I’ve often said that the reason I don’t engage in politics on my personal blogs is I intend to create a safe space for my readers. This is true. However, it doesn’t cover my motivations especially well.
I’ve been thinking about how to explain this better lately. I wanted to further describe how I use my personal spaces, including why I try to make my art and writing a relaxing place for all of you.
I was once a very engaged activist on a few topics that greatly interested me. I discovered during this activism phase that voicing strong opinions and loud opposition were counterproductive to my life’s goals. Specifically, it created a tone of dissatisfaction and general negativity in both myself and my audience that fed upon itself, creating an echo chamber that made me feel increasingly miserable.
I’ve noticed this about many communities on social media, especially certain technical communities and militant blogs. While many of them make good points and channel this negativity to productive ends, their methods of presentation — often damning, insulting, or deeply shaming — leave the reader with an overwhelming sense of despair.
Instead of engaging in the negative feedback loops these create, I’ve decided to make my audience feel good about themselves through what I share and post here. This creates a positive feedback loop that leaves me with emotional energy to explore and read from a distance, and provides a much needed beacon of positivity amidst the frustration and anger.
My life isn’t perfect, and I have many of my own problems. But these are matters I prefer to keep personal or to a very small set of people, instead of reflecting them back at all of you. I have the luxury of being able to live quietly in this way, and I try to use it to the very best of my abilities.
In short: my voice to you is one that I try to keep positive. I like to think that it helps people emotionally recover and get that much further through their day, or to crack a smile when it’s most needed. This is what I enjoy, not because I’m trying to extract anything out of goodwill, but because it makes me feel good too.