I’m an Online Bartender


When I bartended many moons ago, I stuck to the (possibly antiquated) rule of not talking about politics or religion. I kept the conversation light. Superficial.

It worked for me. After my shift, I left with a purse full of tips and my sanity intact. I didn’t take my work home with me. (Which, as a bartender, you really shouldn’t. Unless a rep comes in with free samples of a new raspberry-chocolate liquor. Those you bring home.)

Drunken conversations, disagreements, arguments, anger? Why would you want those in your head while you’re trying to get to sleep at 4 AM?

I’ve seen a few bar brawls in my time caused by “discussions”. It’s really not a good idea to drink and talk about volatile issues. In fact, one can drink a few margaritas, make a cutting comment about another person’s shoes, and that can lead to a fist fight so what might talking about religion lead to? Go ahead and give that a moment’s thought.

I have coined a new term: “Online Bartender”. I’m not going to mix you a martini. (Get your own drink and meet me back here.) I’m also not going to discuss politics or religion or current events. Bet you saw that one coming.

If a person (like me, for example) does not write about the latest news on her blog, tweet about current events on Twitter, or use a trending hashtag, it does not necessarily mean that said person doesn’t know or care about these issues. She may. She may not.

Personally, if it’s a celebrity’s new nose job or fabulous $500 pair of jeans, I don’t care. If it’s brutality, war, poverty, injustice, abuse of power (in any form), I do. Very much. And you will never know about it. Because I won’t discuss it. Not even if you ask nicely and send cookies.

I choose not to write about my opinions on religion and wars and abusive sports players and school shootings and terrorism. It doesn’t mean I don’t know about these things, it means I don’t use social media to talk about them. I work through my feelings in my own way in my own home. I discuss news stories with my friends and family in real life. That’s just me.


I do happen to know that some other writers, bloggers, and tweeps also feel this way so, before you judge a person for being ignorant or uneducated or callous, please do remember that some people are Online Bartenders.


Do you discuss politics, religion, and current events online? Do you keep quiet on social media and talk about it at home?


14 thoughts on “I’m an Online Bartender

  1. What is interesting, as a reader of your words, is that I know you have opinions, I know you’ll express them with erudition and humour (even humor) and some will have me nodding, some disagreeing and some set me thinking. And yet you never share them. We know, Sarah, because of the way you write. In the same way that one knows from a bartender’s eyebrows or from the overzealous use of the drying cloth that they have a view but they are swallowing it. Me, I don’t have a rule. I comment on what comes to mind and then wonder if I should have. But I know online is no place for a meaningful discussion; an op-ed piece and a pithy comment but that’s it. Stick to drying that glass with a little too much vigour (vigor?) and puffing out your cheeks as you raise a shot glass to the optic. We understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure what to say. This is one of the most wonderful compliments I’ve ever received. (Either that or you think I’m vapid and shallow. Nah, I’m going with the compliment.) That my words could convey something I’ve never written… I feel like you just gave my words superpowers. With a cape—there should be a cape involved. Purple, if you don’t mind.

      For the record, you just called me smart and funny and a good writer. 🙂 Also, for the record, I love your op-eds and comments. I have nothing against anyone writing and commenting on news/current events. I will usually just arch my eyebrows or nod or polish the hell out of a glass or something. I’ve even been known to support someone or something in a comment—in a superficial kind of way.


      • Did I say smart and funny? It was late forgive me. And purple is good. Very much the emperor of you own patch of dust. Or is it bishop, if Brentynism is now one of the world religions. All followed have their own polishing cloth and practice the disdainful eyebrow raise. Oh and drink wine. Wine is compulsory. Which is probably a shame as I’m teetotal but the Textiliste can do it for me. She does that a lot. Saves me from harm sort of thing. Yes purple Cape is the proper thing but you should consider a hat. All proper religions have hats. I envisage one of those Dutch triangle things with Bells on the corners but you decide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You can’t take it back. Not allowed. If a hat is proper, then I will get something like what the mad hatter wore in Alice in Wonderland. Or a small beanie. Wine is essential but ginger ale is also acceptable.


  2. Sarah, I definitely agree with what you say here. Silence on a topic doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions. For me, it means setting boundaries on what I feel comfortable discussing online and what opinions I rather keep to myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this. And relate. I shy away from posting on these topics because I’m usually still figuring out how I feel long after they peak in the public eye. And I dread getting caught in the crossfire. For me, blogging/writing is primarily a way to build community, share support, connect–not tear each other apart. Though I admit I often admire others’ willingness to take a stand & put themselves out there.

    This is a wonderful reminder that there is a lot of ourselves others don’t see–and that we should never assume anything from silence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I appreciate the support. Yes, I dread getting caught in the crossfire. Also, there are always trolls hanging around these topics and I don’t want to deal with them (or even see their comments).

      I do admire when people take these issues on. Sometimes I have to sit on my hands to avoid typing the outrage I feel at a situation. Then I turn into the Hulk and “talk” to my husband about it. 🙂

      Thank you, again. I hope people see online silence as something other than ignorance or insensitivity.


  4. I don’t do a whole lot of discussing of things controversial via social media either. So far I’ve found most of those discussions shallow and unsatisfying, ruled by the lowest common denominator of emotion. They either degenerate into flame wars or they become echo chambers of people who all agree with one another, and congratulate one another on being part of Club Righteous. I normally don’t blog about such thing either; frankly I just don’t want to deal with the trolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! 😀 “They either degenerate into flame wars or they become echo chambers of people who all agree with one another, and congratulate one another on being part of Club Righteous.” Exactly. You’ll never change someone’s mind on social media and, if you already agree, you’re just trying to get someone to tell you how right you are.


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