…if, the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to be a nobody on the Internet these days? I used to do public blogging under my real name. I had no fear because (a) I wasn’t writing anything I wouldn’t want my grandmother reading, and (b) I figured if someone didn’t care to read my blog, or if they found it boring or irrelevant, they would simply not read it.
A few years later, though, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t the sort of person that was allowed to just exist comfortably in public as myself. I never forced anyone to read my blog and I never assumed anyone would find my writing interesting. I just figured I would put it out there on the chance someone might find it worth reading, or useful, or relatable in some way. And yet to see some of the comments I began getting, you’d think I was running around begging for praise, treats, and validation of my physical attractiveness at every turn. Which, just, no. I refuse to believe that including something like a photo of oneself in a blog post equates to “attention seeking” or showing off in some nefarious way. The most egregious thing I’ve ever done in this regard is stuff along the lines of “oh hey check out this outfit!” And even in that case it’s not so much about ME, but about…well, outfits are kind of like art projects, and it needs to be okay for people who (like me) are graced with big noses and scrawny necks and lopsided smiles and frequently-uncooperative hair and other “not conventionally attractive” indicators to visibly exist.
But. I don’t even really make posts of outfits here on tumblr these days. Too nerve-racking, too much attention that *I don’t actually want*. Same for real -name public blogging, period.
It has gotten to where I am afraid to even blog about my cats for fear that some obnoxious troll will come along and decide to mess with my head just because someone decides “girls don’t belong on the Internet” (gender identity notwithstanding) or because someone decides it’s bad form to admit being autistic/disabled, or because they see me as a “feminist” or “social justice whatever” (despite the fact that I do not identify as either of those, for my own reasons that are based not in politics but in cognitive processing style).
I guess I just hope to see the day when people can just be people. In public spaces. Warts, weird hobbies, outfits, food pictures, odd aesthetic preferences and all without being given a hard time about it. Least of all by people who claim to be deeply invested in free speech. It’s not free speech at all if you have to be willing to make and go along with horrendously bigoted, logic-void comments in order to avoid being deemed “the enemy”. Especially when more and more bullies are figuring out ways to go after not just people individually, but their families, their jobs, their homes, etc. The amount of attempted life-destroying I’ve been seeing lately is nothing short of ghastly. Where do these people get all this spare time to devote solely to harassing others?
I don’t expect an answer to that and I will probably delete this later but I hope a few people see it first. Not because I want attention but because I want people to know that they are not alone in being sick of the bullies and their crap. And that, really, if they are being harassed they have no reason to wonder if they deserve it. They don’t.