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Hello my sweets!
Okay, so this post might be a bit angry sounding, and it’s possible I might bother some. But stick with me, I swear I have good intentions. Plus, I promised my sweet pal Hay Farris I’d do a Fizzy Pulpit post in her honor, so…
I know most who read this blog of mine are writers, but this really applies to everyone who dares venture onto the interwebz.
This is my solemn plea:
Could we please, PLEASE maybe not be judgmental assjackets to people all the time?
I see it everywhere. People making fun of people online in these pretentious, judge-tastic ways that seem to say how much better someone is than someone else because they do this properly and *scoff**chortle**snark* at those who dare do otherwise.
And oh my damn what is with the rash of “news” outlets going full-tilt bitchy bullies lately? In one article they are touting how picking on someone is totes wrong and in the very next article it’s LOOK AT THESE BASIC BITCHES WHO LIKE FALL LULZ.
I swear to you I’ve seen people post things like, “If you even remotely like this book/song/show/beverage please do us both a favor and kill yourself/unfriend me/get out of my life.”
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
Seriously, what even is that?
Or maybe you post things that are important to you online. But see, I don’t agree with them so let me subTweet or write an article about you or post a passive aggressive Facebook status in your general direction.
Now, I can already see some of you saying, “You are doing the same thing, Miss Hypocrisypants!”
Ahh, but this is not directed at one person in particular. Hell, it’s not even regarding one social media platform specifically.
Every day I hop online to check in with my people. Yes, my people live on the computer. What of it?
I’ll tell you what of it.
I see at least once a day someone detailing in a douchey tone how sad people are who “need” the internet because their friends live in there.
Uh, I can’t live all over the world at once so yeah, my main mode of connection is online. Sometimes it’s a public Tweet. Sometimes it’s a private message. Sometimes it’s a text.
WHAT THE FUCK OF IT?
People will post some article they are excited about, or something that has made them angry. Then come all the people telling them why those feelings are wrong/stupid/childish/whatthefuckever. Even better, the news places will post screen-caps of someone having a feeling about something and ask the internet to gang up hating on their feels. (No, I’m not going to link to it. I’m not giving these fart-knockers the extra clicks.)
Why? Why does that happen?
I read this boss article awhile back about this woman who was the star of an embarrassing picture that had gone viral. She wasn’t living it up in the limelight not caring that she was the butt of the joke and cashing in on her 37 seconds of fame.
No, she was reminding us all that the people in those pictures? They are real, actual people, guys.
On the other side of those 140 character messages and status updates and Tumblr posts are actual living, breathing human beings.
Sure, some people are cool enough to not care when people are dicks to them.
Some people care a whole lot.
Have I been a perfect internet user? Hell no I have not.
I mean, someone said something I didn’t agree with on the internet, what was I supposed to do!?
Shutting the hell up would have been a good start.
I don’t usually argue on my own behalf. I tend to be very meek regarding myself. But when I see someone else being “wronged” it is my nature to go all Captain Save-a-Bitch and defend their honor. It’s a curse.
It’s also the source of some of my less than fine moments online.
I’m guilty of hurting feelings. I don’t mean to, but sometimes I say things that I didn’t realize could be taken the way they were taken. Sometimes I just click something off without realizing what a douche-wagon I sound like. And when it’s brought to my attention, I apologize and do my very best to never do it again. I worry about that. I never want to make someone feel like balls from something I said. That’s a horrible feeling.
We have a lot of stress in real life. We can’t go up and yell at our bosses or our friends or our husbands, and yet, we seem to have no problem when someone does it online. Well, we can do those things but there are repercussions in real life the internet doesn’t hold.
It’s a fucking car wreck.
Someone says something, someone gets outraged and unleashes fury. Others join in with righteous indignation. Words are thrown, stones cast, profanity spewed.
But then you shut off your device and carry on with your life thinking no harm no foul, it’s just online.
I am a person that gets very affected by any kind of negativity towards me. I take it with me when I shut the laptop or turn off the phone.
