Like most people these days I belong to a number of groups online. I have several pottery groups where we exchange information, ask for help, and so forth. There are a couple of writing groups that do basically the same thing. And then there's a group or two of virtual friends I've picked up along the way here and there. I find these groups helpful, amusing, sometimes a little nuts and I always try to add whatever I can to the conversation to be helpful.
That's why I was so surprised to find myself at the center of a personal attack over the weekend when I expressed my opinion, in response to a post, that I believe writer's block exists only in our heads. It is not a thing of itself and we do ourselves no favors by believing that if one is a writer, then this disorder exists outside of our control and can derail us indefinately. No need for details here but no matter what I said to this one young girl, who took it very personally, she insisted that I was calling her a bad writer. I wished her well and ended the conversation but it got me to thinking.
A few days before this, on another site, someone broke in and posted a pornographic image, for the second time in a week. Thinking I was alerting the admins to it, I posted, "Where are the admins?" There are several and they piled on me saying I could have deleted the post and that are volunteers who don't work 24/7. I said I had deleted it from my timeline but thought they would want to know. I was being very concilitory, but they seemed to feel very put out and just repeated that they don't work 24/7.
Ah, this brave new world where our every word is black and white and no soft voice or body language helps indicate our meaning. I have to think, though, that perhaps our virtual reality has given us thin skins. Are we all so coddled that an opposing opinion provokes such defensiveness? Personally, I choose to engage with people, mostly of like mind, but also with differing opinions. I try to take nothing personally, even when my name is attached it, because I know when one speaks in anger or frustration, it is usually a reflection of something happening in that person's life and has nothing to do with me.
So, I hope everyone has a lovely day without drama and tries to be as helpful as possible to our fellow travelers as we all journey forth.