I recently had the joy of discovering that my Twitter account was being followed by Lufitoom, a druid authority who I had come to know and became a fan of, based on her appearance on the Raid Warning druid round table last year. From Following her back, I was surprised to learn that her guild master asked her to make her Twitter account and her blog private, because she had allegedly said some things that may have offended people in her guild and it was apparently causing some tension. Needless to say, the idea of a guild master asking a guild member to censor themselves is a subject that has always hit close to home for me and this seemed to ruffle my feathers a lot more than the announcement about the new Call to Arms feature that was being added to the Dungeon Finder. While everyone else in the blogosphere was stewing over that, I was stewing over this.
On the one hand, it doesn’t seem so strange for a person to sacrifice something for their guild. I gave up being a member of the Horde for a chance at being in a guild with Kurn and even considered giving up Herbalism if it meant getting into the guild that I just joined. Ophelie gave up countless hours of sleep, so she could raid with her guild and keep up with their hours, which were vastly different than her own. These are just some examples of things we would not do for just anyone, but we did because we truly loved the people we were grouped with and because it seemed like a small price to pay to enjoy our time with them.
On the other hand, Lufitoom’s situation is different in that she is not choosing to move her thoughts over to another Twitter account, she was asked to. She was told to. This is something she probably doesn’t feel she should have to do and may be honoring, simply because it was requested of her in a diplomatic fashion and to keep the peace in her guild. But is it something she wants to do? Probably not. It got me thinking.
Is having to censor yourself, for the sake of your guild too much to ask for?
It’s funny. We live in a world where everyone is consumed with knowing what everyone else around them is doing. Look at the surge in tabloid style media that is everywhere right now. The magazines, the websites, the blogs that spend every waking moment covering what celebrities really look like, what they’re eating and who they’re sleeping with. Look at the rise of social networking sites that make money off knowing what your favorite brands are, what restaurants you are frequenting and where you are at any given point in time. Think of the reality shows that take up the airwaves and make it more difficult for shows with real characters and actual story lines to get on the air. All of these things exist because somewhere out there is a demand for them, a demand that we have essentially created and have kept alive.
The problem starts when people who intentionally and purposely tap into other people’s business don’t like what they see when they do. They want to be let into your every move and your every thought, but if only if it’s something they agree with and only if it’s something that is seen as not hurting anyone. The minute you cross that line of not giving the people what they want to see you become the enemy. Instead of taking the logical course of action and just not looking at the things they know are going to bother them or that they know they’re going to take the wrong way, they keep right on watching. Eventually they get so whipped into a frenzy over how offensive something is that they just can’t keep it inside any longer and it becomes much easier to lash out at the things that may have offended them than it would be to simply look away from them and not begin this cycle in the first place.
In my opinion, Lufitoom handled her situation well. She expressed her frustrations, her feelings in ways that she felt comfortable and safe doing. She used ways to express herself that would not immediately be available to those that she may have been referring to (i.e. her blog and her Twitter). These are things you have to actively go looking for. It’s not as if she said these things openly on Vent or in guild chat where everyone would have no choice but to see what she was upset about and would have to deal with it directly. She took the high road and because some people in her guild just couldn’t stay away or got overly curious and found something they didn’t like or didn’t know how to handle it, Lufitoom and her GM had to have a talk and now she will probably have to create a second Twitter account. Whose fault is that? I sure don’t think it’s Lufitoom’s.
I have always had a very “love me, love my blog” attitude and I have been very fortunate to be a member of guilds that were always very supportive of my social endeavors relating to the game. Of course, it helps when your GM and a third of your previous guild are bloggers themselves and your new GM appears to be just as plugged into the blogosphere as the one before him. I have always been up front about the fact that I do this for fun and that I am going to be myself while doing so, which goes along with me saying or doing things that some would consider brazen or offensive. But this is me – take it or leave it. I think it also helps that I have never named anyone when I’m ranting on my blog, Tweets or podcast. I usually do keep it pretty general. Unless it’s something that’s positive or endearing, then I’ll certainly give credit where it’s due. Otherwise, I would like to think I can get my point across without having to go there and even if I did, said person would already know how I feel them and probably wouldn’t be surprised by the admission.
So what do you guys think? Would you give up your blog’s privacy, your Twitter, or something else if your guild asked you to?