Hey, remember when my Sunday posts used to just be about my week and stuff? That was fun, huh? I'm thinking of changing the title to 'Sunday Soapbox' cause, well, I'm about to get up on my high horse about something that really really really pisses me off. You'll see. It'll be fun!
But firstly, let's talk about my week! It's been pretty meh- mum came out of the hospital on Monday which was awesome, but it kind of took until about Thursday for me to like completely come out of hospital mode- hospital mode being 'ARGH, I can't do anything because I'll be going to the hospital soon, and omg what are we going to have for dinner and I haven't done the washing and what would mum want me to do BLEAHFEAOUFH' which is basically like a heightened anxiety mode or something? I don't know, but either way it wasn't much fun, but I'm mostly over it now (just need to breathe and relax, baby, breathe and relax). And then Friday was all 'hey, let's go back to the hospital and give mum some chemo! Yeah!' which is clearly not as fun as all those exclamation points suggest. Just one more to go now, so... I really can't wait!
And now to the really important part of the post. On, you know, being mean on the internet. So this week I got my first abusive comment, and honestly, I was angry. I didn't feel guilty, I didn't feel bad about myself, I felt FURIOUS that someone had come to my turf and was talking to me like it. See, what I had the nerve to do was write a post saying that I found myself unable to finish watching Generation Kill, because I don't do well watching things about war. In fact, I get really bored. And, to be honest, this post was a excuse to post a few Alexander Skarsgard gifs, and just, you know, express a few opinions.
No normal person would have a problem with this, and yet, I got the rudest comment practically minutes after I posted it. Let's look at this comment, while I 'critique' exactly what was wrong with it:
Wow, this was the shittiest post ever. (Really? EVER?! Clearly you've never read my early posts! And starting with an insult, nice work.) Generation Kill is not only one of the greatest war dramas on television (Well, that's a nice opinion you have there. I'm sure it is. But what I'm saying is, I COULDN'T WATCH IT BECAUSE WAR THINGS BORE ME) but one of the greatest ever (Well, good for it. I'm sure it's glad that such an upstanding person as you has such an opinion on it). If you can't get over "not liking war things" (interestingly, I can't, because I don't want to spend my time watching things I don't like, you know?) you have no place critiquing anything (Really, anything?! Or do you mean 'you have no business disliking things that I like, bitch'?)Well, I'm pretty pleased with my critique of that little ditty, even if it wasn't my 'place' to do so. For some reason I've decided that my anonymous commenter is male (which is totally unfair, but likes war things? Thinks I should know my place which is no doubt in the kitchen?) but either way, you know, I was greatly displeased.
So, I did what any self-respecting person would do and rallied my troops on twitter, wherein my blogging and real life homies weighed in with hilarious/awesome comments that pretty much made my LIFE, and so really I have to thank Mr/Mrs Anon for leaving such a douchey comment in the first place. To anyone ever experiencing anything similar, I highly recommend this as a course of action, because it'll make you feel better, even if Anonymous dickhead never comes back to see the responses.
Which, of course, anonymous dickheads never do. Nope, they just leave behind their rude and abusive opinions, and never look back. Which is why, of course, it's fine to ignore them, but just as good to present logical arguments as to why their comment is that of an asshole. Much as I love the internet, this is my number one least favourite thing about it, and it was even before it happened to me- for some reason, some people think it's ok to just blow up about nothing, to comment on other people's personal opinions and to make complete jackasses of themselves, all whilst hiding behind anonymity so that they can't be tracked down and made to apologise for being scars on the face of humanity. I literally can't understand why people do it.
Actually, that's a lie. I understand it- these people believe that their opinion, above all others, are superior, and anyone who disagrees with them has to be shouted down. There's no consideration of 'does this person's opinion have any impact on my life?' or 'well, I still like Generation Kill just the same', it's just an immediate, and unnecessary, attack on someone else's thoughts. And it's not just that, but it's the way it's expressed- believe me, I welcome debate and other opinions of course, and disagreeing with me? Totally not a big deal. For fucks sake, Alice and I have long running Murakami and The Catcher in the Rye feuds, but we manage to restrain ourselves from being abusive towards each other and can just express what we like and dislike about each of them without telling each other that the other person's opinion doesn't matter. You know, like the civilised people do.
So, listen up internet. This is what's up. Opinions are fine. Opinions are great. Opinions make the world go round. But there are two things you need to think about, at all times, when you're going to express yours on the internet:
- Tone- Are you about to get disproportionately angry about something someone has said about something you like? Stop. Step away from the computer. Think of a way to express your opinion that doesn't involve invalidating someone else's. Don't be rude. Don't be a dick. Try it, I think it'll make you feel better.
- Relevence- Do you even need to express this opinion? Will anyone be disappointed if you don't, and will it be more harmful if you do? This is something that people REALLY need to think about before they comment on Instagram- I don't know what it is about people's personal pictures that make people feel the need to express ridiculous opinions, but really, there's always one... For example, there's this blogging team of 2 sisters, and on a picture of both of them, someone's comment was 'you're SO much prettier than your sister'. How is that a helpful opinion?! These girls are like best friends, so clearly the 'prettier' one (they're both gorgeous, by the way) isn't exactly going to be swooning at this commenter's feet! USE YOUR HEADS, PEOPLE!
Basically, just be cool and be nice, and pretend that the internet is like real life, where you'd never go up to someone and start yelling 'YOUR DRESS IS DISGUSTING, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!' Politeness is never an inappropriate response, because you know what? There are REAL people on the internet, who don't necessarily want to deal with your toxic way of expressing yourself. So don't be a dick, ok? And bloggers, remember- if this happens to you, don't shy away, or meekly accept someone else's bullshit. Send out a battle cry on twitter, and I'll be the first one there to defend you, and I won't be the only one.
I recognise that the tone of all this is rather negative (as, indeed, it has to be) so just to shake it off I'm going to follow one of my favourite ever pieces of advice:
As I instruct you to look at this new blog that I like that you may also like too or something! (This may or may not be a regular thing. We'll see how many awesome new blogs I find on a regular basis). Anyway, this week's new (to me, I should add that. Also, I should add new-ish... Or maybe I should just direct you to it and shhh) blog that's awesome is Oh Dizzle... I think Mandy and I discovered each other through Armchair BEA, and yeah, I really look forward to her posts (which are about books AND other stuff, which is always a nice change) and I like her writing voice and clearly I'm slightly smitten with her blog! So go over to it and see it for yourself if you so desire! And have a good week! (I'm doing a 3 day readathon thing that I've remembered and forgotten about more times than I'd care to admit. So, I might not be doing it at all, we'll see what I remember tomorrow!)