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off-topic (evaporative post)

January 12th, 2013 at 09:22 am

Man, sometimes I think I suck for not garnering lots of comments (Jeopardy! budget-buster post excepted), but recently I have been reminded to be careful of what I wish for.

I used to be on Facebook, but it turned out that my relatives, whom I thought were great when I was a kid, were not great, and they figured I was not great either.

I did not pick fights, nor insult anyone. I played games, sent birthday greetings. Then I erred in posting about an exchange I had with some cultists who went door to door with a questionnaire. I said that a multiple choice questionnaire was a poor way to gather the religious and spiritual beliefs of a planetary population of 7 billion unique individuals, ending with "Needless to say, I am not a convert." and "this is not an invitation to religion discussion" and lo! the born-again cousin thought it was an invitation to religion discussion! And my atheist friends mocked her post, and my brother commented bitingly to my cousin, and then her brother got involved... that thread went gang aft agley. My born-again cousin defriended me. I did not post any comments, because I erroneously assumed my audience was composed of mature people. Losing someone who did not meet my audience expectation of reading comprehension and maturity was for the best.

I did not participate in this next episode, but it horrified me, sensitive soul that I am. I have this cousin who works at a mental hospital for the criminally wacko, she regularly saw and befriended some city police, who were shot dead at a coffee shop by, wait for it, a criminal wacko. She posted her grief on Facebook along with asking why a then-governor of another state granted the loon clemency for an earlier crime, and my uncle's wife and her relatives swarmed on her post like angry hornets. Neither my uncle's wife nor her relatives ever lived in the state where the governor granted the wacko clemency, but did that stop them from posting venomous comments in response to my cousin's grief? Of course not. I felt sick that people would behave that way. I left Facebook. I felt I could not post anything without people jumping down my throat, inventing offence where none was, and having to be that guarded and second-guessing what would tip someone into the lunatic zone got to be too mentally taxing for me.

I have to say that when I

Text is posted my grief and Link is http://pauletteg.savingadvice.com/2012/06/01/whats-bleak-this-week_95267/
posted my grief here at losing some friends in a different coffee shop massacre, the comments were consoling, NOT abusive, and I love you for that.

It's a weird facet of social media that people who know someone intimately enough or long enough could connect with a poster via e-mail or post or phone, engage with "what did you really mean by..." but instead flock to the Web where electrons are forever and heap abuse so onlookers could see what kind of people they are. "Hey I need to have the last word, post more than three times on a thread, attack other commenters." Me, I have learned not to post anything that I would not want read back to me in a court of justice.

8 Responses to “off-topic (evaporative post)”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Love this post!

  2. twest Says:

    Agreed! Great post!

  3. mjrube94 Says:

    I love it too., insightful as always.

  4. laura Says:

    Two thumbs up!

  5. aevans1206 Says:

    Oh, the facebook trap. I lost a friend over a facebook comment. I found her original post to be poor in taste and commented what I thought was something rather benign but consequently ended the friendship. I also had many "ignore" my posts during the Chicago Teachers Union strike this fall. I can't fathom how friends could not support me in my profession. So odd. But as my mother says, refrain from discussing money, religion and politics with others. VERY personal subjects. That is why I enjoy discussing money here.

    I love your posts Paulette. I specifically look for yours Wink They give me hope.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    It is disheartening to see what some people think is okay to post on FB, especially people who are close friends or family members. I sometimes wonder if they are really stopping to think first before posting. I've seen this both in original comments/statuses, and in the responses to it. During the election time I had some people posting some real vitriol on both sides of the fence. I chose to ignore it. I also have one FB friend who is a dear man/friend, but has a lot of anger, which unfortunately shows in too many of his status updates. When I see those types of updates from him, it just makes me sad that he's let himself become that kind of person.

    I luckily have not had one of my comments go awry (knock on wood) but as careful as I am when making any FB postings/comments, there will inevitably one day be someone who'll take offense. If so, then that is their problem.

    I am sorry that this happened to the two people you mentioned.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    These are the reasons I almost never talk about religion and seldom talk about politics (although I paint them all with the same brush when I do) or current events on my blog. It's not worth the sort of vitriol that spews out of people.

  8. baselle Says:

    Here here. It might be too much to ask the fates, but could 2013 be when Facebook turns into MySpace? Ducking the rotten tomatoes now...

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