If you can’t say something nice…
We writers are a shy, retiring lot. We whisper our ideas and thoughts to the world with a hope that someone will pay attention.
We shout, spout, and fling our thoughts and opinions out into the world with abandon. So there’s no surprise differences of opinions can and will arise. Particularly during this time of evolution and revolution of the publishing industry. I love reading success stories from the traditional and indie paths. They are inspiring, head scratching, and thought-provoking. However, spats have been surfacing between opinionated authors who don’t agree with the other’s experiences. I’ll be honest, these ‘feuds’ make me cringe. Sharing an opinion is one thing, attacking someone for being an expert in their own experiences is another.
All this brouhaha gets spread all over the internet for the edification of the purveyor and the audience. I was raised to say nothing if I couldn’t say something nice. A false sense of being bullet proof seems to exist in the wilds of the internet. Whatever we put out on the internet WILL NEVER GO AWAY (unless you have billions dollars for a team of hacker ninjas to go out and clear every computer’s cache and delete any saved versions around the world).
While not an example of feuding authors, a profanity-laced email, from the Delta Gama sorority at the University of Maryland, made the news last week. The rant went viral; it even made a ‘lessons learned’ article on CNN.
When it comes to the rutting clash of egos on the Web, here are some things to remember:
- Nothing is Sacred – no exceptions
- The only privacy on the web is posting nothing – everything eventually becomes public
- Anything you post can & will be used against you
- Epic moments of stupidity posted to the internet WILL go Viral
The internet is a paradoxical environment, the space is finitely expansive. It’s easy to think what you say won’t be seen or impact anything. You had a bad day, your sales suck, you felt slighted by a colleague or fellow writer and want to rant – DON’T. Pick up the phone and talk to a friend, take a walk, write it down and burn it.
Don’t put your dirty psychological underwear out on the web, because it will be there for the entire existence of the internet.