I feels as though this needs to be said
Ever since I returned to the RPC community about a month ago, I have noticed something that I have been wanting to address. I haven’t quite been able to figure out how to go about it, and for a while I thought maybe it wasn’t my place to say anything at all. While I am technically on mini-hiatus over Christmas, I don’t think I can stay quiet for much longer, which is the reason for this post.
Before I start, I would like to state that the purpose of this post isn’t to point fingers at anyone in specific, or just one event in particular. What I’m about to say concerns the RPC/H community in whole and how I think all of us (yes, myself included) should take a look in the mirror. What I’m about to say is something I feel is very important, which, along with my love for the community, is why I’m writing this; in spite of the risk of backlash and being called pretentious. You can agree or disagree, and that is fine, but this is how I feel.
I’ve had this account since early April, I’ve witnessed the ups and downs of the RPC/H community, and I can honestly say that this community has lost a bit of what made me fall in love with it in the first place.
Sometimes I log on to this account, browse the dashboard and the tags, and realize that what I see a lot of the time saddens me. The bouts of drama and public shitstorms seem to follow one another, there is a lot of passive aggressiveness, as well as unnecessary anger and hostility directed at others, and some seem to be more keen on making personal posts or reblogging pictures instead of staying on point and doing what they (at least in my opinion) should be doing: being helpful. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the purpose of an RPC/H account was just that, to help people and give them constructive criticism; be it roleplayers, roleplay admins, or writers. At least that’s what *I* am here to do. I’ve tried my best not to engage in or acknowledge whatever drama or argument is currently going on, and instead focus on what I’m here for. However, it’s getting more difficult by the day, and all of the debris is honestly making me slightly uncomfortable. The fact that I thoroughly enjoy running this blog and helping people is what’s still keeping me here.
This is not to say there aren’t exceptions. There are some absolutely wonderful critics and helpers out there, who dedicate their free time to helping people to the best of their ability and somehow manage to stay on point. I’m not saying it’s all bad. What I am saying, however, is that the good bits are currently drowned by the ones that are less so.
So, I challenge all of you to do some introspection. While it’s not my place to say what you should and should not post on your blog, I want you to at least think about it.
Think about what the purpose of an RPC/H account really is. It is not your personal account. I make the occasional personal post here and there too, and that is completely fine, but sometimes I log on only to see page upon page of discussions that could be taking place in IMs or private messages. Making friends is not forbidden—it’s actually very nice, I might add—but that shouldn’t take the focus away from what an RPC/H account is there for. If the number of personal or “irrelevant” posts on your blog exceeds the number of posts about roleplaying or writing that could be of use to the public, you might want to reconsider the RPC/H or helper part of your URL. If your reviews consist of one sentence per section, you might want to reconsider doing them in the first place. As an RPC/H, you don’t have to do everything. Focus on what you’re good at, and don’t bother with the rest. Instead of engaging in drama whenever it happens or giving anon “hate” too much emphasis, ignore it. Delete it. Be the bigger person, and choose your battles. A large portion of the time, it’s not worth it, and in the end, it will make the community a much better place.
All in all, think about what you post before you post it. Ask yourself if your followers want to see it. Yes, this is your blog, you can post whatever you want to post, and RPC/Hing is something you do for free: but once you take on that title, you do have a certain responsibility. (And yes, it is a title you take on. Anyone who can create a Tumblr account can call themselves an RPC/H, but none of us have all the answers and it doesn’t make us any better than anyone else.) Roleplayers and roleplay admins who follow you are most likely there for the help, advice, and other services you provide. They don’t want to log on only to see an explosion of content irrelevant to their interests on their dashboards. We, as RPC/Hs, are constantly telling admins that they should be professional—admining also being something they do for free and for fun, rather than obligation—all the while we’re not being professional ourselves.
Finally, be respectful toward one another. People will have different opinions, and that’s okay. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but you can still respect them enough to listen to what they have to say. At least try to see things from the other person’s point of view, even if your own opinion remains the same and you think they’re wrong. You can argue your point without insulting people and their beliefs, or making them feel like horrible human beings. As Voltaire once said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
So, this is a really long rant. Personally, I’m done with the subject now that I’ve gotten it off my chest, and I hope it might spark a mature, introspective discussion about the purpose of the RPC/H community rather than another bout of drama. I would also like to apologize if anyone takes offense to this. That is not what this post is supposed to do at all, and I’m sorry if it comes across that way. I don’t want to fuel the fire, so to speak. There is not a doubt in my mind that all of you are wonderful, kind people who have the best of intentions, so hopefully you don’t take any of this personally. I have nothing against any of you.
With this, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Please stay safe, and I’ll see you on December 27th.