Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drop the Mouse and Back Away From the Computer Slowly

When you write for the theater, you consider your audience and self-censor to appeal to this crowd or that. You know if you get really angry or really dirty, you have changed your audience and that is the only one you will try to sell it to. But, being a playwright, being dramatic (all right...MELOdramatic at times), can you really control the urge for flair when you are just commenting to a bunch of honest, regular people who have entered Facebok for different reasons than they enter a theater?

On Facebook, I’ve actually encountered more pressure to remove posts and comments than I have to remove my notes, which are often the same pieces I run in the blog. I hope that I’m allowed more leeway there; more permission to be myself. And perhaps it is a good thing if someone gently hints that you have gone too far or revealed too much for a possible crowd of 500,000,000 “friends” to understand clearly. This is honest feedback. Listen to it and become a better writer.

This has been an especially fertile and maturing time in my life. And believe me, even at my age, I have been incredibly childish and immature at times, but it couldn’t be avoided under the circumstances. And here’s a hint, Children...when you feel you are being misunderstood...if you feel that your side isn’t being told properly or honestly...shut up.

Seriously. The only way weird things end is if you stop them, because you can’t control other people. The SECOND you start controlling other people, you are telling them to remove posts and comments and you don’t want to be that person, do you? No. And the only way to stop them is to stop it. And if you can’t do it face-to-face...and you often can’t...shut up and find a nice, happy song about optimism, such as Donovan’s “Happiness Runs” to share and then review a movie and talk about your children’s art projects.

Is that censorship? Probably, but’s fucking Facebook. Chill. You wouldn’t do anything rash on LinkedIn because that’s professional. So is Facebook. You are dealing with coworkers and bosses. Your Mother may someday figure out that it is easy to open a page and you will HAVE to friend her. Chill.

Save the emotions for real life and real people that you have actually met, or with whom you have a face-to-face future with. Remember, it’s not about words or pictures, it’s about flesh-and-blood human beings. Put the mouse down and back away from the computer. Go out. Get some sunshine. You won’t have to censor yourself because only two can hear it. Real Life. Try it.

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