Tread a Little Lighter...

Please see Heather O.'s post from yesterday. Why do we come here? This isn't even a "place"- it's an electronic bulletin board, where people we usually do not know in real life, write words about their thoughts and problems and things that are going on in their lives. So why do we check in each day? Why do we care what a stranger has to say? It's because we aren't strangers. Not really. We are mostly all in the same boat, having similar struggles, pain, happiness, trials and heartache in the trenches of mommy-dom. And when there are things that happen to us that we might not be comfortable talking about to a face-to-face friend, this forum is a blessing. The anonymity allows you to approach topics and feelings with whatever distance or intimacy you need- you can be an open book, or you can just lurk if that is what helps you. We come here to rant. To share happiness, to shed the copious tears that come with motherhood, to laugh, share humor and to vent our anger in a safe place. The anonymity can be a real blessing. But there is a danger in it, too. That danger lies in the possibility of others forgetting that there are real, honest to goodness people behind the screen monikers. Behind the veil this kind of writing affords, is the sharp edge of forgetting civility, and writing things one would never say to another person face to face. There is also the constant riding of the line between the tone and subtle communication possible when you are looking someone in the eye, and the stark, black and white, unsubtleness of the printed word. Things don't always translate well. We have a responsibility to remember the flesh-and-blood behind the black and white we read on the screen. Perhaps in other web-worlds, people are fantasy and take great liberties with how they present themselves, but in the Blogernacle, almost all of us are who we present ourselves to be. We share an ideology, a love of the Gospel we believe, we sustain the same leaders, listen to the same words, we share callings, duties and responsibilities, even if we are a continent or ocean away. We all have a similar rhythm to our lives- between FHE, scouts, VT and HT routes, children, primary, Relief Society, seminary, bishoprics, high councils, the Ensign, Friend and New Era... Everyone one of us has these things contributing to the cadence of our lives, in some way, shape or form. We are a peculiar people. Someone I consider a friend is hurting- and hurting enough to need to withdraw from a forum she created. Let's remember, more carefully and tenderly, the spirits of our sisters and brothers who are behind the words we check in to read each day. That doesn't mean we cannot be honest, rib one another and laugh at ourselves- but let us not forget our civility and love for one another. And let us tread just a little more lightly.


Blogger Keryn said...

This situation has forced me to consider that other people may view the Bloggernacle differently than I do.

I love reading posts about events in other people's lives--like moving, like how the Church can help you in material ways (finding a house), how hard it is to deal with pregnancy and little children, etc. In fact, although I love the more abstract posts, I think I come back to my favorite blogs because of the more homey posts. In my self-centric way, I thought everyone had similiar thoughts.

I guess they don't.

3/22/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

Tracy, thank you for expressing that so well. I love checking in to find out what everyone is up to.

3/22/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger FluffyChicky said...


3/22/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

No fair! I was going to say that! Well said, sister.

3/22/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie J said...

Well said. Like Keryn said, it's the normal daily life stuff that brings us here. It wouldn't be as helpful and entertaining if everyone posted things that never happened in real life. I hope Heather comes back soon.

3/22/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger A Payne said...

That is a very fine point, to remember the people on the blog are in fact real people. I try to keep that in mind as I create topics on my own blog. I had the stinging temptation to trash a sister that I had tried to befriend, because no one else wanted to. When I made my effort to be kind to her, she couldn't manage kindness back.
Then the words of King Benjamin came to me..." are we not all beggars...perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought this upon himself...watch yourselves, your words, thoughts and deeds."

3/22/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Tracy.

3/22/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Kage said...

It's a good post. This topic has been on my mind lately b/c all my friends have moved away...and it's winter...and I am stuck in my house with my 2 crazy kids and my husbands been working more...and I feel lonely. So until I get some more flesh and blood friends, it is nice to have the nacle.

3/24/2006 02:45:00 PM  

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