Scared To Blog?

A blog post about not knowing what to write for a blog post? How meta.

I’ve gone quiet online over the past few weeks, not just with my blog, but social media and even just private messaging. I found it so exhausting to keep up with and I needed a bit of a break from being so connected all the time.

However, specifically with this blog, I have drafted numerous posts then deleted them because they either sounded painful and forced, or were too personal to share online. I can’t seem to put together a coherent view about what’s happening in the world right now. I’m increasingly frustrated by the news, particularly with US and UK politics, and I think there are only so many ways to ridicule the politicians in power before it starts to feel like I’m repeating myself.

And then there are the commentaries I want to make which add to already-volatile debates. I haven’t received backlash for expressing my views on here yet, but that’s not to say that someone won’t pick up on something I say and misconstrue it.

I am the first to hold up my hands and say I’m very much an amateur when it comes to forming opinions on politics, news and society in general. I’m only just becoming more aware of and engaged with what’s going on in the world, so I’m a bit of spring chicken in the conversations about bigger issues. That means that my worldview is continuously evolving and changing as I educate myself, so something I say in one post could be different to how I feel six months later.

As soon as you click ‘publish’, there’s a sense of permanence. Yes, you can delete and edit content but it still existed at some time on the internet. We’ve seen in the past how one slip up can create uproar (remember the girl who was getting on a flight, joked about being a bomber, and when she landed, she was arrested?).

Jon Ronson, the journalist and writer, released a book called ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ which shows that one mistake in the era of social media can mean paying a heavy price.

When you see the mob mentality online, it’s easier to choose not to say anything than to open up discussions or add your two-cents to the conversation.

Maybe I shouldn’t be scared to speak up. I may be keeping quiet about little things in Brexit, but if I don’t use my voice now, what about when it really matters? What about when something affects me and I want to be heard? I don’t want to be scared then, but what sort of precedent am I setting if I’m backing off now?

I want to write regularly; I like being able to pull together my thoughts about news stories as well as talk about what’s been on my mind lately. It’s just a matter of believing my voice has value.

Do other bloggers worry about what they’re saying, whether in terms of censorship, or whether it actually matters what they post? I’d be intrigued to know if I’m on my own on this one.

Best wishes,

Siobhán

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