Posts Tagged ‘trolls’

Apr

21

2015

Internet Whiplash

Filed under: Blogging, Community, In the Wild, Pondering, Technology

Lately I’m having an unusually hard time coming up with blog posts. At first I thought my struggle was because I’m busy, both with life and writing. And I’m sure that plays a role, but after careful consideration, I don’t believe that’s the truest of answers. I think the most accurate reason for being stuck is that I have internet whiplash.

iStock_000012193352_Full

 

Unfortunately, blogging and social media have begun to seem a bit off. Kind of the way state testing and the common core feels uncomfortable. I’m not against some testing or having standards. In fact, I think they can be wonderful tools, but there’s something, not-quite-right about the current state of our educational system or the things going down on the internet lately.

For the first time, the trolls and the cyber bullies feel bigger than the things about social media that give me great pleasure. And then there is the sheer intensity of the opposing and highly volatile online opinions. I’m not suggesting that I only want to hear one side of an argument. I love intelligent conversation–I really do. But it is April of 2015 and already I can’t deal with the political FB stress. The hate mongering. How will I ever make it until November of 2016??? I refuse to comment, but can I also stop reading? I think I need to.

Of course, I’m smart enough to know the internet is the same functional and dysfunctional slice of pie you see in any microcosm. You should see some of the screaming, crying, throw-down dinners that have been had in my family over the years. I’m no stranger to the cray-cray, in fact I can bring the cray-cray just as much as anyone. But somehow the rapid, viral reach of the internet seems more sinister than I’d ever considered it before. When I fight with my family and friends, we make up and eat dessert and stuff. The world wide web doesn’t do that. Instead of stories I’ll laugh about at my kids’ weddings, there’s online shaming, which is probably as easy to catch as the stomach bug in a day care facility.

This is where the internet whiplash comes in. If you want to be heard, you MUST say something worth hearing. If you say anything worth listening to, there WILL be people who dislike what you’ve said. If you’re lucky those people simply disagree with you, but if you’re unlucky, it’s highly likely that they’ll abusively attack you online. My feelings about this state of affairs are whipping back and forth with such intensity it’s almost painful. One day I feel brave, the next cowardly. One minute I feel energized, but the next it’s depressing.

I’ve been trying very hard to find the remedy to my internet whiplash. I’ve been searching for a black and white truth that would clearly define how I move forward with my cyber life. As you might expect, that isn’t really working out for me.  Today’s blog post sums it all up perfectly–writing makes me see things clearer, all while mudding the same water quite a bit. So, there’s only one conclusion…what I need most is to be unsure. If I’m rigid, I will get injured. Instead, I need to be bendy. Perhaps it’s time to be flexible and blog when it feels organic and not blog when it doesn’t feel good. It’s a scary but liberating thought for someone who’s blogged regularly for years, but I should probably only blog when I have something important to say or share.

Is anyone else dealing with internet whiplash? What’s the worst part for you? What do you do to combat it? How do you feel about blogging at the moment?

Tags: , , , , , ,