amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, January 03, 2016

An Apology

Thanks to the combination of my near-death experience and the ups and downs of my hormones from perimenoupause, I have become a hothead. I can react quickly and harshly concerning issues that are dear to my heart.

Recently on FaceBook, I wrote a belittling post in response to a Tumblr post that was being shared around by several friends. I called out those for sharing the piece for considering it worthy of a post and publicly shamed them, referring to their actions as stupid and daft (the latter thanks to my Yorkshire heritage). This is not acceptable.

About six months ago I wrote a Tumblr post about the importance of good Internet citizenship. My behaviour on Facebook has gone against the guidelines I set for myself, which appalls me.

In the past year, I have found that my interactions on FB have become increasingly heated. I become frustrated, particularly when it comes to articles and posts that seem to advocate censorship and the restriction of artistic freedom, including advocacy in favour of guarding language and suppression of expression. When I see articles shared on FB multiple times, it gives me the impression of what I like to term “bandwagonism,” the acceptance of something by a lot of people, often out of a need to have the approval of one’s peers. Such bandwagonism leads me to feel isolated and alienated.

It is in everyone’s best interests, including my own, that I limit my FB activity to the administration of fan pages. For some reason, I am quick to write a scathing post on FaceBook. Don’t get me wrong, I still consider many of the points I’ve made there to be important and relevant, but not the way I make them, which can be to insult others for their opinions, and wanting to shut down discourse that disagrees with my own opinions.

I am a flawed individual in many ways. I am sure I’ve alienated numerous people. I don’t want nor do I expect to be a popular person, nor will I ever temper my beliefs for the sake of approval of others, but I want to express myself in ways that are not hurtful.
In this case, a few people were good enough to call me on my actions. I appreciate that. I’ve written apologies to the parties that were offended by my insults.

I’m not an easy ride alas. It often takes me a few days or more to see reason. But when I eventually do, I usually apologize. 2016 has started in a blaze of scandal. Let’s hope the cold weather cools me down. If not, feel free to kick my ass.


Eccentric Scholar said...

Your Facebook put-down rang true to me and didn't come across as hotheaded. Just as a blueprint reveals the underlying structure of a building and the intention of the architect, the history of Facebook reveals that it was rotten from the beginning. In his book Accidental Billionaires, Ben Mezrich lays bare that Facebook originated as an ignoble tool for Harvard students to vote on the "hotness" of their female classmates. That base mentality of ranking and objectification is inseparable from the website today. It's like walking into a peep-show facility intending to make some genuine friendships -- the building itself is designed with holes in the wall, and if you step under a spotlight then others will be viewing you in a certain way regardless of your own motivations. It's difficult to circumvent an existing structure when its very design is intended to promote very specific sorts of interactions. One day I realized that every time I opened Facebook I felt worse than I did previously. One of my friends assures me that he has countless meaningful interactions on Facebook, and I have no reason to question his experience, but I must admit to having failed miserably to generate my own meaningful interactions on Facebook. Heck, looking for meaning in the mundane is all I ever do -- it seriously is my job description boiled down to a sentence. But Facebook left me utterly stumped, and I finally quit it cold turkey and haven't looked back.

Amanda Earl said...

thanks for your kind and informative comment, ES.