I have been either unbelievably exhausted from work (retail +Holidays =Mayhem), or wallowing in a complete lack of motivation/personal issues). So, in an effort to get in the habit of adding more blog posts a week I bring you a post about something that’s been bothering me for awhile now.
People on the Internet
We all know or learn very quickly not to read the comment section on a video or post that you like as you’ll soon be introduced to a plethora of viciousness and profanity and sheer degradation that would leave you queasy and ready to quick to abandon the cyber highway forever. We all know that there are a lot of people out there with a lot of different opinions and psyches , some of them quite terrible. We know about them, we might even live with them but this post isn’t about the level of craziness we are subjected to on the internet, its about how we, I specifically, react to them . So it’s a bit more about me than anything.
I had to learn to let it go, to not take it personally. I think I’ve managed it alright because just like no one knows you’re a dog on the internet, no one also know whether you’re sincere or speaking in jest. The internet is basically a place for a small group of friends and an even larger group of strangers to be in constant contact with each other. They talk , they mingle, they get into loud arguments and throw holiday eggnog at each other.
The internet is basically a virtual office party.
An unsupervised and never ending office party. Where Creepy Greg from accounting who likes to stand too close or hovers by the ladies room can have an opinion and find fellow people who thinks Greg is the greatest person ever. While Sweet Susan from marketing who always brings in sweets for everyone can be screamed at, called vile names and even threatened with bodily injury.
The thing about the internet is that you’ll never know if you’re talking to Creepy Greg or Sweet Sue or if the person you’re talking to will start out as Sweet Sue and turn into Creepy Greg. Or maybe Sweet Sue has been a liar all along and keeps Michelle from Marketing, who quit mysteriously weeks ago, taped upside down in her cellar and maybe you shouldn’t eat the sweets she’s been bringing in.
The point is you get to meet lots of people.
Those people will have opinions that maybe you don’t agree with or maybe you do.
You might get to talk to your hero author online and he or she will be as amazing and engaging as their books.
Or maybe someone will keep spamming you with notifications for the number one Male Enhancement drug on the market. Or pressuring you to buy their book that you don’t want to read.
As a person suffering from social anxiety the thought of contacting someone online is almost as nerve wracking as walking up to someone to say hi. Maybe the outcome will be great or maybe you will be left with a huge knot in your stomach with cheeks burning in humiliation.
The thing about the internet is that most people can’t see your face if you don’t want them to and the facial and vocal cues that you get as to a person’s character or personality or whether they’re joking or not is not there for you to pick up on.
Everyone operates at a disadvantage on the internet. If I send a message on twitter to someone asking a question or sending a joke, they have no way of knowing if I’m legitimately a good person & looking to converse with them nicely or if I am in fact setting them up for a malicious prank. They don’t know you’re a dog or a Troll or a Saint when you’re on the internet. In good prudence, most people will view you and your motives with suspicion if you didn’t have a prior relationship to them.
Let it go, they didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.
In the, let’s say, 5 months I’ve been actively tweeting on Twitter I’ve had to tell myself that twelve times. I didn’t actually believe it until today. But I’m feeling optimistic and I quite honestly believe that the person who spurred this blog post didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, in fact they probably haven’t even thought about it after the initial contact. So where would that leave me besides with hurt feelings and any option of contact would only make the situation worse.
So I tell myself, and anyone who needs to hear it with me, No one knows that you’re a Dog on the internet.
No one knows you’re not a Troll
Or a Saint.
Or just some kid innocently asking a question that could be interpreted the wrong way.
So let it go.
LET IT GOOOOOOOooooooo. Cold never bothered me anyway….
Sorry. I have siblings and Frozen is free on Demand. My life exists in children’s musicals on repeat. Help!
I say this because it does no good crying over what someone said on the internet that hurt your feeling but that they aren’t losing any sleep over. They might not even have known that they hurt you.
This also goes to rage on the internet. I personally don’t think its helpful to rage at people on the internet or to get into virtual fisticuffs. If you’re on twitter, just mute or block them. Facebook , set your profile to private. Tumblr, Ello, Instagram etc? I don’t know, don’t have them but just do they’re versions of mute/block. I’ve had people yell at me already on the internet and it’s just not worth the headache of engaging. No one ever looks good in a fight.
I will remain somewhat active on Twitter, but I endeavor to remember that it is a public space, a public street. What’s said there isn’t meant to or worth my getting into a tizzy over.
This blog however is my apartment, my castle, my home. And I will protect it and the people who visit it from the negativity of the internet. My mystical pet dragon will not be afraid to drop jaw and burn the negative out of the comments. I’m all for differing opinions but not threats or viciousness.
So Play Nice and Remember
“Never Tickle A Sleeping Dragon”
I’ll be posting again sometime during the week. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to gush about a new book or write another thinkpost. Possibly both.
Bye then for now!