Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the angry blogger

While on vacation, a friend mentioned wanting some help from yours truly to write a letter. Not just any letter; an angry letter. I asked why he didn't just tell the other party what was wrong, and he gave me a rather unsatisfactory answer.

Unsatisfactory to me, I guess, because why wouldn't you just be upfront and call or sit the person down to tell them what's wrong? That's what I would do. But maybe that's just me. So I didn't give my friend a hard time. He's a good person and I think he means well. But I did tell him this:

Once you put it out there, there's no taking it back.

This has been on my mind a lot since I started all of my blogs. Because when I find myself mad at someone, whether I am generally aggravated or really pissed off, it's hella tempting to post a note about them online. Heck, I've written reams of pissed off blogs. But I haven't published any of them.

At least not yet.

Don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite bloggers are filled with angry impotence and lash out in rage at other people all the time. That's what makes their blogs so fun to read. It's seeing how everyone gets mad from time to time, and the ability to turn these moments into something funny, or thought provoking, well. That takes some skill.

But my worry is this:

Maybe posting the pissed off blogs will make me feel better. Maybe it won't. But what if it hurts someone else? How will that make them feel, reading that someone else has a low opinion of them in general or that they did something specific to hurt me?

… What if, whatever they did to upset me was a mistake?

Because once it's out there… It's really out there. Even if you delete the offending item, it's still on the internet. Deleting cached pages takes more than just a "remove this item from my list" click of a button.

I didn't write the letter. I tried to give my friend some food for thought, without pushing my opinion all over him and then just left it at that. I asked him about the letter again just before we left, and he was rethinking the whole thing.

Hopefully, he'll pick up the phone instead. ~