There comes a point with your online reputation that you become so careful and so quick to appeal to whomever may be googling you, that you become very boring. I mean, a love a good Nilla cookie as much as anyone else, but who wants to hire/interview/be BFF with a wafer?
You can’t be everything to every one. (Is Everclear in your head yet?) At some point, you have to take a stand. Figure out where you stand on a controversy or topic, and stake your claim. Defend it, discuss it if you must, but be willing to be associated with the stand that you took. Not on everything – but on the stuff that really, really matters to you. Topics that if it lost you a job or a friend or major interview because of it, your conscience would be clear. I’m not advising being overly contentious or starting a controversy for argument’s sake. Just — don’t be so afraid of being palatable, that you lose your flavor.
I have opinions. On lots of stuff. Some of them are even educated. I can take a stand on anything from prison reform to the right way to hang my toilet paper. And sometimes I write about them and I don’t generally shy away from controversy. And sometimes I say stuff that I have no idea is going to be controversial.( Seriously, I had no idea I had friends who were going to defend Roman Polanski.)
But, on a lot of stuff – I can manage to keep my mouth shut, depending on the speaker, and just hold my tongue until the urge to fight passes. On some topics, I cannot.
Possibly Controversial Topics On Which I Will Freely and Publicly Take A Stand
- A woman’s right to choose what to do with her body should be protected
- Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage
- Science classes should teach students about evolution. Creationism or Intelligent Design have no place in a science classroom.
If any of the above lose me readers or my online reputation is forever associated with, then – well, I can still sleep easy at night.
What are you willing to take a stand on?