I want to have a brief rant this month…
About a week ago, I ran into a couple of posts on Facebook that made me equal parts angry and sad. Within a couple hours I saw fellow author further explain why they were stepping back from Facebook except to talk about book releases. It seems a fan was trying to tell them who who they could/couldn’t travel with. Next I came across an article detailing a Tweet that a woman sent to the lead actor in the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. She blasted him for not coming out of the stage door to meet her daughters.
I’m stunned that people think they can make demands like this. I suppose in our celebrity dominated, social media culture people think they can make demands on anyone they like from the safety of the keyboard. And yet, anytime I see things like this it makes me wonder why these people thought they had a say in the first place. Where did that expectation come from?
Can you imagine someone telling you who you shouldn’t travel with? Unless it was a close friend telling me this to keep me out of danger, I’d roll my eyes at them. It’s simply not anyone else’s concern.
As for the actor trying to leave work, talk about a foul on the part of this woman. Having a moment with an actor after a performance is a privilege. Unless your ticket entitles you to a meet and greet, getting to talk with the actors, get a picture or anything else is a bonus. I’ve done the stage door things many times over the years. Is it a bummer if an actor doesn’t come out? Sure. But it’s understandable for any number of reasons—none of which are my business. I shudder to think the values this woman is teaching her daughters by making them think they’re entitled to more.
Beyond how inappropriate some people behave is the fact this can ruin things for everyone else. I certainly understand why authors may limit themselves on social media. It can be rough enough wading through the drama that can get whipped up out there that you certainly don’t need anyone trying to tell you how to run your life at the same time. Of course, for fans who behave it means we get less of our favorite people online.
For others, like the actor, it may mean they pull back too. For Broadway actors, they might stop coming out of the stage door to greet any one. Singer Ed Sheeran recently left Twitter because he was ganged up on for some perceived slight of another artist.
I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir with this post, but hopefully we can all remember what place we hold in other people’s lives and act accordingly. These people who are forcing their opinions and desired behaviors on others need a good dose of “do unto others…” These folks so quick to jump on others would likely not appreciate hearing what someone else thought of their choices.
It’d be nice if everyone thought a little more before the spoke—lift people up instead of tearing down, choose not to create drama, hold back the urge to tell someone their wrong on a topic that’s not your business. In general, treat everyone better. There are enough problems in the world without needlessly creating more.
So that’s the end of my rant. Thanks for indulging me.
Please be kind to one another!
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Jeff Adams loves hockey, musicals, and watching a good dance—so much so he often incorporates those things into his stories. Speaking of stories, he thinks creating new adventures and characters is a blast. What he loves most, though, is his husband of twenty years, Will. You can learn more about Jeff’s writing at JeffAdamsWrites.com and by listening to Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.