For all that blogging is cutout to be – a powerful, grassroots medium where common people can exchange ideas and affect change – it can really hurt sometimes. This is probably an unusual statement for me to make as I tend to be an advocate for blunt and uncensored honesty followed by a smack on the ass and some kind of encouragement to “get back in the game and give ’em hell!” It’s easy for me to leverage aggressive words and accept brutal trackbacks attacking my positions. It’s easy for me.
However, I’m reminded today of the fact that not everyone is like me – though not by anything I necessarily wrote. Words formulated indiscriminately and without much thought affect others who may not have the same outlook. Some may say that if you blog, you’re opening yourself up and should be ready for counter-attack. They would suggest getting thick skin and while there’s credence to that thought, there’s also the issue of accessiblity.
Accessibility dictates that something like a blog should be open and available to anyone, regardless of disposition, strengths or weaknesses. Because the world is made up of billions of people with unique personalities and character traits, leaving blogs for only those with “thick skin” alienates those who do not.
And the truth is, those who do not have thick skin often times exceed those who do in other areas – creative writing, insightful thoughts and emotional empathy. These are traits too often ignored by the blogging powerhouse but rampant in the long tail.
I don’t know really why I’m inspired to write this entry. Perhaps because what I’ve seen today has opened my eyes and caused me to look at my own approach to writing, networking and dealing with others. Perhaps this entry serves also as a reminder that, in the Biblical view of Proverbs, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”