An acquaintance of mine posted something on her profile the other day – a personal revelation she had about something. She wrote it to share her “ah-ha” moment. I read it and could tell from her words what she meant, but I could also tell she was still processing it. The word choice and phrasing wasn’t the clearest which made it easy to misunderstand.
Some people had commented this and that as they tried to understand her words. She clarified things as questions arose. But people kept flooding her page, projecting their issues onto her revelation. She finally, in frustration asked, “how do I respond to get them to understand?”
I’ve been blogging for too long, I guess. I have learned a long time ago that everyone gets their space, even on social media – and you get to control what is happening on your page. If you are writing a politically charged explanation about something, then yes, you expect back and forth and commentary. But if you are writing about your own experiences – your own personal growth on something, you don’t owe explanations to those who come onto your space to tell you that you are wrong.
So, I told her that. I told her that if people are trying to hijack her experience in order to further their own personal agendas, then start deleting the comments. “You are not going to force them to have the ah-ha moment, and given their attitudes, you aren’t going to say anything that will make them think. So just get rid of the shit detracting from your message. It’s your space – your house – eject the dumbasses who are coming in and telling you that you are living your life wrong. You don’t owe them anything – especially your energy.”
She responded that taking that action is definitely under strong consideration. Our back and forth was good – I reminded her that she owes no one a platform in her space. She thanked me. I left it at that.
Today, she posted a “snarky” response but as a new post – not on the original one. It was snarky and true, but lacked any sort of true message that would get anyone who was pulling the shit on the other post to go “oh, I guess I shouldn’t have done that.” I did appreciate it & posted a comment of support.
“Yeah, much better of a response than deleting comments – lol”
*scratches my head* Uhm, ok. If you think so. All of what she told me she wanted to accomplish with a response was out the window with this new post. And meanwhile, she is still taking shit on the other post. I guess if it makes her feel better.
I was about to shrug – when I read the next one…..a comment by someone else who went off on people who delete comments as them just trying to hide but what it is really doing is proving you are butt-hurt at what people are saying.
Nothing like trying to offer some support only to have it backfire – and without context too. And thanks too for taking a private conversation public in such a half-assed manner.
I almost responded but decided not to do it. It was clear she missed the point. It was also clear that she and the other person miss the bigger issue. Here, let me explain it using a cartoon:
As I’ve said on other social media platforms, I believe you get to control what you get exposed to and this includes who you follow, who comments what on your stuff, who gets to see things you post, and what gets said. That’s not limiting someone’s freedom of speech – that’s just saying “I won’t host you saying that shit – go elsewhere”. And that’s ok.
I generally find women have a greater issues with this approach as they are “trying to be nice” or doing whatever they can to ensure nothing is escalated. I get those barriers to doing it. I also encourage you to take control of your space – even online – and be ok with unfriending, unfollowing, and deleting.
Ironically, while all this was going on, Wil Wheaton’s wife posted this on Twitter:
I think this is a reminder many need right now.
PS: I think I’ve written a post like this before. Just feel like it needs to be said again.
4 Comments Add yours
This resonates a lot. Many times I’ve gotten angry emails because I removed a comment or didn’t approve it; the person was so angry and tried to make ME look like the asshole for doing the deleting. It happened on Reddit (when I was a mod *shudder*) and it’s happened on my blog. I kinda feel that as a woman it’s been pounded into me to “nod and smile” and let people shit all over you.
Truth! I’ve been lucky overall, but there have been some comments I have deleted or not approved because someone came onto my site to shit on me. I truly struggled with it once- then thought “they don’t pay my hosting costs – fuck ’em.”
Your post reminds me of this post, which I keep bookmarked as an occasional reminder – http://elanmorgan.com/blog/2011/8/11/if-your-internet-is-full-of-assholes-its-your-own-fault-upda.html?rq=internet%20assholes
I love that post!! Reminds me of what I told some just today. I call it the “feed the bears” problem. If you keep feeding the bears, they will keep coming back. You stop feeding them – and they will go away. And if you don’t want them back, clean-up the trash. I’m baffled as to why it is so hard for adults to understand that by drawing attention people, you are encouraging their behavior – and actually enabling them to continue down that shitty path. They will do all of those things, then wonder why people keep being assholes. Hmm…it’s a mystery!