In the past few weeks I have gotten myself into hot water a couple of times with comments I've made on Facebook, the thing that annoys me about all the outrage this caused is that I honestly don't believe what I said was all that bad, at times controversial yes, but not meant with any malice, it is after all just my opinion. Also it seemed that for everyone "against" what I said there was someone in complete agreement. However the worst thing is how most of the "vicious" replies would have never been said face to face, the same conversation in a pub would have still been going. No one would have stormed out or screamed in my face so why do people feel they can be more savage on their laptop?
Unfortunately I am cursed with my mouth from the day I could talk and sweetly told the man in a card shop "My Daddy loves to pump". Anyone who has met me will verify for better or worse I say exactly what I mean, I would however also hope they would agree that I would NEVER want to be rude, cruel or hurt anyone's feelings. The few things that I manage to keep in are from years of ingrained civility and good manners and why I love the quote:
I do not mind people speaking their mind in fact I beg for it, I would hate for anyone to be offended by something I said or see me with ketchup on my chin or do something for me they don't want to and nod along and not say anything!!?? I realise its a fine line I tread to say what you want without offending someone and sometimes I don't get it completely right but we are all human after all and you will never please everyone. I personally see things on social media all the time that I don't like, I either leave it be or if I feel I can at add value I might comment but again I would never say something I wouldn't to their face and will withdraw as soon as it starting to get nasty or argumentative. What has the world come to when you cant chew the fat about the days issues without being snotty and have to walk on bleeding eggshells? Some people it seems though thoroughly enjoy trying to virtually shout you down or take satisfaction that you have supposedly been put back in your box....cyber bully its called isn't it?
My blog is public and so is my Facebook blog page which I am sometimes now painfully realising I am opening myself up for comment which I welcome, I would have never said I was much of a debater but I love it especially when you get such a mix of opinions and I really learn a lot. I like being informed and challenged, lets not forget I'm stuck in with a 4 and 2 yr old most of the time, I've seen my husband for 1 week this entire year as well....maybe I just need a dog to talk with. The public page does make a difference though because it means a lot of the commentators I don't even know, they could live 3000 miles away, it does hurt a little more when the recent one was on my private page so I personally know everyone ripping into me and I would have hoped they would have known what I meant. I saw an interesting sketch though by a comedian who read the exact same sentences in a happy high pitch voice then in an angry voice, it was like he was saying two completely different things; some people will always take the angry voice. I have now recognised though that I am only responsible for what I say and not how people choose to react to it.
From recent experience even when I have tried to back off or calm the situation it seems only to ignite these people, I don't even think a delivered bunch of flowers and a card would calm the comments. Irritatingly it seems some commentators (not just for me but on all sorts of forums) have not read the comment properly and their reply is not even informative, they are REALLY cruel or just self righteous. An example of my own, I made a comment about the country of Africa, it of course was a typo as Africa is a continent and even though I immediately corrected it some snotty guy I have never met put a rant on about it and then declared that because of a simple mistake "My other point was now moot"...I resisted to say, "Great! Jog on babe your not the type of person I want here anyway" but again my manners came in.
The delicious thing about your personal social media is that you can delete any one that offends or irritates you, my own husband has commented "You are the only person I know that puts so many posts on Facebook and you swear a lot" I'm sure its true, especially with my blog stuff, but social media is also a total life line for me and as for the swearing...I will say the same thing I said to him "If you don't f*cking like it DON'T follow me". There is even a magic little get out clause for those people that you don't want to cause upset with by deleting but you can just 'unfollow' them. So they can still see what your up to but unless you check their page all the "annoying stuff" they post is no longer clogging up your feed.
This still doesn't help with the public forums and the people you don't know or hide behind a 'Catfish' and I suppose its like road rage how many people have been absolutely vulgar to you from the comfort of their car (usually about a mother and baby parking spot) but once you have actually bumped into them going round the Supermarket they shrink behind the bread aisle?! I think the anonymity of online interactions provides an element of protection, so people are capable of more nasty or extreme behaviour. It doesn't make it OK though and like my child acting out for attention I will endeavour to also ignore them and try to enjoy social media for its best parts. Join me?