May 3, 2012

Don’t Run With Scissors If You Can’t Stand the Heat. Or Something.

I won a spa package at my Spouse Club. It was awesome. It included a one-hour full body massage.

About 10 minutes in, I started needing my smartphone.


Facebook! Twitter! Blog comments! Must! Check! Must! Check!

It made it a little difficult to relax.

I have a problem. I’m a Social Media addict.

I say this because I want it clear that I have a lot emotionally invested in Social Media. I’ve made fantastic friends, and some adversaries. I’ve participated in some great love-ins, and some great debates. That’s part of Social Media.

(It’s part of life.)

Social Media is a great resource. It is also a minefield, filled with millions of personalities, emotions and opinions.

The free exchange of information and ideas is a beautiful thing. In fact, that’s why I don’t have comment verification turned on, and I allow anonymous commenting. I want it to be as convenient as possible for anyone to join in the conversation. (I also get next to no spam comments. And the ones I do, blogger doesn’t publish. Just throwing that out there.)

But I also reserve the right to delete outright hateful comments. Which I pretty much never get, but still, it’s there.

Anyway, my point is, no matter what you say or do, there will always be someone who disagrees with you.

Passionately. Sometimes rudely. Sometimes stupidly.

I’ve certainly run across multiple blogs posts the last few years where someone said something so unutterably ridiculous, offensive, idiotic – oh don’t look at me like that, you’ve thought it, too, maybe even about me, maybe even about this post – that I could only see red. I’ve gotten a couple of comments like that on here before, too.

At that point, I have two choices. I can jump in and start hacking away with some well-chosen phrases, since crafting the perfect paragraph to pulverize a person is one of my gifts.

Or, I can just hit the little x in the top right corner and go on with my day.

Of course, sometimes people really do need a smackdown. I’m a big believer in smacking down people who need it.

But I also know that sometimes, it really doesn’t matter. It’s someone else’s blog, facebook or twitter.

I don’t have to reply.

I can walk away.

In the same way, I don’t have to reply to every comment I get on the blog, facebook or twitter.

Barely a week goes by that this scenario isn’t played out somewhere on the interwebz. And there is almost always someone, usually part of the instigation, who is left standing there, gape-jawed, saying,
“Well, golly gee, why are people so upset? I didn’t mean to offend anyone!” after they’ve posted a dogmatic opinion on a controversial topic.


I’m not against dogmatic opinions on controversial topics. I’m against people posting them without any self-awareness that there would be people out there who would disagree as strongly, or stronger, than they feel, and then being hurt or oblivious as to why the fallout was nuclear-sized.

I’m really trying not to drag this out (too late) but let me sum up:

The internet has a lot of benefits. Social media has a lot of benefits. But – and I say this in tough love - it’s not for the thin-skinned. There will be plenty of opportunities to hurt other people or get hurt yourself. The only way to avoid that is to only post cute puppy pictures. Which is totally fine. That’s why I (usually) have very long periods between provocative posts. (And yes, I know they are provocative.) I don’t want to deal with that level of drama 24/7. So I don’t.

There will always be haters. If you can’t learn to ignore the haters, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Oh please say someone “got” that!

If someone disagrees with you in Social Media, on your blog, on your twitter or facebook,
it’s not the end of the world.

And I’m just going to say it - 

If it is the end of the world,
then maybe you shouldn’t be in Social Media.

14 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. How could you say something so harsh and unbelievable?! I can't believe you. I'm now going to pout endlessly about it.

    Just kidding.

    Love you.

    I hate when people bash on social media. Yes, sometimes there's drama but you're totally right. Social media is like food portion control in America...sometimes people just don't know how much they can really handle. In the end, you have to put your big girl panties on and decide how much of yourself to invest and if it's too much, then get offline.

    Sorry for the soapbox moment. Love the post.

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  2. I'm not really sure how to phrase this...but this post sums up something I've always thought about you. Does that make sense? Every time someone posts something stupid or attacks me for something I've said (it's happened like, twice haha) I think of you - and how you are very good at just letting it roll right off. You are a master of social media...and my social media idol. I will never be as good at it as you are, but you never fail to entertain me.

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  3. I love this! You're totally right! If you can't stand the heat...then don't try to stir the pot. That probably doesn't make sense because I made it up, but I think you know what I mean! :)

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  4. You say things so well. I hate when people controversial opinions, but then get upset when someone disagrees or "smacks em down." They seem to like to then pull the victim card. So silly. My husband is a big fan of the facebook smackdown when someone says something stupid and I must say it is pretty entertaining.

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  5. Love this post! And I understand completely, when I was getting a massage I couldn't turn my mind off. But I don't mind that so much.

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  6. I hate when people post certain topics (controversial or not), and someone leaves a differing opinion or heck, constructive criticism or whatnot (nothing harmful), and they get all mad. I mean, they chose to right about said topic, and people are allowed to comment what they thought about it and what they read.

    I never post on anything controversial, cause I have a feeling that the majority would not agree with me. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm totally rambling, but when I read something I disagree with or makes me upset, I usually don't respond and try to forget about it.

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  7. :) Your choice of pictures goes along perfectly well with this post, hilarious! and I too hate the drama, especially on pinterest, those women straight up go jerry springer status on one another, i have to make myself take a break sometimes from all the stupid, ridiculous, uneeded comments :)

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  8. I'm glad you posted this. I agree completely. I think WE (me and you) have even had our share of disagreements via the internet (okay, maybe not in awhile). But that is the thing about social media. It allows you to say whats on your mind and allows readers to choose to read it or not. The only thing that bothers me about social media as a whole is "online drama queens" who post something JUST to get a reaction from someone. In school, these were the people who would say they were fat JUST to get people to say they are not. I'm constantly rolling my eyes at these people online. And also those that become "Wizard of Oz" users. . .those that will only vent and say outrageous things on the internet, but would NEVER think to say it to your face. These people drive me crazy. But, luckily, I have the option of not falling into convos with these types if I don't want to. Social media has a LOT more perks than downsides. But you are correct, it's def not for the thin-sknned.

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  9. Not gonna lie, I don't have the thickest skin. It's why I generally do not get involved in hot button topics. I don't talk politics and I don't talk religion, because mine are my choice and it's not my place to convince anyone to change theirs.

    I am working on my thicker skin because I've been promoted and eventually P will be in command. People will disagree with both of our decisions and I will have to learn to take the criticism and let it roll off.

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  10. I completely agree, though I do think that sometimes what people say can be taken out of context. A much loved by many mil spouse blogger once flipped out on me for my asking a question that was taken the wrong way. I was new, I was ignorant to her life, and she blasted how terrible I was all over her blog, twitter, and FB. Even after I apologized and said that wasn't what I'd meant. Luckily an IRL mutual friend told me this person is an IRL crazy person so that made me feel better, but dang. Sometimes people take the internet too seriously. I mean, you don't expect for people to just "get you" do you? I certainly don't, so why do so many do that to their readers? It's a frustrating cycle in blogging that I'm not a fan of. :/

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  11. Then I should not be on social media, haha :) I get sad about what people say on other peoples blogs and I'm not even a part of the freakin' conversation. Le sigh.

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  12. Once again, you say good things. :)

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  13. Posts like these are why you are my favorite blogger in the universe! (And if we knew each other IRL I am sure you would be one of my favorite people...ever) :)

    My favorite posts of yours are the ones that can be construed as "controversial." Probably because I almost always agree with you and you say/write it so much better than I would.

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  14. I know I tweeted you about this but I will never understand those people who have a complete meltdown over blogs! lol

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