The Right to Remain Silent

Posted on Feb 28, 2022

This will be a weird post, but I feel an inner voice screaming inside me to write about this for days now. In fact, I wanted to write about anything else but this, especially after I had committed to relaunching this blog… but… this kept coming back in my mind.

Let me try to convey the kind of situation I wanna address… by citing myself as an example… and this blog in particular.

As you know, there are a lot of things going on right now in the world. To name a few:1 We’ve got war in Ukraine; there still a lot of cultural debate around sex and gender; we’re apparently going through the last stage of the COVID-19 pandemic… but the political, economic aftermath of it might look very bad; people cry censorship left and right when social media decides to act like social media is designed to; people are also keen on quickly labeling other people X, Y, or Z, based on whatever bias they suffer from… enhanced by social media; and there’s a huge general polarization that is joined by a very widespread mistrust on any kind of established institution… be it from the left or from the right…

I think that summarizes a lot of what’s going on.

And of course I’ve got a lot of opinions on many of those matters and many others… like local Spanish stuff I haven’t mentioned above. And I’ve got a blog… and I know how to write (or that’s what I wanna believe about myself)… So, let’s do this, right?

Nope. I can’t. It doesn’t work for me even if I try. However, I do feel like a pressure to try to speak out about whatever topic there is out there, be it really something that affects me or not.

I do write a lot of opinion pieces on FOSS… I’m naturally inclined to it for whatever reason. I also know I can write about some more personal stuff, like today. Everyone is created differently by God… and everyone has been gifted different talents, as in Matthew 25:14-30.2 It’s so easy to fall into the temptations of believing that you were alloted either too little or too many talents… both vices come with their own set of bad things, but let’s not get distracted, shall we? Bible study is due for another day, I’m afraid.

The thing is that it’s super easy to talk about how social media makes us girls take on unhealthy habits to cope with body image issues… but, except for Africa Brooke, I think nobody is talking about how social media is making everyone feel they have to publicly speak out about every single issue on the news cycle. To be honest, I genuinely thought this was a thing that only happened to me because of some past issues of mine… until Africa posted a couple of things about this… I was shocked, to say the least.

In fact, in the very moment I was reading her posts, I had a draft on a super dense topic for this blog open in a neovim session… A draft that wasn’t clicking with me at all; it felt forced.

As soon as I had read her posts, I deleted the draft, had some coffee, and just by fooling around I remembered some things I wanted to get done on some of my coding projects… and that led to the totally unexpected (yet needed!) release of schain 2.4.0 and…

OK, I will sound so stupid telling you that this made me feel a huge sense of relief and connection… 😅

And I posted this on the cras-devel mailing list,3 which I’m super honest with you guys when I tell you it made me feel that way. It isn’t weird at all… After banging my head for several days trying to write something Important(tm), writing something that had real purpose… as humble as a post on a development mailing list for a super small project like cras is… it was liberating.

I guess it was liberating because it was organic; it was aligned with my self.

Is everyone who’s posting on whatever the major current events are really doing it because it comes from within themselves… or is it because it’s a trend? Not judging anyone, but myself here. I know I’ve posted or not posted things on social media before just to please other people… or at least I thought that that was what I was doing… In reality I was trying to be everything but me.

And that has haunted me a lot with respect to talking about FOSS, my projects, etc., on social media where my real life friends are. I mean, they know I do this stuff… It’s more like me thinking these things aren’t “as important” or that I’m not “contributing” much with this stuff I do. It’s the feeling that only “important matters” deserve true attention…

My dear, if you are in my position and also think so, let me share with you a thing I learned today.

It is us who make things important or not. And everyone has the right to choose their own priorities. If you are like me and have some small FOSS projects and that’s all you wanna share online or even offline, do it. And also, there’s always the chance to get in and out of certain topics… and if some issue affects you in a direct, personal way… you’ve got the right to keep it private or to share your experience publicly within your limits.

I guess the huge issue is that we’re living in a society that is increasingly moving towards tribes, allegiance to those tribes… and it’s exhausting… I mean, society is a good thing; I’m an extrovert… I love being around people… But I must say I’m growing tired of online spaces more and more. And Fediverse is equally as bad, to be honest, as I’ve said before.

I’m still wondering why IRC doesn’t feel like that. Yeah, there are some rooms which are a bit… tiresome… but it’s like on IRC people naturally stay in rooms where they find similarly spirited people? OK, I’m just rambling right now… 😅

I have committed myself not to engage on any type of online interaction with strangers where I feel I might be doing so just for “clout.” From now on, I’ll only engage in conversations where I know conversation will be productive… and that mostly will mean stuff that truly moves my heart. Also, unfollowing people is a super healthy habit to get into. Maybe I’m just an immature girl who had to learn this a bit too late in her life…? Anyways, if you’ve been feeling like having anxiety from online content you’ve come across, maybe this post may help you!

And again, nothing forces anyone to take or speak out a position on any topic. Conversely, you’ve got the right to take and speak out a position on any topic as long as you don’t insult anyone. There’s a lot of discussion about free speech nowadays… not canceling someone because they do not speak is also a free speech issue, you know?

I hope you’re all doing great! I wish you all a super great week 😘 As always, send me your comments via email! God bless you all 💖

  1. Especially if this post survives online for a couple of decades, future readers might wanna know some historical context, right? How are you, my dear 2040s readers? Was 2046 finally the year of the Linux desktop? 😂 ↩︎

  2. The Parable of the Talents works so great precisely because talent means both the currency used back then in Palestine and ’talent.' ↩︎

  3. Feedback on the ideas at the end is very welcome! ↩︎