Look mama, it’s the devil….
To start out, I apologize for the huge gap in posts. Life has been crazy the past few weeks. But now that things have simmered down a touch, I’d like to rant about the almighty friendship killer. Of course, I’m talking about facebook.
To be fair, this gripe can happen over any text-only medium, such as email. In fact, I lost 2 very close friends over an argument via email.
The problem here is this. When a discussion or argument or whatever happens via a text-based medium, it can go very horribly very fast. I’m sure many of you have seen this before. You start talking about your allergies acting up, and it ends as you tearfully say goodbye forever to an old friend after they tell you they wish they could go back in time and push your pregnant mother down the stair while you were just a fetus. Here are a few culprits.
1. Sarcasm: Sarcasm almost NEVER comes off the way you intend it when you’re in an argument. People tend to take shit literally, and think you actually want them to suck an entire bag of dicks. Try not to use it.
2. Analogy: This is another dangerous area. While not something you should avoid altogether, comparing someone’s love life to hippo mating season is definitely an analogy that will not go over well, no matter how accurate it may be, or how appropriate it may feel.
3. Knee-jerk replies: You know the setup, someone says something a little snarky at the wrong moment when you just stubbed your toe and stepped in a puddle of urine while shitting your pants. OR, they post something that just completely enrages you, and you respond while the fury is hot and fresh. You, in a fit of furious rage, proceed to respond and eviscerate them verbally out of sheer outrage. This ends up causing a shitstorm of epic proportions.
4. Trolls: No, I’m not referring to larping or D&D. I’m talking about people who see sensitive or power keg subjects, and intentionally say something to incite rage in all who read the post. An example would be posting something about how horrible rape is, and the troll adding that women deserve it because they have breasts and a vagina. These people are to be identified and avoided at all costs. They only pave the way for friendlessness and mayhem.
5. Internet Bullies: These people aggravate the absolute shit out of me. These are the people who argue timidly in person, but through text they are absolute assholes. Obnoxious, condescending, elitist, arrogant, the list goes on and on. They’ll tell you they’d have no problem anally raping your mother while pouring sugar in your gas tank, yet in person they are all reserved and quiet. To people like this, the internet acts as a safety buffer, protecting them from the in-person social interaction. While people like this tend to be socially retarded, they feel that text mediums remove the problem of being socially awkward, and let them just think things through and say what’s on their mind. Problem is, they tend to be angry hateful little fuckers, who don’t leave the house unless they’re out of Mountain Dew or Funions. They end up being the nastiest people on the internet, mostly because they can and will get away with it unscathed.
6. The Shakespeare Effect: Don’t bother looking this term up, I invented it about 8 seconds ago. What I call the Shakespeare effect is when someone reads too much into a statement or post and ends up deriving a meaning from it that has nothing at all to do with what was written. I took a class in Shakespeare once, and asked my teacher if it’s possible that we’re just reading waaaay too far into this stuff, and maybe his intentions were much less complex…..needless to say, it didn’t go well. But my point is this. People can read the same statement and derive different meanings or intentions from it, depending on how they feel about the subject matter, and their mood at the time of reading it. It’s incredibly dangerous, yet easy to fix. Just ask “by saying you look great, did you mean I looked awful before when I was a little heavier and you’ve been lying to me all this time, allowing me to walking around in public thinking I look good but really looking like 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag?” See, easy.
So to sum up, be wary when posting some sarcastic analogy about a sensitive subject, since it’ll allow people to read way too far into it and reply with furious knee-jerk reactions, which then signals the trolls and bullies who smell the blood in the packets…..