf and tell me to stop being me, unless you’re my editor, my mother, or my husband. And even then, you’ve only got a 50/50 chance that I’ll listen. (Sorry Mom. I promise not to swear for the next 10 posts*.)
Blogs aren’t usually for broadcasting facts. They’re for broadcasting opinions and GIFs. You might think I have the wrong opinion. Tell me that. Tell me why! Call me a stupidhead! But don’t tell me not to broadcast my opinion while simultaneously broadcasting yours.
Let me put it this way: imagine I’m a kangaroo, and I have claimed ownership of a certain street. You can come onto my street and yell, snark, or civilly disagree all you want. But if you come onto my street and say, “you can’t have this street, because this is a human street and you’re a kangaroo and you’re ruining everything with your stupid jumpy feet,” I might just have to throw down and remind you that you too are a kangaroo.
*Unless it’s really, really vital for the ethos of the post and no other word will suffice, and even then, I’ll use asterisks and feel guilty