Warning: what follows is personal, trivial and may not be interesting. But this is my blog-thing and I write what I choose. You want deep intellectual discussion, read Malcolm Gladwell.
Among the things that social media has changed forever (besides the continual invasion of privacy and being exposed to your acquaintances’ favorite brand of waffles) is the separation of church and state. Bad metaphor, désolé.
Your faithful correspondent knows that every word one puts on the Internet is there FOREVER. But in olden times, one could deceive oneself with the idea that one’s emails, etc. were private. That if one was on a chatboard, any disagreements would stay on the chatboard, non?
I shall address my own experience, as a person who is on Twitter, Facebook, Live Journal, and several discussion boards. And most important, my blog-thing. Now, not only can I receive comments on here calling me a “chienne persistante,” it can resonate through any variety of social media “platforms.” It creates, in effect, anti-social media.
Be patient with me about this, mes lecteurs merveilleux, and I will try to make it all make sense. There are discussion boards about one of my main obsessions, which shall remain nameless.
The main discussion board has been in existence for some time. Many of the members have been there since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Many are intelligent, articulate, and well-read. But there is a slight catch: not only do they feel they OWN the topic, they have strong opinions. Opinions that are not to be trifled with. Opinions that are NOT to be disagreed with, unless you want to bring down the wrath of dozens of crazies obsédants. Which this writer seems to have a unique talent for doing.
Now, why bother us with this, you ask? Because many of these same people are on Live Journal, under different IDs. So one risks offending them in an entirely new arena without knowing who they are.
One person who particularly detests your epistler dévoué left some lovely comments on this blog. Later, she maintained she would NEVER have left those comments had she known it was moi.
But it is on Twitter where the whole kerfuffle becomes most distateful.
Let’s see if I can lay this out properly: quite a few people from the discussion boards, Live Journal, whatever, are on Twitter. All of these environments come together in what can become a giant…oh, dear, I simply cannot bring myself to use the correct vulgarity. Let’s say many people having sex at the same time; draw your own conclusions.
It is ludicrously easy to find out other people’s opinions of one, because NOTHING is private on Twitter. It is one thing to be insulted to one’s virtual face; it is quite another to be talked about behind one’s virtual back. Where one can READ it. I will not quote any of the various insults. Because not only are they out of context, they are ridiculously petty. The malefactors know who they are.
Another problem with Twitter “cross-platforming” with all of these other applications is that people can rap you on the virtual knuckles when they feel your tweets are, um, inappropriate. I will NEVER apologize for being inappropriate! Unfollow me, please.
I will not apologize for being “obnoxious,” I will not apologize for “acting like something is wrong” with moi, and I REFUSE to apologize for my opinions to people whose opinions I simply do not respect. I have done that already, and it has been to no avail. (If you knew how rarely I apologize, you would know why this is so irritating. If I’m going to betray myself, the least I can expect back is less hostility.)
If you have something to say to me, please say it in the comments. If you have had a similar experience, please say it in the comments. (Try not to use the phrases “fuck-tard” or “you’re a fat moron.” Those have been a tad overused.)
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog