The top ten times you should not publish a blog post, based in no small part on the various polytheist dramas this past year.
(In no particular order)
- When you have been drinking (or are otherwise high or inebriated). (Two words: drunk dialing.)
- When you are hungry. “Hangry”–it’s a real thing, even if you don’t officially have low blood sugar. The Snickers commercials might be right.
- When you are grieving, be it the loss of a person or pet; the loss of a position; or the loss of a long-held belief system. It leaves a void. Don’t attempt to fill it with a post.
- When you are angry.
- When you haven’t posted in a while and just need to get a post out already.
- When you’re feeling lonely and are just trying to get some attention.
- When you’re in the middle of a bad cold, or any other temporarily-befuddling illness. (There is a reason why when you are sick you are said to be “compromised”.)
- When you are sure that Your Point of View Is The One True Way, And All Must Be Shown the Error of Their Ways. (Suggestion: if you start talking to yourself in all capital italics, something is wrong.)
- When you are feeling wounded or attacked, or even just slighted.
- When you’re feeling restless, irritable, and discontent. Posting will not fix this feeling (though clearly it can certainly distract you from it for a while).
This is not to say that you shouldn’t write blog posts at these times. (If so, many posts would never get written.) I’m just saying it might be a good idea to stop and wait a bit before actually publishing them.
Why would it be a good idea to hold off from posting at these times? In my opinion, these are some of the most likely times that people will say inaccurate, inflammatory, or just straight out dumb things that they will have to make amends for later. Truly. The reality of blogging on the internet is that a person’s post can possibly be seen by hundreds, even thousands of people long before he, she, or they have had a chance to sober up, get some sleep, or put some food in their belly. Depending on where and how a person blogs, they could be leaving a permanent, public, and easily searchable post on the Internet–forever. At which point, they might realize that maybe they didn’t actually mean all of those horrible things that they wrote about…. or, at least, they could have proofread the post all a bit better before publishing it. (I’m just as guilty of doing this as the next blogger, admittedly.) Unfortunately, at that point it’s a bit too late to take it all back.
I love reading blogs. I love hearing a person’s experience of their world and their thoughts about society at large. However, that sense of being in the moment leaves bloggers with a somewhat unnecessary sense of urgency, as if whatever the topic is must be addressed RIGHT! NOW! Generally, that’s just not the case. The internet will still be there a few hours or few days later. We’ll just have had more time to reflect on things before we respond to them.
So, before you publish your next post, check your state of your mind and body first. Are you HALTed? (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?) Stressed or sick? Feeling attacked? If the answer is yes, click “Save”, and publish your post later. You’ll be glad you did.
Breathe, and say it with me: The internet will still be here tomorrow.