Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
So that last blog I wrote about a recent experience at Brighton Meeting's experiments with BM has gotten some great attention - and raised some critical questions about social media and Quaker experience.
The blog was passed around to other members of Brighton Meeting. I must admit - I did not forsee that happening which is clearly a sign that I was not thinking well. Rule 101 of blogging: always assume that whomever you are writing about will read it, even if they never do, and that it is possible your boss will read it and your ex. Etc.
Still, I had tried to make clear in the blog that I love Brighton Meeting and that this was, for me, coming out of my love for the Meeting, for myself, and for this faith as a whole. So I thought, ok, great, lets see what happens. Online and offline realities intertwine - that's the point, right?
Someone whom I really respect in the meeting was challenged and a bit upset that I wrote about my experience in the way that I did. She felt I did not understand the history and what was really going on, that I was a visitor and not entrenched in the politics and long wrestling that the Meeting was going through, and should not have written the blog. It is possible that she did not like me sharing 'dirty laundry' with the wider faith community, although I'm not sure about that. Others felt it was great and wanted me to keep writing. I hope to have continual conversations about this with the key people involved in this.
But the difficulty she experienced in this made me think - what is the appropriate time for sharing experiences via blogging versus sharing experiences with a select group of friends online or offline? When is it appropriate? I think it is very critical that we share our challenges and our beauties- in nitty gritty detail - as part of all of us learning together, testing one another's leadings, and building the wider community. That's part of why I helped to start SpeakingTruth.org several years ago. I also think that there are certain experiences that should not be shared, and privacy is also important (I'm obviously being careful not to share names). Obviously there are no easy answers to this, but I'd be curious about other people's responses and experiences.