do it in public?
There is an attitude in the world which wrongly surmises that social media and the internet are largely about self aggrandizing, narcissistic, navel gazing, self promotion. Poppycock...
Do I care what others think of me.. sure. But writing online is no different that talking to friends on a guys night out, or discussing ideas at work with colleagues. Important things happened in my life after discussions on benches, parking lots, doorways, and even dorm rooms in college and ever since. That is how the world works. We learn from others and from our own trials and errors.
In a world based on relationships, the barriers of time and geography are very real. The internet allows us to bridge these gaps but not without cost, and the requirement for new skills and awareness. I think out loud as do millions of others. I talk too much and I always have.
Is it any great surprise that writing online would correlate with real life behaviors? I don't think so. I listen and read every word, nuance, and statement deeply.. perhaps too deeply. I have a tremendous appetite for information but I can end up taking myself and others too seriously. I have certainly been accused of this repeatedly and I stand guilty as charged. However, in a world full of ideas, I believe we should all be letting our lights shine for the good and the bad. Some friends will listen, others won't. Enemies... well, they were not likely to listen much regardless.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium…the world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, or how valuable, or how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open." --Martha Graham, creator of modern dance
People who care about one another engage in dialogue together and make time and allowances. If you can't listen to opposing views from friends and acquaintances online.. well.. I say, perhaps it isn't the fault of the writer.. maybe it is the closed perspective of the reader.
Its the 21st century, but maybe Mr Jefferson was on to something when he wrote:
"Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching."