Self-Censorship and Social Media, Must They Go Hand in Hand?

I caught myself in an act of self-censorship on facebook yesterday.

I never used to do that. In fact, I once swore I would NEVER do that. (I should listen to the things I tell my children like, “Never say never, it’s a REALLY long time!”)

But there I was, about to post my new favorite quote EVER and I realized I had just accepted and/or initiated friend requests from a dozen semi-strangers I had met at a writer’s conference. Not only were some of these people not yet “real” friends (Defined loosely as people who have seen me inebriated and still like me enough to call me afterward) they were also “professional contacts” from a “networking” event.

All of a sudden I doubted myself. I looked at the quote again and tried to see it through the eyes of a stranger. Someone who wouldn’t know to read the humor into it. Or someone who knew me just well enough to know that under the humor, I actually love the quote because I believe it to be 100% true, but who didn’t know me well enough to know that even if they didn’t see it that way, I’d still like (and respect) them.

I didn’t used to have this doubt because I used to be a social media prude. I used to only have 75 or so friends on facebook and they were all actual friends. It wasn’t a tool I used to network, or preen, or sell myself. It was, well, for friends. I know, how totally 2009 of me.

So, after much thought, and debate, and the realization that saying the wrong thing on the wrong social forum will almost certainly end my career as a children’s book author before it even begins, not to mention offending and pissing off all of my newly acquired subscribers, ‘friends’, and followers, I have finally realized that I would rather live life as me than inside some social media imposed closet.

So, if you’ve read this far, you must be dying to hear my new favorite quote.

It’s from House M.D. And it goes as follows –

Patient – “Faith is not a disease.”

House – “But it is communicable, and it kills a lot of people.”




Filed under Of Course I'm a Feminist, Rant, Writing

9 responses to “Self-Censorship and Social Media, Must They Go Hand in Hand?

  1. First let me just say, I love that quote, even though I’ve never seen you inebriated. Go figure. And one of my favorite quotes, loosely related to the one you posted, is, “True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess.” — Louis Nizer

    Kudos to you for putting your true self out there. I find that same challenge creeping in on occasion but I really want to be me so I just forge ahead. One of the most challenging times I did that was when I announced to friends and family that I was pursuing a career as a writer. Because there’s so much judgment around that as a career choice (at least in my experience), I really had to dig deep on that one. But I did it and I have no regrets. There has definitely been more support than judgement. At least to my face. πŸ™‚

    Give me a call next time you want to go party. Hee hee.

    • thinkbannedthoughts

      Want to come to Mile Hi Con with me? We get to play dress up and hang out with fantasy and Sci-fi geeks. (Of which I am one, so I can call them that!)
      It’s definitely easier to be real than to remember a persona. I’d rather attract people who like me for me.

  2. Well, I just posted it to MY facebook, so I guess we’ll see how many “friends” I lose/don’t lose/comment/don’t comment on it, lol. Nice quote πŸ™‚

  3. I edit the hell out of everything I post. Otherwise, the masses would run screaming for the door. When I doubt myself, I email my friend at ThinkBannedThoughts and she says, “Go for it! Post it! Frak ’em all!”

  4. Love the quote, Bree! Everyone is entitled to their beliefs…which should also entitle OTHER beliefs. But in today’s world of social media, yes, you sometimes DO have to self censor, if you hold a day job where it matters, and it matters to YOU (or your family) that you keep said day job. However, very few things are “all or nothing.” I think in today’s world, and in general, most people are more open/tolerant to other points of view, but sometimes it really does pay to be “prudent,” however noble it at first appears to be…”to thine own self be true.”

    • thinkbannedthoughts

      Wouldn’t it be great though if, instead of everyone self-censoring we all just rose up in the cafeteria and shouted our true hearts. I mean, they can’t fire everyone, can they?
      (Although you still shouldn’t post or send nudie pics of yourself to anyone online unless you want them public. And you also shouldn’t call in sick and then post time/location stamped pictures of yourself boogy boarding when you’re supposed to be praying to the porcelain god unless you want to lose your job.)
      But we should all be free to have, and express, our opinions. I think that might even be in the constitution somewhere…
      Oh, I feel a new post coming on…

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