Whenever I read something, I try to imagine the author’s voice in my head and what it would sound like if they were reading the story directly to me. If they’re angry, I imagine their voice rising and falling and maybe even that they’re pacing back and forth. If they’re happy, I imagine them smiling broadly and expressively talking to me with their hands as they’re sharing their good fortune with me.
For anyone reading this post, I would like you to imagine that I’m speaking to you in a very level headed, professional tone. I’m not angry. I’m not upset. Imagine that I’m speaking to you in the same tone of voice that I would if you were listening to my podcast or if you were listening to me discuss strategies with you during a raid on Vent. What I’m about to write has nothing to do with being spiteful or malicious, but with the feeling of maybe being a bit misunderstood.
It’s recently been brought to my attention that certain bloggers or personalities have expressed concern or frustration with the fact that many of us in the blogosphere have been highly critical of World of Warcraft and Blizzard for certain decisions that they have made and continue to make towards the game. Certain people feel that we have become overly negative and that we are fostering a sort of bitter rivalry between those of us who still enjoy World of Warcraft and those of us who may have moved on to greener pastures (i.e. Rift).
While I can certainly see where people are coming from and I respect that most people that are coming forward with this opinion have been extremely respectful about it, I can’t help but feel a bit confused by all of this.
At the end of the day, we are responsible for the choices that we make. Personally, I write about what I want to write about. I support who I want to support. I don’t do things for the greater good or because I feel it’s going to get me somewhere by doing a certain something. I have never felt that pressure as a blogger and I hope that I never do. If I see that someone is writing about something that I can’t relate to or if I don’t enjoy their writing style anymore, I stop reading their posts. I choose not to download their podcasts. I may not Follow them on Twitter anymore. I may even block them on Twitter.
Nobody is making me be exposed to things or opinions that I don’t want to be exposed to. I make that choice to listen to them and to follow them in their endeavors. I knew that by even admitting that I played Rift that I was going to be isolating many of my readers. I knew that things would only get worse once I left World of Warcraft for Rift. I was prepared to lose readers, Followers, and subscribers once all of the changes on my blog took place. I knew that support that I had come to rely on for page views wasn’t going to be there anymore and I would be foolish to expect everything to stay the same.
I understand if people who Followed me for one reason can’t find that reason anymore and they have to remove me from their blog or Twitter feeds. I would never fault anyone for doing that. It’s ultimately your choice and I respect that. But I feel like some of that respect is not being returned, in that we are being criticized for sharing our opinions and being asked to sort of censor what we say for the sake of other people. If you’re allowed to gush over things that you enjoy in your personal space, why shouldn’t I be allowed to talk about things that I find upsetting or frustrating in mine? To me, that seems like a bit of a double standard.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if people have such a problem with what others choose to talk about or how they choose to portray themselves, they’re under no obligation to stick around and to keep following us. While that’s not something I think anyone aspires to have happen, we understand if it has to happen. I think it’s only natural for people to want to be around those with similar interest and opinions and to want to seek out other avenues if those opinions don’t really mesh anymore.
When people say that they don’t understand why we keep bashing a game that we don’t play anymore, my response to that would be “Why do you keep listening to it?” If it bothers you that much, you can choose to divert your attention away from such things. Take that person off of your feed reader. Remove them from your Twitter feed. I’ve had people that I Follow that may have rubbed me the wrong way and I’ve chosen to distance myself from them for brief periods of time. Once I’ve gotten over whatever bothered me about them, I go right back to supporting them, like nothing ever happened. It’s not personal and it doesn’t have to be permanent, either. Those options are there for a reason.
I don’t think this is a situation that has to lead to someone being right and someone inevitably being wrong. I just think that people can exercise their freedoms a bit better, in all aspects, and that any conflict that comes out of something like this is really quite unnecessary. It shouldn’t have to come to this. We should all be able to say what we want to say and give people the choice of who they want to speak for them or to represent them. I think the blogosphere would be a mighty boring place if everyone agreed with each other and had the same views on things. I like that we all don’t get along sometimes and that we all want different things for ourselves and for other people. To me, that’s a beautiful thing and I would never want that to change. I would like to think that others feel the same and if they don’t, that’s OK.
That’s their choice.