I updated my facebook status at about 2 this morning with the following:
OMG, I had a freakishly awesome evening. It certainly would have been better if my baby were here to enjoy it with me, of course, but it was pretty great nonetheless. My mind is completely blown away! I will be blogging about it sometime tomorrow… I mean, today but after I wake up… Just a WOW of an evening!!
All grammar and net-slang aside, I did have a wonderful evening. In usual form, I will be either leaving names out or substituting false names as I don’t know how “out” some of these people are and I would hate to incriminate them in any way.
It wasn’t so much the events that transpired that were amazing for me, rather it was a shift in my perception of who I am as a person, a blogger and a man. A bit of understanding of my prior thinking is in order first.
When I blog, update my status, tweet and even speak in real life it’s really all about me. It is simply my opinion. I sometimes present my thoughts in a way that is sharp and to the point. I present in a manor that says “this is how it is and that’s final”.
I generally do not add the disclaimer that it is my own opinion. Why? I can tell you, without any doubt, that I got this from my dad. I’ve probably mentioned at some point how we used to interact when I was growing up. We would constantly engage in civil debate for the shear purpose of having a debate. In those instances it was imperative that your opinion be presented in a strong, unwavering manor. You can’t successfully debate something that you do not at least appear to have a strong belief or understanding in.
So, when I write, those are the tactics I use. It is all about my own opinion but, of course, they are based in actual facts.
Why do I write at all? I don’t write so that other people will read. I assume that no one will read what I have to say. I do it because, it is personally therapeutic for me to do so. If I said half the things in real life that I have in Virtua (my own word meaning, the virtual world. feel free to use it) people would probably throw rocks at me. Nonetheless, I write what is on my mind because, I need to let it out somehow.
I tend to not go out much as a rule. Lately, with Mac being out of town, I’ve gotten cabin fever and have been spending some time out. It amazes me the amount of people who recognize me. I tend to wear the same hat as in my profile pictures or at least one similar. I do so on purpose, so that If I am meeting new people, they can easily connect with me online and know that I am the person they met in real life.
Last night I went out to my favorite place in Austin, The Rusty Spur, to listen to Margaret sing (that’s her real name, but she’s a public figure there). As usual, a command performance!
After she was done singing, a few people throughout the evening mentioned recognizing me from my profiles. That they would take the time to come and say hello made me feel really good. I know most people by names rather than picture so, when you see me out, telling me your name is the best way for me to know what interactions we’ve had on line.
What really caused my change in thought, and what made my evening so amazing, is a guy and his partner who I’m friends on facebook with and have seen out for the past several years. We’ve never really had much conversation with one another other than a “hello” here and there but, last night, we had a full on human to human conversation.
We talked about a few different things but then Jack (yup, fake name), almost verbatim told me what my status message that day was and asked a question around it. I was absolutely floored by this. Our conversation kind of went in a new direction here. People that I barely know actually read and pay attention to what I have to say?
I never believed myself to be anything special. I am a simple guy with simple desires and a simple sense of right and wrong. But still, people read me? It’s too awesome! For one, of all of my friends in Virtua, I try to keep up with each and every one of them. What they are saying and what they are doing is important to me for no other reason than they are humans as well. I interact with them as much as I can, validating their opinions and even getting involved in small debates here and there.
It never occurred to me that people who don’t engage with me still pay attention to what I’m saying. I don’t think that anything I’ve ever written has caused a change in anyone’s heart about anything, although after this conversation, I’m hoping that maybe I have. At least, maybe, armed with the knowledge that people actually are paying attention, I may be able to use that in a way that is beneficial to others. Maybe we can help change some minds and debunk some myths.
Final thought. You may seem insignificant in your own mind but, I guarantee, when you speak, there are some people listening. Can we leverage this idea to effect progression in equality? Can we use this knowledge to the good of society as a whole?
What are your thoughts on this? I would really like to know!
Thanks for listening. Until next time, I’m out!