Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Religion and Politics

I am interrupting my regularly scheduled mask coverage to address these, the largest of all controversial topics. Now, don't freak out, I'm not going to spew forth my opinions on them, but merely my opinion on opinions, or rather the placement of them. Lately the forums at etsy have been rife with threads on these subjects and as a rule these threads dissolve into playground brawls in record time. I personally avoid commenting in these topics, but that does not stop me from lurking in them with shocked disbelief much as one might watch a car accident.

So I started thinking about why such divisive subjects were always popping up on a crafting site. It occurred to me that artists are passionate people. In fact most people who create are passionate people. It then makes perfect sense that a group of people who are as diverse as any other and possessing of a large amount of creative passion would get into extreme debates with as much ease as other people breath. All that being said, we need to cut it out, seriously.

We all have opinions and we all feel ours is worth expressing, but there is a time and a place. The anonymity of the Internet has made many feel like anywhere is a good place to discuss that which riles us up, but we must consider the company anytime we bring up these subjects. I know that old fashioned ideals of etiquette are out of favor, but there really was a good reason why we were told not discuss these topics. I am not for one minute suggesting that these thing never be discussed, but their discussion requires a level of civility on respect that seems all but impossible to maintain in a virtual setting.

I do have a suggestion for those who still feel the need to engage in the discussions on etsy. First, read what you wrote out load before hitting the post button. Hearing something out load, might reveal unintended hostility and make you rethink your statement. If you still feel the need to respond at keast it isn't in the heat of the moment any longer. Next, I ask that before you hit post that you imagine something for me. Imagine that you are at your job and for the purpose of this exercise you work in a mall. You are standing at the front of the store, they are customers both new and old where you can see them and others you cannot. You are also within easy ear shot of other stores, their owners and employees as well as your own coworkers. Now, what were you about to say? Would your statement cause you to lose the repect of any of those people? Would it affect business, your job? Is it still worth it?

I know that many people value their right to free speech over common courtesey and they will disagree with me wholeheartedly. That's fine with me. I value my freedom of speech as well as I respect yours. I just think there are better places to talk about these things. I know that some people don't care if their opinions turn buyers or other sellers off, but I feel that if I have to work with these people in any capacity it's better to not invite controversy and conflict were none exsisted. This is all just my opinion and It's a bit of a downer from all my creative goodness, so I'll go now and make something to take the edge off. I'll have a mask or something tomorrow, I promise.

1 comment:

fly tie said...

"these threads dissolve into playground brawls in record time"

good way to put it. i avoid such threads as well, and at this point don't even give my energy lurking.

i've never been one to get all tense when these 2 subjects are brought up and have no problem discussing them at all (could be because i participate in neither.) but i'll agree with you that it does take a level of civility and self control. many tend to get so emotional when *their* stance on an issue is objected to or disagreed with or when what they say is challenged. i say just *breeeaaaathe* ha ha!