I’m on orders for the next (more or less) year. My ability to pay attention to and track what’s going on in social media is affected accordingly. Unless someone specifically tells me what’s going on, I may not be aware. And even if I am aware, I may not have the time or energy for a proper response. So I hope people can forgive me if I am a day late and a dollar short.
Today, I am told Myke Cole is on about me. Since Myke doesn’t really know me from Adam, I have to shrug and take whatever he said with a grain of salt. But then, most people who’ve been on about me lately — because of Sad Puppies 3 — don’t know me, either. I may take it personally if a friend, a family member, or a respected senior I admire, has hard words for me. But total strangers spewing hard words?
Well, total strangers may have an opportunity to reconsider at a later point. Especially if they meet me face-to-face.
Perhaps not coincidentally, I saw today that Joss Whedon deleted his twitter account because he was being piled-upon for something. And this comes on the heels of Arthur Chu text-harassing an eating establishment over the weekend. Followed by a bomb threat (unfounded) to said eating establishment. It remains to be seen if Chu himself tweeted the threat, but I think much of this can be chalked up to keyboard rage. That, and the fact that social media lets us all run around inside each others’ heads all day long. We keep being shocked and horrified by what we find there, apparently.
Who knew that half the world is made of monsters?
Only, it isn’t.
I try not to let keyboard rage take over my perception. I’ve been on-line (more or less) since 1991, and in that time I’ve seen just about the worst that social media has to offer. Right now we seem to be rapidly plunging into a period of extreme judgmentalism and self-righteousness, and it’s fueling some pretty toxic social media mob sessions. I’m at the point with it all, now, where I am just skimming over anything that seems rage-hatey — or otherwise filled with keyboard paroxysms. It’s similar to road rage, but with words.
When I think someone else on the highway is displaying road-ragey tendencies, I let up off the gas, drop back, and keep a healthy distance. Their issues need not become my issues.
And in the end, (s)he’s probably cool face-to-face. Road rage can be like that. Being behind the wheel flips some psychological switches that we (as a society enmeshed in each others’ lives like never before) don’t know how to handle yet.
Hopefully we learn.
Until then, things are bumpy.