The way we talk

So I’ve been meaning to make a post like this since Worldcon (so… August. Hah.), but I’ve been struggling for two reasons – one, who am I to give advice to anyone? I wouldn’t say I’m a no one, but equally, I’m hardly the loudest voice out there. Two – the subject is so complicated, nuanced and subjective that it’s quite daunting and it’s easy to be unclear about your meaning.

Which is funny, since the subject I’m talking about is the way in which we communicate within fandom.

In the end, however much I’ve written and deleted, I think the ways I’ve found to be happy with my conduct in fandom can be boiled down to these 8 things:

1) If you’re in a frothing rage, wait 5 minutes before responding to something. You may regret your actions otherwise.

2) You don’t need to vent your spleen in someone else’s blog comments. Remove yourself to a different venue.

3) But if you do that – don’t make it into a rallying call so all your friends go after the original post/poster.

4) Stop telling marginalised people that their experience is wrong. You don’t get to decide that.

5) If you’re an asshole but (you think) morally correct, you are still, in fact, an asshole. You’re just not a prejudiced one.


6) Relentlessly negative places are not always good places to be, you should leave whenever you need to (and go back only if you want to).

7) Even if no one else is, be as compassionate and kind as you can. Keep your own behaviour to your standards, as high or low as they may be

8) Give people the space to learn and improve – you don’t have to educate people personally, but you shouldn’t impede them either.

So there you have it, how far do you agree or disagree? Do you have any of your own rules?

(And do you also find it easiest to avoid blathering by using Twitter? Lol.)


3 thoughts on “The way we talk

  1. Hey, I’ve been out of touch for a little while, things been happening. I really like these, general good life rules as well as good, solid etiquette online. Twitter neither helps nor hinders my blathering because there are some days I have to remember to check it in the first place, and others I’m just on everything 🙂

    • I hope those things have been good things!
      I feel like they’re probably good ways to communicate, whatever medium you’re using, so I try to apply them in real life too (although sometimes I fail… ah well).
      The reason I got this blog was to try to stop blathering on twitter, lol. I figured if I’m gonna take 20 tweets to say something, I may as well type out a blogpost and save people’s twitter feeds, lmao. That doesn’t always work either!

  2. Not all of them, but I expect things will come good over time.

    Yeah, most of the time the simple addage of treating others as you want to be seems to hold, though obviously certain situations make a mockery of that one!

    Sometimes it’s great to crank out a big post, sometimes blathering on Twitter’s just what you need! Depends how rapid and conversational you need things, I guess 😉

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