Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stirring the pot... more on open letters and Facebook debates

A few days ago, I wrote about Medium.com and all the "open letters" that have been showing up there.  I posted one of the letters I wrote about on my Facebook page, mainly because I was kind of impressed by how a 36 year old turned the tables on a smarmy, self-righteous 29 year old who tried to school a hungry 25 year old.  I found yet another open letter last night that pretty much said the same thing as the 36 year old said, only in a marginally less profane way and in a fashion that wasn't over the top bitchy.

Anyway, one of my friends said all three letters "sucked".  He didn't really elaborate on why.  I have actually known this friend since we were teenagers, so I can joke around with him.  It hadn't turned into a discussion, since he basically just commented and split.

The next person who commented, I don't know nearly as well.  In fact, though my first encounter with him was in 2003 on Epinions.com, I have never met him in person and, in fact, have never even seen a picture of his face.  I guess I don't have to know him personally, though, to know that he really enjoys arguing with people and stirring up shit.

Saturday night, Bill and I were coming home from a party.  The party had gone well and I was in a really good mood.  I go to check Facebook and there's this comment from my Epinions "friend" on the open letter post I'd shared hours ago.  In it, my friend claims that the women who responded with open letters to Talia Jane's Medium.com post were just "stirring the pot" and trying to prove how "smart" and "worldly" they are.  He says it "smells to high hell" and is a real waste of time.

I will admit that I probably didn't read the comment the way he probably would have said it to me face to face.  I happened to read the comment in the evening, after I'd been drinking at a party, and I have had many previous encounters with this person when he's gone into dick mode.  Moreover, I just wasn't in the mood for a discussion or an argument.  It was a Saturday night; I was in a good mood; and his comment about "stirring the pot" seemed especially rich to me, since that was basically what he himself was doing on my page.

So I said, "Um... it's my Facebook page, so I decide what is or is not worthy of an argument."

Well, that comment apparently pissed off my argumentative pot stirring friend, so he fired back with...

"so I decide what is and what is not worthy of an argument. "


I was NOT suggesting it could NOT or should NOT be 'argued' here.

I WAS suggesting the topic is so complex it could easily be discussed in-depth elsewhere. I still "doubt it will be 'solved' in this comment thread. "

Sheessh ...back to the 'reading comprehension' problem noted in the linked article above.

Then, he fired again with this...

" so I decide what is and what is not worthy of an argument. "

And no, you really do not.

People who comment decide what to argue about. Unless one is into unfriending and blocking people to control conversations/arguments.

Actually, yes, on my Facebook page and my blogs, I can and DO decide what is worthy of an argument.  I have many options open to me, too.  I can choose to ignore the comment.  I can respond with a terse "whatever" (which is what I ultimately did).  I can fire back with something deadly or stir the pot myself.  Or I can delete comments, unfriend or block, as my Epinions buddy suggested.  I figure on my page, I am the Queen Bee.  If I think something is stupid and don't want to argue about it on Facebook, yes, I certainly can put a stop to it.  Facebook is not a democracy.

This same guy posted another snarky comment on a post I shared from this blog about how he hates the green text on a dark background.  He quoted me, saying it "sucks donkey balls".  My response to him was "tough shit".  I read that comment after I read his lecture on how I have no power to moderate my Facebook page, so I wasn't especially inclined to be friendly.    

So he says, Wow . . .you seem to be in a 'rough' mood right now.

Usually silly banter does not evoke such reactions. Or perhaps I am simply missing your (unused) smilie."

My matter of fact response was that no, I was not in a "mood".  In fact, I had just come home from a party.  My mood was perfectly fine until I checked Facebook... which tells me that maybe I should log off for awhile.  Here I was coming home from a party that was fun.  I was around people who weren't automatically turned off by me simply being myself.  There was good food and great company and I felt like I'd actually made some real friends offline.  And I go check Facebook and here's this guy I've never even met in person trying to engage me in a debate.  He's accusing open letter writers of "stirring the pot" while he's doing the same thing on my formerly peaceful Facebook page.  ¡Que lástima!  At least the open letters on Medium were reasonably well-written and conceived.  

In all seriousness, last night I was reading Facebook when I should have been reading a book.  My heart was heavy from all the bitterness, negativity, and snark that was there for me to digest.  I had to unfollow one of Bill's friends because he keeps posting nasty memes about liberals and how stupid he thinks they are.  He posted a picture of the Obamas supposedly saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Michelle Obama didn't have her hand over her heart.  His comment to that?  "U bitch!"  (it really annoys me when people use letters, symbols, and numbers instead of spelling out words, too)

While I can take the odd nasty meme, I don't want to see repeated hostile messages.  Lately, most of the hostility is about politics.  I have had to unfollow a few relatives for the same type of behavior.  I'm sure people have unfollowed or unfriended me because they don't like my raunchy sense of humor, my use of profanity, or penchant for bashing Mormonism.  I think this year's presidential race is going to be really brutal.  One of my friends got blocked because she disagreed with someone over Hillary Clinton.  The funny thing is, both of these folks have similar political leanings.  It's only March, so this shit is going to be going on for many more months.

I mostly try to stay as open-minded as possible, since I know people have their reasons for their opinions and sometimes I even understand their reasons.  I don't like trying to silence people on their own Facebook pages.  I just wish others wouldn't try to hijack my page.  I also really wish Facebook weren't such a big part of my life.  This is what being an overeducated housewife boils down to when you don't have kids, offline friends, or hobbies, and you're not obsessive about housework.  ;-)  Pathetic, isn't it?

Well, in two weeks, I will be in Scotland.  So there is that, at least!  



  1. I'm glad I don't have the drama of Facebook in my life. One would think other Facebook posters would respect the right of any Facebook page holder to control the content of his or her page. I guess I'm wrong regarding any consensus related to that issue.

    I can't wait to hear about Scotland.

    1. I don't mind it when people have a difference in opinion. I just don't like it when they're shitty about it on my page. I may not be friends with this guy for long.

  2. I have to say, I have unfriended the same epinions person for the same reason. Seems to feel the need to try to dictate what others should feel free to post on his/her page. I don't need everyone agreeing with me, but there's more to a discussion that continually making snarky, self-righteous comments.

    1. Yeah. That shit doesn't fly with me. I knew I wasn't alone.


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