How to be oblivious (Drama Avoidance 101)

There has been a lot of drama it the RP Twitterverse lately. This is hardly surprising, since without drama, most of us would have long since gone away. Done properly (in character and as part of a storyline), it’s fun to read and participate in. It’s when it spills over into the personal, in or out of character, that it becomes problematic.

Personal drama is not fun. It’s not fun to watch and it certainly is not fun to be part of. The best advice is to avoid it or ignore it. This is easier said than done, sometimes. It is, however, possible to remain outside the fray. You just have to be oblivious or seem to be.

Here are a few tips for avoiding drama:

1.  Focus on yourself. Sure, it sounds egotistical, but let’s face it, the only behavior any of us have any control over is our own.  Focus your attention on what you are doing and saying, not what someone or everyone else is.

2.  Spend most of your time in your mentions (@s) and following a select list of others and SLs. Obviously the people who talk to you should get most of your attention. Well-executed SLs also merit your attention, whether you are involved with them or not.

3. Judge people on what they say/how they act to you. This is easier if you stay hidden in your mentions (@s) and DMs. The stream can get wild and busy. It is extremely easy to take something out of context. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if it isn’t said to you (using your @) it isn’t meant for you…even if it is. (The exception to this rule is notices from group accounts regarding rules, new members or SLs.)

4. Blogs, twitlongers, websites, Facebook pages and anything else associated with an RP character should remain in character. This does not mean you can’t comment on things happening around Twitter or even IRL just that you should keep the comments in character.

5.  What is said offline (in IMs or DMs or emails or phone conversations or whatever other form of personal conversations you may have), stays offline. NO EXCEPTIONS! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT repeat what you are told in private conversations, period but especially do not do it onstream or in a public way. EVER.

No doubt you’ve noticed that this list does not include the familiar saws “treat others the way you want to be treated” or “don’t say anything if you can’t say something nice”. “Don’t take it personally” isn’t really included either unless you consider it as part of #3. There is a reason for that. It’s because we’ve all heard them. We all say that is how we are behaving.

If it were, there wouldn’t be unscripted, personal drama onstream.

So let’s be honest. We treat others the way we want to treat them. We say mean things, sometimes intentionally. We do take things personally. We invest a great deal of ourselves in these characters, whether original or cannon. It hurts when someone doesn’t like them, or they get into fights, or they just get ignored. Pretending we don’t is silly. But, and this is a very big but (pun so intended), what we don’t see can’t hurt us.

Being largely oblivious is one way to avoid the drama and getting hurt. It doesn’t stop it. It just sets it at one remove. Which is far better than being in the center of a drama storm.

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