Jennifer K. Oliver (jenniferkoliver) wrote,

D is for disillusionment

Have you ever found an author, actor, musician, artist, or other public figure you've greatly admired, then stumbled upon their blog or website and discovered they're perhaps not as peachy-keen as you first thought and hoped?

This sense of disillusionment has happened to me a couple of times over the years. One of my most disappointing reader experiences was when I went hunting for an author who I'd read as a young adult and whose stories I adored, only to find out they were regularly rude about their readers on their blog. While the author wasn't writing as much by the time I found them, it was still bad form—fans were still buying their books, which IMO is the greatest praise whether the writer likes their old work or not. If the bacon is still coming in, the least an author can do is, y'know, not insult the people who are buying their product. I'm sure if the sales dried up completely, there would be epic indignation and shock-horror. Followed by more fan rants, no doubt.

I try not to let an author's/actor's/artist's personal attitude get in the way of my enjoyment of their work, but sometimes it's hard to look beyond their public conduct. This is why, when I discover someone new and I really like their stuff, I try not to dig too deep. The internet, social networking, and online marketing has made everyone incredibly accessible, but it can work against people, too. Yeah, we're all entitled to our opinions, but how far should we take it, and how do we recognise when we're not only damaging our reputations, but also unnecessarily hurting other people? Usually, it's not until after the proverbial shit has hit the fan (er, no pun intended), and by that time feelings have been stomped on, opinions have been formed, and it's hard to change that. It's almost impossible to make people forget you've acted like an ass on the internet, because everything we say is copied and pasted, screen-captured and logged in caches, caught on way-back machines or freeze-pages.

The lines between sharing our thoughts and airing dirty laundry seem to be getting blurrier and blurrier. I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about our feelings, but bear in mind that sometimes a little mystery goes a long way, and we don't have to leap head first onto every bandwagon that comes trundling along just because we want to be heard. There are certain topics I'd never discuss at a dinner party, and those same topics will never be discussed here.
Tags: random: people are strange, reading: niggles (i has them)
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