So many nights I would lay in bed at night thrashing through panic attacks after watching what would happen in online forums.
And now, years later with a slightly thicker skin, I make damn diggity sure I am careful about what I say. I don’t ever want to be the cause of someone thrashing around in a panic attack. The thought alone horrifies me.
In the writing community you will mostly find wonderful, supportive people who are there to help however they can. Lend an ear. Offer advice. Cheer you on.
But I feel like lately what I am seeing are a lot of snarky people throwing judgments down at others for being different in whatever random way seems to be hip this week.
Oh, you use Facebook for this reason? Pssh, you suck.
Oh, you don’t have this or this on your Tumblr page? Amateur.
Oh, you blog like this? BAHAHAHA!
Oh, you post things that I find geeky? *POINTS AND LAUGHS FOREVER*
Oh, you have an opinion about anything at all? Behold my subTweet that will make you feel like shit!
And then cut to the smug giggles and Likes and Favorites and ReTweets of said comments that everyone is chortling over, reaffirming their heightened place in the universe.
I get there is this cliche that writers are supposed to be all above things and pretentious and clever. And I get that sometimes people act like that because they think it makes them more legit.
I mean, if you aren’t pointing out how much better you are than someone, then where does your proof of superiority come from?
If you need proof that you are superior, I’ve got some bad news for you…
We are all different. We will never all agree. We will never all get along in every way on every day.
But could we maybe, just maybe be a little less dickish about things?
When you say something mean online, it hurts feelings. And a lot of times, it doesn’t get the person you thought deserved it. It gets all the other people who saw it and realized they were doing that thing too.
And I’m not talking about someone saying, “Jeez, I hate when people threaten to kill other people in a very real way.”
That you can totally be against. Because uh, that’s not okay.
But saying things like, “It’s so sad when authors try to do this thing that I find pathetic, LULZ.” Or “Oh gods, people who like pumpkin things are soooooo stupid and lame and SNARK.”
To you it might be stupid. To other people it might be awesome.
If you want to point out your feelings on a subject, GREAT. Please do!
But the underhanded jabs that will be read by all the people? There are a good sized handful that are going to read that and feel like a shoe, dude.
And I can already hear some people saying, “Well, hey, if they get offended by it, that’s their fault, not mine.”
Um. No? That’s an excuse used by jerky people to justify being a prick.
Sure, people are always going to be sensitive and take things the wrong way. And I’m not talking about the times people misconstrue your words or your intentions. That happens a lot. There are no tone fonts, you know?
(Side Note: Someone get on tone fonts. This could save lives. Especially one for sarcasm. Just sayin’.)
What I am trying to say is wouldn’t you feel a lot better if you were able to say what you feel and think without deliberately hurting someone else’s feelings? Why would you want to make someone feel like crap for doing something “wrong” that they probably never even considered being wrong?
If your goal is to guide and correct people into learning better ways to go about the world, then do so. I encourage this muchly. I applaud this and will probably share whatever gem that is with the world because I love when people try to spread the wisdom.
But I know you know the difference. I know we know when we are saying something in hopes of helping and when we are saying things to shame someone else for doing things differently.
The internet is people. People are the internet. There is no separating the two. And you don’t know who is really on the other side of those clicks. You don’t know what kind of day they are having. What kind of life they lead. What kind of reaction they will have.
And for the love of god, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to think of that. We all go into the digital world knowing we can’t control who says what or what we will be barraged with. We are big kids, we understand there are risks. I’m not saying tiptoe through the binary tulips so you don’t bruise someone else’s delicate sensibilities.
Be you. Be who you are in every possible way.
But please, maybe take a moment to think how your words might affect people who read them. If you wouldn’t say it to a stranger in real life in that way, why would you say it online?
A little consideration is all I’m asking for.
There are ways to be clever and opinionated without taking out a hundred innocent scrollers during the process.
We are not always going to see eye to eye. Maybe we could try not intentionally looking to not get along.
I hope you all are having the loveliest of weeks!
Until next time,
Peace, Love, and Play Nice