There was a moment in The Voice either this week or last where an eliminated male contestant stepped down from the stage to walk off the set. Seal stood up to catch this contestant’s attention just as he was leaving and the microphones picked up a snippet of their conversation. Along with other word of encouragement Seal said, ‘Remember it’s about the journey.’
The contestant nodded, but I would swear, just for a second, a look went across his face, of unhidden disappointment, even anger. This look said, ‘That’s easy for you to say.’
And I could understand that feeling: it would be disappointing and I doubt anyone has ever derived much solace out of a cliché. But, you know, it’s also applicable if you let it be, and it is important to not lose yourself, to make the choice not to let that emotion – natural in that second as it may have been – take over and sully other opportunities that come along, both for yourself and others.
My point is this: internet brouhaha have come and gone many times over the years and as yet I’ve chosen not to get involved in many of them, mostly because they’ve been none of my business and I had nothing of real value to contribute. In other instances I’ve known people involved be hurt wrongly, just as I’ve been on the receiving end of unpleasantness myself. And I am not perfect either, I stress. There’s nothing new under the sun. Human nature is what it is. As blogging is becoming increasingly professionalised, marketed and capitalised, stakes are raised. There’s more to lose.
However, I do not feel that this necessarily mean issues or debates are being addressed in an equally dynamic or – dare I say it – interesting manner. Just as dramas get recycled, so are the ideas and debates that get tumbled along inside like a dryer, getting misshaped and sometimes forgotten once someone screams ‘bully’ or ‘troll’ or dares to voice an opinion, even. What is being resolved? Anything? Are we going to tread this cyclic path forever?
This is why when I see snark or an ancient debates being resurrected and polished and brought out as if it is NEWS! part of me eye-rolls, I admit that, but part of me also monitors the situation, part hopeful something new might be said, something powerful. But that hope is dying.
Twitter and Facebook can act like a steam valve – that quick release of pressure for a bit of relief. Drama can germinate in the space of 140 characters, spreading, enveloping, being refuelled behind-the-scenes by DMs or emails. If grievances are real and emotions are strong then a situation often needs playing out. My problem comes when those of us stand by the sidelines like kids watching a playground fight, goading things on and then getting splattered by flying mud.
If you think you’re remarkable, extraordinary and talented – then BE remarkable, extraordinary and talented. Be any positive damn adjective you want. Keep at it. You can flash your disappointment; let the anger work for you; be like that contestant who stood in front of a singing competition judge, if just for a moment, but then suck it up and MOVE ON.
It’s what I do and I’ve had no regrets. The alternative isn’t a healthy place to be. I know, because I’ve been there on occasion. I don’t think I can do it anymore. I can’t. I’ve got too much to do.