Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Running Red and Blue

Someone I follow on Twitter said today, in a comment that was quickly deleted, that they thought the streets of our country could run red with blood and some people would still just tweet about how much they love books.

I am assuming, because I did not have the opportunity to discuss it, that this person was upset that more people were not using social media to comment about the recent Charlottesville violence.

As readers of my blog will no doubt have noticed, I do not use this forum to talk politics. Now if you want to follow me on Facebook you would see something very different. But I have made a conscious choice to stay away- far away- from social activism here. Not all bloggers do this; some are very engaged and use their blogs differently than I do. I made this decision for several reasons, but the main reason is basically that I don't want to attract negative attention, I don't want to be harassed (and I know people who have been); I just want to do my thing in my own little corner of the web, talk about books with you all, and share my love of reading and literature.

Is this the right approach?

Have you been disappointed with me for this reason? I can imagine some bloggers who are more issues-oriented might be.

During the election I just wanted to keep my blog free of the vitriol that I was up to my elbows in on Facebook and Twitter every day. Now I can't bring myself to introduce topics like our current president, white supremacy and Nazis-of-the-present-day into this forum.  I also dislike the pressure to mourn publicly, to try to gain some form of currency or credibility by using social media to display my private emotions. I dislike that there is pressure to prove oneself as on the right side through social media displays. I resent the peer-pressure tactics as if my private feelings are even anyone else's business. I have always tried to do what was right, treat people with respect, be on the right side of issues or at least listen, learn and grow.

And part of me thinks in the midst of all the insanity we're living through there should be places online where people can go for normality, for routine, for self-care and yes, a break from it all.

That's what I hope this blog has been, and what it will continue to be.


Mystica said...

Speaking of someone who is miles away from the brouhaha of American politics, I think its wise to keep this site for books. Facebook has ample opportunity to air your grievances, listen to other points of view etc etc. I think a "quiet" place is equally important. There may be people like me who are readers of your blog, who find that American politics does not really implode on them however harsh that sentence may be. So far removed physically as well.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree with you. Why shouldn't there be a vitriol safe area? Sometimes we all need a break from it! I have two twitter accounts; one is strictly books and culture, the second is for all the political stuff. It seems that many people do want to keep those separate, as we have seen from occasional rants on FB to that effect. No problem for me; I have two blogs, and the one on history is the one associated with the political tweets. You do the same with blog v. FB. I think that is a good approach!