Plenty of bloggers curse in their posts on a regular basis. Not excessively so, but for some, it’s a common element and their audiences have either come to enjoy it or ignore it altogether.
I, on the other hand, shy away from swearing on my blog and social media updates in general. Why? Do I find it crass and vulgar? Is swearing simply a product of an underdeveloped mind? Does it violate my spiritual faith?
Absolutely not! I simply prefer not to curse in writing about general events and thoughts regarding my day, as well as in a safe space that carries my professional brand. Sure, I’m prone to colorful language in rush-hour traffic or when I’m penning entries to share with my fellow nerds about the latest X-Men adaptation, but on this blog on this website, I keep it pretty PG. Or at least PG-13.
My stance doesn’t seem like an odd decision to me, but there are those who view it as a lack of authenticity. Bloggers who drop a Sugar-Honey-Ice-Tea here or an F-bomb there are sometimes regarded as being more “real” than those who go the Tebow route. Anything too “vanilla” is viewed with suspicion and doubt.
That’s unfortunate because it implies that honesty can only be delivered (or received) in a form that might be viewed as objectionable or offensive. The problem with this mindset is that it makes it far too easy for others to fake authenticity by swearing like a sailor and too difficult for those whose true voices don’t necessarily include a stream of curses flowing from their keyboards.
Although he may be my favorite character in the history of the series, I’m no Ned Flanders. Like most, I wear multiple hats in my daily life. And when it comes to presenting myself professionally, even in a relaxed and jovial atmosphere, I opt to flex my creative muscle and try to communicate the same idea without the same four-letter words I might use if I were sitting in a bar with my friends. I don’t believe this makes me superior to anyone or displays a level of intellectual prowess. However, I know the image I project as a creative professional will be affected by my decision to keep my writing PG.
If others feel my blog is somehow less “real” thanks to my word choice restrictions, I hope they will consider that an author’s voice cannot be predetermined by the social trends of the moment. Isn’t the ultimate goal of any blogger is to communicate engaging and thought-provoking ideas? If you can accomplish this amazing feat in an inundated market, then your authenticity will ring true regardless of your word choice.
What movie rating would you give your blog? Do you consider swearing a sign of “keeping it real?”