by Madeline Laughs
I’m not much of a lurker.
I guess if I have an opinion about a subject I tend to take it up with the person doing the talking.
It just so happens that I have an opinion about Lurkers, and here it is…Why Bother? That’s right. Why bother to visit, read it and then try to figure out what it all means amongst other folks that have no idea what it means either?
I’ve actually been present during these conversations. “Well, so and so wrote this and it’s horribly mean. What do you think they meant by that?” My answer never varies. I always want to know “Did you ask them what they meant?” Why not just ask the person writing the mysterious words in cyberspace yourself?
It’s that simple.
Or is it?
You’d think it’s that simple, but in reality it isn’t that simple sometimes. I tried to engage someone being ugly with their words a long time ago and it didn’t work. My inquisitiveness and my desire to understand why they wanted to rewrite history and tell lies only fueled them to ignore me and to write more gobbley-gook instead and now they no longer have a good grasp of the truth anymore. I guess you could say it’s a double edged sword. You can’t reason with or engage someone that is batshit crazy from the get-go.
Perhaps sometimes it is easier to just be a lurker and pass judgement without any supporting evidence to speak of?
Perhaps simply asking the writer what their intentions are is just too great a task and hiding in the shadows of your own arrogance is safer than jumping in with both feet and having an exchange of perspectives?
Perhaps some folks are happier just having something to whine about, or feel superior to, and really aren’t interested enough to engage?
So I gave up on engaging people that are openly hostile.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. If folks are busy talking about what you write and trying to make sense of it, whether it’s good talk or bad, it means you wield some kind of power over their lives. You made an impact on them so deep that they just can’t shut up about your writing. They will do anything to stay connected to what you crank out just so they have something to critique!
That’s kind of awesome when you think about it.
I admit, there are some people out there that have impacted me considerably. I’ve written about them. In doing so, I released them back into the wild. I will never sit down and write about someone that has hurt me without knowing the ending will teach me something about myself. I have met some challenging people in my life and they have always held a lesson within them that was custom made just for me. I never miss an opportunity to pay attention to that. I’m a better person all around and a better friend for having allowed the bad along with the good to be present. At least for a short time.
I invite you to sit down and write something today that will exorcise your demons. Stop being a victim. Tell your side, get it out, learn something about yourself, forgive yourself and then move on. It’s surprising just how clean you’ll feel afterward. It frees up space in your head and in your heart. If someone out here is writing something that spurs you to pass judgement, then by all means, engage them. You just might learn something valuable along the way.
So what choice will you make? To Lurk, or not to Lurk….that is the question.