Friday, July 3, 2009

WEAPONIZING SPACE

Sometimes a blog is for wielding. Like a weapon.

Because a blog is a forum of the unseen, it can feel like a safe place to field or launch an offensive. But a specifically unspecific one.

There are instances wherein I take the opportunity to let certain readers know that I know they're there. Or I'll put together a post about an unsavory exchange with a someone in particular because it's lit me up and I think it's worth writing about. But I do this without revealing the name or the title of my target. Though they know who they are.

It may appear cowardly for me to avoid the specifics of a name, but it's actually a splash of kindness. Unless what my target has committed is horrifically egregious, too personally directed, or pointed at someone in my family, I allow them to remain anonymous. Why do I grant them this courtesy when I've clearly taken issue with them? The answer is quite simply you.

Thanks to links from a certain blogosphere celebrity (see how I'm allowing her to remain anonymous--as if that were possible), many people have encountered Remarks from Sparks; but because this isn't a blog littered with motherly anecdotes, voyeuristically satisfying photos of kids, recipes, or post after post trashed with stuff I want, only a handful of the newcomers stay.

I'm not only okay with this. It pleases me. For the readers that do stick around are weeded-out treasures; all with a sense of humor about themselves and the world, they're the hearty, the passionate, and the thick-skinned (or the self-immolating and morbidly curious, but it's not of those I speak). They read my Remarks with the understanding that I might publish something that slaps close to home, but they've learned that it's really not directed at them, and who am I that they should care if it were? They understand that when arriving at this URL they'll be encountering some inconsequential person's direct, considered digressions and that there is no reason for them to find offense or invest their emotions in what I write.

Many of the readers that stay are also the kind of readers who get incensed. So there's the chance that if I'm mid attack and use a name or leave a link, the most brazen of you will do what you do, perhaps allowing my Remarks to influence an opinion, and you'll hop on the offensive, taking on a battle that you need not. Whatever issue I'm cryptically covering is between me and the precise target. That's why I don't give you their name. It doesn't serve any practical purpose. When I post about a less-lovely interaction I'm merely telling you bits to entertain or spark thought, not prompting you to suit up and go get 'em.

There are also times that I write something pointed at a specific someone and the readers who aren't they have no idea that the post is one with an agenda. To them it reads like regular Megan. But the individual who is the aim of my words can make no mistake in understanding about whom and what I speak. And I welcome them to open up a dialogue--it's that kind of thing that grants clarity.

Why do this? Why weaponize my online space? So that I do less weaponizing in my offline space.

I have the capacity to be an explosive person. A firecracker of sorts. My verbal explosions have become more infrequent as I've developed better control over my mouth and have come to see their ineffectiveness. But I'm still very often aflame.

I don't feel lightly. I don't react small. I tend to hurl myself at things--issues, projects, improvements, relationships. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to really do it. It's a personality trait, and it bleeds into how I embrace reactions.

So when I get my knickers knotted over something a someone's done or said, I feel such a build up of whatever emotion attaches itself to that experience that I have to set at least a fleck of it free.

Yes, I could privately write down my detonation with every detail I deem inappropriate for this space and then shred the paper; I've done that before. But I've learned that it's more satisfying for me to write and press Publish Post. That way someone else out there picks up my tone and gets a little feel for my feelings. And then I feel cleansed.

7 comments:

Amanda said...

well said. and well done. i used to be more a firecracker myself (maybe still am?), can't tell you how many letters i have written and never sent. it works.

Brandon and Julie said...

Solid point, Megan. I think you do this well.

rabidrunner said...

I stayed. Does this mean I'm among "the hearty, the passionate, and the thick-skinned"? Awesome.

meg said...

You are their queen, Rabid darling. It's like heading up the few, the proud, the strong.

Jessica said...

i've gotten into the habit of writing letters and tearing them up and flushing them down the toilet or burning them. i've actually suggested it to my therapy clients as well and they've found it helpful too (although sometimes i don't suggest the burning, depending on the person). it's important to get those feelings out! thanks for sharing yours with us.

meg said...

You're funny, Jessica--I'm glad that you meter our your burning reccomendations.

I've not tried burning. That sounds like a good time. Maybe I should get riled up more often so I have more to write and more to burn. Maybe. But probably not. Who has the time for more of what I already lather myself in?

Rowboat said...

nice. i like the way you said this, especially the last few paragraphs.