S.B.D. – Silent but Deadly by NightBug

“It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open ones mouth and remove all doubt” ­­- Mark Twain (attributed)



It really isn’t that difficult to NOT appear to be a lunatic.

…that is, if you don’t take into account the choice to dress up like a comic book character and pass out sandwiches.

Anyone who knows me in person — and online, to a lesser extent — knows that I don’t tend to rant a lot. For that matter, I don’t even talk very much. I lean toward reposting what I consider to be important information and advice from others. After all, it’s been said that great artists don’t create, they steal. But it isn’t because I have nothing of my own to say.

Being married to Rock N Roll is no simple challenge. Not only is she talented and gorgeous (and susceptible to flattery!), she’s a talker by nature – and she’s exceptional at it. In her case, this inherent skill carries over to the written word as well. So, for someone like me, attempting to out-chat or -write her would be a pretty useless endeavor. Rather than waste a lot of effort proving to everyone that I’m not the “trophy husband” through my words, I’ve developed what I believe is a pretty effective filter.

Too often, members of the RLSH/X-Alt/Creative Activist community just don’t understand discretion. We are supposed to serve as examples to others, to inspire them to do better. A HUGE part of this is knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet. If Spider-Man were real, I seriously doubt I’d be interested in reading about his lack of money or his pathetic social life (before he married Mary Jane Watson, anyway). There’s just such a fine line between walking the path of the hero and letting people know that you’re not any different from anyone else — and this line is consistently blurred, broken, and walked all over by community members who don’t realize (or care) they are doing it.

It’s been said over and over that “Facebook is not real life,” but in too many ways, it is real life, and even more so. Because we are typing thoughts and feelings into our own personal computers or mobile devices, many of us are more apt to bring up things that we wouldn’t normally discuss face-to-face.

Things we couldn’t discuss face-to-face.

Things… we shouldn’t discuss face-to-face.

Seriously, it’s really a pretty easy thing to re-read what you’re about to post BEFORE hitting the “return” key. Just ask yourself, “If this were a post from someone who I look to for inspiration, would I actually want to read it?” The term “lurker” is often synonymous with “stalker,” but rule 33 of the Internet is to “lurk moar.” If you don’t know how to act, then hang out and pay attention to other reasonable community members before writing a pointless or depressing status update or a lengthy, overly-specific diatribe on something that no one else is going to care about (or even bother to read).

Work on your filter. Consider the necessity of your post before it goes up.

And for Thanatos’ sake, please use line breaks. They are your friends.

NightBug is one half of the dynamic founding duo behind the California Initiative (CAI), is a rabid fan of Star Wars, Spider-Man, and his iPhone 4.

He is also paid one million dollars for his services and does not love any of you.

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