loose cannon, part 1

{Note: Soooo I had a blogging-humility moment earlier today when I sure enough accidentally deleted this post. Bahahaha. I was trying to moderate comments on my phone via the wordpress app. Major end-of-day-brain fail. All that to say, thank you Google cache! And, lesson learned on my part: “cancel” means “delete” in the wordpress app. LOL.}

loose_3.2

This word was on my mind earlier this year. Loose, free, careless, without restraint.

It’s been on my mind because I’m kind of particular when it comes to public words.Especially public words that can wound and public words that can oversimplify.

The issue of boundaries with online sharing is something I can be overly sensitive with because both my full-time work and my personal work involve a lot of public writing, and so I’m hyper-aware that everything we put on the internet is 100% public and 100% permanent. A few months ago I vent-tweeted “What if we held loosely our political leanings, opting for listening, self-control & thoughtfulness instead of knee-jerk reactions?” because I was, frankly, fed-up with the lack of compassion, nuance and listening that I was seeing from both real life contacts and social media contacts in regards to complicated policy and social issues. (One of my boundaries is to try not to vent-tweet, but sometimes it happens! Ha.)

I was guessing that other people might feel the same way, and it seemed to resonate with some friends. I think many of us are tired of the yelling. I’ve figured out in recent years that I need and want to hold tight to Jesus and relationships and the Word, but loosely to the trappings of this world and loosely to my own views that will surely evolve over time as I (hopefully!) gain wisdom.

When it comes to online writing expectations, those themes of listening and self-control are pretty important to me. Regarding boundaries and privacy, these are some of my basic guidelines that I want to continue following in 2013:

  • Stick to these boundaries regardless of circumstances.
  • Be considerate and thoughtful.
  • Respect your family and friends’ privacy – only tell your story.
  • Don’t write publish angry.
  • Be a lover, not a fighter – write for encouragement and positive change.
  • If a post, tweet, status, etc. doesn’t feel right, sit on it for at least 24 hours; the world isn’t dying to hear your thoughts. It can wait. Or maybe just trash that one.
  • Know your niche, and stick to that.

Practically, for me this looks like 1) focusing all of my online publishing on my niche(s) – creativity, photography, faith, encouragement, and advice for twenty-somethings; 2) for about a million reasons, resisting the frequent urge to write online about controversies and politics, even though I super-love talking politics in-person with good friends; 3) listening to my husband’s advice before I publish possibly problematic things.

And sometimes I fail at this. It’s definitely a process. Also, since we’re constantly evolving as individuals, I’m sure my boundaries and focuses will change over time. Maybe one day I’ll  write online about politics (that sounds so fun!) but for now I’m sticking to my boundaries.

//

What do online writing boundaries look like for you? Any tips on this?

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2 Responses to loose cannon, part 1

  1. larkandbloom says:

    Oh, sooo good. About a year and a half ago someone wrote a comment on my blog refuting something I said about my faith. I then tweeted ” Well, got my first hater on the blog today…” . I was sure that this “hater” was some random stranger. Turns out it was a childhood friend who was deeply offended that I bashed her as a “hater” for simply stating her opinion. She hasn’t spoken to me since. So, yeah. Boundaries are a good thing & editing what we say is a must!

    • WOW. That’s a crazy turn of events! And yeah, I could totally see myself doing that on a day when I brush off self-editing. Thanks for the reminder!!

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