Friday, August 25, 2006

Dude It's Blank: Rules for the Ocean?

When I first opened this oceangram, I was somewhat shocked. "What?" I said to myself. "Someone sent a blank oceangram?" And I thought of all of those times I had sat at my virtual beach waiting patiently for an oceangram that contained maybe a humorous story, a clever poem, or the Great American Novel, only to get nothing but "HEY!" or "aahahh" or "eat more chicken." And I thought, "This tops it all! Blank! What are people thinking?"

But the response was classic. "Dude it's blank"

And I couldn't stop laughing!

I sometimes test out ideas I have for this blog in the Oceangram Stories Yahoo group. I had been wanting to come up with a kind of "netiquette" for Oceangrammers, and I asked the group what they thought. I got some great responses. Here is a selection:

April says:
"Jazz up a boring message... Don't feel compelled to respond in kind with those who have already added a message to the bottle you received... Feel free to take the message in your own direction.

I think there is a curiosity factor... it's kind of neat to get a snapshot of someone's life... even if it is just what they had for breakfast... LOL."

Barbara says:
"I like the creativity of being able to write whatever you want. By far, most are great. If someone starts it with "Aaahhhhh!," so what? People after them
might be very creative in their answers. Making a bunch of rules will spoil the openness of the medium, IMO!"

Harold thinks a date and general location should be on each message.

Sunny says:
"If an oceangram contains something offensive, and I mean OFFENSIVE, then discard it. Other than that, let's be tolerant of the way others choose to express themselves. I think that's a lot of the fun of oceangrams. I'd hate to see a lot of 'do this, don't do that' rules."

So yes, while your first reaction to a boring or silly message may not be positive, get creative, work a little, and (as I have written in a few oceangrams), "BE the change you wish to see in the oceangram" (advice adapted from Mahatma Gandhi).

About date, time, and location checks, YES you may be tired of them, but some people have just started oceangramming and seeing where the grams come from is pretty amazing! Add a little more to the message it if it bothers you, or don't put YOUR location if you don't want to. That's the beauty of it, no one's forcing you to do anything.

Having said that, there is an expectation that we will keep it safe and clean.
It's your ocean. Enjoy!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agree with Harold...general location and date on your msg.
cp-US 826-06