There’s been a lot of stuff going on lately about how open and honest people should be online. I personally believe it’s because ‘civilians’ are really getting in on the act now, people who aren’t hanging out online because of some fandom or other, but for other reasons. By that, I mean they’re here socially, spending hours here, not just
stealing buying music or looking for porn or pictures of LiLo off her face.
The problem is, that being part of a fandom, any fandom, teaches you the rules and the conventions and the unspoken-don’t-do-that codes of honour that have kept all our many different fandoms from completely imploding. Just coming online to use Facebook and Myspace is OK, but it doesn’t give you that… and all of a sudden the real world and the online world are colliding like woah.
Which is sort of OK, but it means that some things that might never have been done before are now being done. People who write or do art in their fandoms are being picked up in the Real World for it, and I remember when a big thing like that happened a few years back we all fell off our computer chairs with shock. Who would be so awful, who would break the online Fourth Wall? Well, all of us now, I suppose.
I don’t say this to hearken back to the halcyon days online, mostly because they were never that halcyon. There’s always been wank (and dear Americans, how it’s always amused me that you take to this word in a way entire severed from the meaning we use!), and there’s always been bitches and bastards ruining it for the rest of us every now and then.
But again, a lot of the problems are coming from the erosion between Real and Online. Not just users, of course, but with Business. It’s Business now, not Community, and I do feel sad for the passing of that era. Business brings with it ‘bottom lines’ and ‘shareholders’ and ‘accountability’. It used to be that people could put a warning and a cut or a lock on a post with material not suitable for kids and that was OK. Then it was password-only sites or members-only groups, which was also OK, because nobody in their right mind really wants six year olds stumbling onto fandom pr0n by mistake, but it still gave people an opportunity to read, write and share what they wanted to.
It is not like that anymore. The old world has passed away. I’d be sadder, but I’m only here for my friends these days, and the controversial stuff was never my bag. I do object to the censorship, I do object to the muffling of whatever passes for free speech these days, but I’m also resigned to the fact that the Normal People got hold of the internet, and it’s not for the freaks and geeks and outsiders to muck about it alone anymore.
It was always going to happen this way. You should rage, rage against the dying of the light. You must, in fact. Maybe it will work after all. RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT, CHILDREN!
But I’m going to sit here in my corner of T’internet, feeling differently about it. I shall even tell you why: the reason I know the Normal People have taken over is because I read in a newspaper the other day (online, not actually printed on paper with ink) that people are being tracked on Facebook and such by employers and colleges and Big Brother. This is Very Wrong, of course, and I despise any such action… but I won’t be locking down my LJ except for the personal stuff I’ve always kept friendslocked, and I won’t be Limited Profiling my Facebook or whatever it is you do with Myspace (I still haven’t got that shit worked out).
Because if I say it here online, I mean it in Real Life. That has always been the case. If I say something here, it’s because I mean it, and this is where I simply don’t believe in separation of
church and state, sorry, real and online. If I say it in Real Life, I mean it here too.
I made a decision a long time ago to not bother with lies or obfuscation where I could help it, where it was within my powers to tell the Whole Truth, if only because it’s less effort and easier to remember. Online for a long time I’ve been posting about stuff in the most truthful, open way possible because it’s the way I make peace with myself, learn about myself and my nonsense. You know this, of course.
If I write it here, I mean it. If I say it, I mean it. You may not always like the answer, but it’s always my own honest answer. Therefore, I will not be locking anything down because that is not how I will live my life.
The Bush Administration are liars and arseholes, Tony Blair’s a wanker, Phil Collins sucks, Lindsay Lohan is a snore. I say it here, and if you should see me in real life, I’d say it there. Only louder and at greater length.
It may not be the same as actively, loudly protesting current censorship, but it’s the way I am. By being true and faithful to my own soul, I protest every attempt to silence or crush it.
That’s me in the userpic (LJ only) and this is me here. Just me, without terminological inexactitudes.