I had a turning point on my blog when I wrote in Feburary of 2010, How Dilla and Zora Helped Me Claim My Crush.
Not only was the post popular, but by and large on of the reasons what I wrote it is because a reader @mistermattnash chided me for being “so political” and asked me to “take the combat boots off and put on some heels”. Well, I did not agree with his language around gender representations, and I told him. However, given the fact that he is one of my oldest readers (5 years?) I listened. And I wrote about dating.
Because I date and I write about my dating life on my blog I have a pretty stealth attitude about hollering at boo’s, on being attached to them on social media.
Why? Because I have to deliberate about how I interact with folks because when I come online I do not need to be triggered by 5011 racist, sexist things, nor do I need to see an old boo with a new boo, nor do I need to feel like I am censoring MY VOICE because a boo snack is reading. #AllCity is la femme libre.
Why? Because this is MY space. I create it, I cultivate it, I grow it, it is mine. Well, really it is both mine and ours because I share with you all.
Now this became clear to me when Filthy broke up with me nearly three years ago (time flies) and I wanted to call him and Sbot said, “don’t call.”
Me: I want to call.
Sbot: Don’t call. He broke up with you that means you leave him alone. He is in his space.
Me: Pouting. Then I said, “Well I am going to blog about it instead”.
Sbot: Okay, that is fine YOUR BLOG IS YOUR SPACE.
Me: OHHHH word? Ok, I get what you are saying now.
So, when I am dating someone, and I get the sense that we might be kicking it for a while, it always comes to that point where I have to tell them, for a few reasons.
First, they may find it on their own, and then I would have to back pedal and I would look out of pocket. #nobueno.
Second, I may write about them, and that is the kind of thing you tell someone about. Side bar. Good lawd, I was mortified when #aquemini read AND LEFT a comment on my blog post about him. It felt surreal.
Now, when it comes to Goldy, she ain’t really on social media like that but I made her a tumblr, because there are little links and things that I be wanting to send her throughout the day and I HATE when people send me e-mail spam so I try not to do it to others. She also don’t really mess around on my blog, because guess what, It’s My Space. And honestly, there are probably some things that she doesn’t WANT to read on here, so she doesn’t come around. When I write something I am proud of, she may read it, and then start editing it because that how she gets down. We are not on FB, she may look over my shoulder at my twitter, or at my tumblr, and I will say scoot back jack.
Now this brings me to a recent tumblr experience. You have to understand that after comps I am not really taking shit off of any one. Writing 49 pages in 72 hours with nearly, I don’t know, 80 citations taught me some things. Mainly that if someone ain’t coming correct, they need to sit down. Comps was like academic boot camp; for Marines.
So, while studying for comps I saw Filthy pop up on my tumblr, and I clicked on it, and was taken to a personal narrative. I was like wooooooah. Too much info. We haven’t spoke in almost two years and I am reading about him. o.O
Now he was my friend and I still consider him to be a friend. I stand by the idea of keeping the door cracked for folks who want to make amends; folks who have grown. I also know that there is an inappropriate way and an appropriate way to do things. So I waited, talked to Court Bear my dating coach about saying something to him, then I decided to wait until he did it again. Well, he did.
So I reached out via email and we had an exchange that was pretty cordial and benign until he said “Well your tumblr is public”.
I flipped out.
Just because a digital space is public doesn’t not mean that it is lawless.
In fact, I have had this conversation with men a few times on the internet, a few of whom I had to block.
The same thinking can be extended to analyzing a woman in public. Well “You did wear that short assed dress outside to go grocery shopping”. So? My body is mine.
My blog is both mine and public.
So let me say two things here.
I wrote anonymously for years. And now because my name is attached to my blog, I have to be prepared to answer for what I say online, in person. Trust me, it happens. It is fine, it forces me to keep it even because a blog post is a record.
Second, I know that if I say something on the internet, that people may or may not respond. I get that. I can also speak back to what they say and do. My digital spaces are not lawless.
Black girls have to deal with enough micro and hyper aggressions in the material world (work, school, the train, the bar) to be subjected to them in the digital world (Tumblr, Facebook, Blogs) as well, and remain silent. Full stop.
So, I had been meaning to write this.
Do you friend boo snacks on social media?
What happens when you stop dealing with each other?
Do you have a social media policy for your boo snacks?