communication, condescending twatbags, dogs, rants, social media, stupid people

Welcome to my block list, fool!

Be warned, y’all. I’m in the mood to rant. There will probably be some profanity, and yes, I’ll be spelling out all the words. I don’t like the practice of using asterisks in swear words. Fuck that noise. Proceed with caution.

Some time ago, I got tired of George Takei’s Facebook posts. I decided to unfollow him, because too often, I’d find myself having hostile interactions with his followers. A lot of Takei’s followers are of the left-wing variety. I’ve got no issues with that, until they try to ram their opinions down my throat. If a stranger responds to my comment with anger, I don’t usually bother to read what they say. Sometimes, I’ll even use my block button.

Now… I’m not referring to someone I’ve directly addressed and pissed off in some way. What I mean is, if I’ve written a stand alone comment and a total stranger immediately responds to me with vitriol or mocking, I consider that offensive. Chances are good I won’t bother to read what they’ve written. Same thing goes for people who respond to me with condescension or derision. It’s poor communication, and I don’t have time for it. Gotta think about my blood pressure. Would rather clean the lint out of my belly button than read that.

Here’s my reasoning for this. I don’t wake up in the morning and deliberately decide to write something that is going to piss someone off. I’m a decent human being and I deserve basic respect. If I leave a comment, most of the time, I’m being serious. I’ve usually given thought to what I’ve posted. So, if your response is to “laugh” at me, or try to tell me off, I’m going to turn off your ability to interact with me. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit. Go troll someone else.

I need this t-shirt.

Somehow, even though I had unfollowed George Takei some time ago, I ended up being resubscribed to his posts (which I suspect aren’t his posts anymore). Like a lot of other formerly good pages, lately George Takei’s Facebook posts now mostly consist of “Am I the Asshole” stories from Reddit. Some AITA posts are entertaining. Some are infuriating.

A couple of days ago, there was a post about a guy whose sister took his kids out and bought them a puppy without his permission. The guy didn’t want a dog and the sister knew it, but she bought the puppy anyway. The kids were delighted, of course, but their father was furious. He demanded that his sister take the dog back, but she refused. She claimed that her landlord wouldn’t let her have another dog. So the guy immediately took the innocent dog to the pound!

I just went looking for the post on my personal Facebook feed, but I couldn’t find it. My original comment for my “friends” is that taking a dog to the pound immediately makes the guy an asshole. But I also think his sister is an asshole for bringing the dog home and refusing to find it an appropriate home. So, in my opinion, they’re both assholes. Maybe it’s a genetic thing. Who knows?

On Takei’s post, I simply posted “Give the dog to a rescue!”

Now… I do understand that giving a dog to a rescue is not always that simple. Sometimes it takes time to arrange that. However, I was reacting to the AITA poster’s very profane and mean comments about the dog, a defenseless creature who was not at fault in that situation. The guy was saying things like “I don’t want a fucking dog.” and “No way are we keeping the fucking dog.” And, then, he didn’t care at all about potentially sentencing that poor creature to death by dumping it at the pound, hence my response that he (or his sister) should find a rescue. It was mainly a comment of disgust, more than anything else. I know the guy isn’t going to read my comment, and it’s too late, now, anyway. Most people are bright enough to understand that, right?

I wonder about the decency of people who dump dogs at the pound in places where they might be euthanized simply because they’re taking up space. In fact, I wondered, given that man’s insane and profane comments about the dog, if he was even a decent parent. He seemed abusive and cruel to me. But I do know that not everyone likes dogs. He was rightfully pissed that his sister had tried to dump a dog on him, so maybe cussing about it wasn’t totally wrong. It WAS wrong to just dump the dog at the pound, though… in my humblest of opinions, of course.

Anyway, a couple of days passed, and last night, I got this comment from some woman who, not knowing a single thing about me, decided I needed a good schoolin’. She left me this condescending lecture response about why contacting a rescue is the wrong thing to do. I didn’t bother to read beyond the first sentence or two, because she was insulting my intelligence, and that was offensive. I was in no mood for that shit, so I gave her the orange emoji and wrote “I know. I’ve rescued six dogs myself. Spare me the lectures.”

Her response to that was to employ the laugh reaction emoji. So I immediately blocked her. I figure, I don’t need to have anything to do with an asshole like that. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit!

Maybe that seems like an extreme response to something insignificant. I know it’s an indication that I need to quit bothering to respond to most things, because there’s always a chance some idiot out there in Internetland is going to feel the need to engage me in a disrespectful way. Moreover, the vast majority of people you run into on Facebook are people you won’t ever again be having any other interaction with at all in life.

On a different day, I might have been more in the mood to politely engage with the woman. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling up to it, and I didn’t appreciate her ignorant comment to me. If she knew me offline, she’d know that I’m really into my dogs. But she doesn’t know me, and yet she felt emboldened to try to school me. It’s a waste of time, and I definitely ain’t got the time for that.

I don’t know this woman from Adam. She might be the most wonderful person, ever. But I truly didn’t feel like having an interaction with her, because I honestly didn’t think my comment needed her “correction”, and her approach was patronizing and obnoxious. When I responded to her, I was clearly annoyed. Any idiot could see that, based on the orange reaction. Most normal people, when they’re offline, don’t feel the need to keep “poking the bear” when it’s clear the person they’re talking to is irritated. Especially when it’s a total stranger.

ASSHOLE!!

I mean, what the fuck is wrong with that person? I don’t owe anyone a polite conversation, particularly when I wasn’t responding to them in the first place. When I do address people, I try to be civilized, at least at first. