Keeping Quiet

September 16th, 2010

I’m not the type of person to keep my opinions to myself. I’m pretty outspoken, though I certainly try to be respectful about it. I’m starting to learn, though, that online venues aren’t always the best place for that.

It’s incredibly tempting to want to weigh in on various debates that take place in Facebook comments or mommy forums like Cafe Mom. There are a million raging conversation threads about political races or the mosque in New York or whether to circumcise your child. There’s no end of opportunities to throw your two cents in — and when the venue is anonymous (like a forum), people seem to lose all restraint and sense of dignified, respectful conversation. It’s amazing how nasty moms can get when they disagree on parenting topics!

Facebook is a bit different because it’s only semi-anonymous, and I do weigh in on posted news articles and the like. But tonight, I decided to hold my tongue. A Facebook friend invited me to participate in a “40 Days for Life” event/rally/thing this weekend. It’s some sort of nationwide pro-life Christian thing. I checked out the website and was pleased to see its stated purpose is very non-violent and peaceful and focuses on prayer rather than confrontation. But clearly it’s not the type of thing I’m going to be participating in.

I RSVP’d “no” to the event, and then was extremely tempted to post a comment on the event wall, explaining that I couldn’t support the event. But then I stopped. What was I hoping to accomplish in posting my thoughts? Would they be helpful to anyone or would they only serve to stir up a verbal joust? Was I secretly spoiling for a fight? (Very possible.) So I let it go.

Well, mostly I let it go. Obviously, since I’m blogging about it, I haven’t totally let it go. But I resisted the urge to be a rabble-rouser and for that I am proud of myself.

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