A Poet's Life

Mona Bethke

Home / Flashes Of Thought / Looking from the inside out

Looking from the inside out

VOYEURISM…

Now, there’s a loaded word for you.

What’s the first thing that came to mind? Sex?

I’m talking about a much deeper type of voyeurism. The vicarious thrill to experience something without the actual danger of being affected.

I’ve been posting vigorously on Facebook and my blog for quite some time now. When I sit down to spill my words, I don’t filter or think about what will attract more readers, I just rant, spew, and profess my views on whatever strikes me on that particular day because I can.

Facebook: A haven for those of us not afraid “they” will know what we think, feel, and do all day. We’re already so on the government radar, it makes me laugh when people say, “I’m not going on facebook, I don’t want people to know about my business.” Wake up call folks, you don’t need a social networking site for that…all you need is family. We share our daily shit, why? I suppose in my case, it makes me feel like someone gives a damn. We are in such a hands off society now, that connecting with other human beings is a luxury. We can stay in touch with our past and our present and hopefully build future friendships and relationships.

Twitter (or as my friend Broadie calls it, Twatter): Now there’s a concept I still don’t fully understand. I imagine a big part of that is because I’m way too long winded to write two sentences to get my message across. Nonetheless, it is a phenomenon that has swept across the world when it comes to social networking. So many things are swayed with this simple and easy to use platform, right down to politics and societal issues. I have my blog and Facebook connected to Twitter and still don’t really know what that does for me. I do know that things fly by so fast on Twitter, I don’t understand how people keep up, unless they are watching it all day long or spend hours catching up when their real life has a pause.

Blogging: Now this one I understand. We all have something to say, some profound, some not so much. I love it because it means people are thinking, feeling, and writing. There is no end to subject matter when it comes to putting stuff out there in the format of a daily journal. The sad part is when someone doesn’t get a steady stream of readers, even when their subject matter rocks, they become discouraged, oftentimes leading to giving up. Don’t. It takes time to build readers.

Now, on to the vicarious thrill aspect in all of this.The part that really scares me.

I’ve been experimenting as of late to see what attracts more readers.

When I write about love, compassion, humanity, dignity, and just about anything positive, I see the level of readers is minimal. There is the occasional comment from someone that thrives on positivity and I see the few LIKES from people that feel touched by it.

When I write about hate, anger, death, destruction, pain, and just about anything negative or horrific, my reads go through the roof! Some of my most read posts are about those emotions. There is rarely a comment and most often no LIKES.

What does that say about the human condition? We see it on television, in movies, on the news, hear it in our music, read it in our books, see it in the streets, live it in our homes. We are in it every day whether from a distance or up close. We are daily affected by the actions of abusers, crooked politicians, corrupt law enforcement, war, disease, racism, misogyny and the list goes on and on and on.

We read or hear other people’s horror stories and say, “wow, my shit’s not so bad compared to that.” I don’t agree. My shit is on a level playing field with everyone else’s shit, because it’s mine. I own it, and I own theirs.

I read a story about a young girl passed around to her father’s friends for sex. I read a story of a young man deprived of a father because he distanced himself from an abuser. I heard a story about a woman that came home and found her murdered husband. A woman that worked for me was so desperate, she murdered her two sons and then hung herself. Is any of that worse than my story?

That’s not really the question though, is it? There is no question…just a fact.

Those are all of our stories. We all feel them, grieve through them, and eventually own them to some degree. Those things are happening to all of us, because as human beings our DNA strings us together, despite how much we’d like to remove ourselves from the horror.

What I can’t understand is how all of that negativity can still be thriving like some genetic mutation propelling us through life. What will it take to fix it, or can it be fixed?

If you’re going to be a voyeur of the human condition, then do something positive to change it, or is the darkness so appealing that life would seem boring without it?

To get the latest update of me and my works