Tag Archives: vigilante

Treading Carefully: Social media is more mine than field lately

This bellows, like the internet, is filled with a lot of hot air. Rancid, putrid, toxic hot air.

I wouldn’t put my lips on that mouth either

Like political party affiliations, social media isn’t all evil.

However, what evil does exist is hardcore and overwhelming. The amount of good I’ve encountered online has been dwarfed by the deluge of anger, hatred, sanctimony, vigilantism, arrogance, and presumption, to name but a few.

Along with irony. Such as the irony that some will interpret my above view about people on social media as itself being angry, sanctimonious, arrogant, and presumptive. And probably bigoted too.

Most of these people will also be the source of my problem with social media. Eff ’em.

You can no longer have an opinion online unless it’s the ‘right’ opinion. And one person’s ‘right’ opinion is sure as shootin’ another person’s ‘wrong’ opinion.

Where once disagreement was tolerated and maybe even vigorously (but respectfully) debated, now the vast majority of disagreements are treated as proof you’re evil by many who disagree (the “How dare you!” crowd).

Say the ‘wrong’ thing and you can lose friends. If a large enough audience sees it (or is made aware of it via screen cap), you’re barraged with distributed messages of hate. You can end up run off social media (with many smugly saying, “Good riddance”) or, in what are becoming less and less extreme cases, threatened with rape or murder and being doxxed or even swatted.

When did people’s closely held, ‘undeniably true’ beliefs become so fragile they couldn’t withstand frank discussion?

When did a difference of opinion become a hate crime? When did the words “I disagree and here’s why” become hate speech?

When did civility become verböten?

When did “You’re wrong!” literally become equated with “You deserve to die!”?

No matter what I say, I know that speaking my mind will upset someone.

So for a long time now I’ve been keeping my head down and my mouth shut about certain topics because I have no idea who might be offended or how they’ll react.

But lurking on social media doesn’t protect you from seeing what’s happening to others.

People piled onto. Bullied. Threatened. Even driven to suicide.

Angry mobs jumping onto the latest outrage bandwagon without knowing all the facts because the perceived transgression is so antithetical to their belief system that even checking the facts is considered giving too much ground to that damned dirty other side.

It is shockingly easy to think this is OK at first, when your beliefs and the mob’s are aligned.

Until the mob moves into territory you think is hallowed ground, or at least neutral territory.

Then you begin to perceive the danger to yourself. Or possibly experience it directly.

It’s exhausting and disturbing to witness, even when I don’t support the attacked belief or statement.

So I’m stepping back from social media. Have already, in fact. I’ve gone cold turkey for a week now, and so far, my hands are steady and I don’t miss it.

The lunatics are running the asylum. They can have it.


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I Don’t Want To Embrace My Inner Child – He’s A Total Prat (And Not In The Good, Sociopath Way)

What's that, you say? Tea pots and inner child? Oh. Never mind.

I'm outraged! And I feel old! And I'm outraged I feel old!

Lately I’ve been feeling old.

It might be the grey hair. Or the onset of constant low-level joint pain. Or the fact that a pack of teenage girls recently rolled their eyes and laughed at me, saying, “Not a chance, grampa!”

For the record, I was not hitting on them. One was wearing an improbably short, impressively garish orange and purple plaid mini skirt, more lacy trim than skirt, to be strictly honest, and along with the mohawk and Wellingtons, how could I not stare?

But feeling old reminded me of that old saying about getting in touch with your inner child.

Lately I’ve also been feeling really angry.

It might be the yahoos on the freeway, cutting me off. Or the power walkers on residential sidewalks who won’t get out of my way (share the road, bitches!). Or that old lady ahead of me in the line at the bank, depositing a thousand dollars into her account, one penny at a time.

It makes me feel like a tea-pot that’s about to explode.

Seeing as how these two facts combine to make me an old, poorly engineered tea-pot that’s bubbling with rage, I started thinking about forms of release.

Instead of getting in touch with my inner child, I pondered getting in touch with my inner sociopath.

(It’s possible that The Dark Knight was on TV when I came up with this combination. It’s an awesome movie, and has probably inspired countless other brilliant ideas.)

What’s not to like about this idea? Let’s review:

Sociopaths know no fear.

Sociopaths don’t care about anyone or anything.

Sounds perfect! I don’t want to fear the consequences of my actions, and I certainly don’t want undue concern for my fellow humans to prevent me from running some a-holes off the road (or shoving them into a bank vault that’s on a timed lock right before it closes on a Friday afternoon). Let’s do it!

Come on? Who among you hasn’t wistfully thought about going on a rampage down the streets of a major city, controlling a crime syndicate while battling masked vigilantes?

Oh, but wait. I suppose getting in touch with your inner sociopath is like losing your virginity. Afterwards, everything changes, and you can’t go back, so you want to make sure you wait for the right moment, the right person, before you surrender to that dark, ever-hungry urge.

Because there’s no returning from this journey. Like sex, once you’ve tried sociopathy, you can’t stop. You just want more, more, more, and then you stumble across a saucy little number in a garish mini skirt and she calls you “grampa.”

But I digress.

So I’m not really sure what to do. I’ve tried researching embracing your inner sociopath, but not surprisingly, there are far fewer pithy articles in the mainstream media about doing it than there are about embracing your inner rug rat.

So for now, I bide my time, taking comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in the struggle with this question, that we all are wondering when we should cut loose and let our wild and crazy out.

Oh, it’s just me, you say?

Never mind.

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Posted by on 24 April 2012 in Life


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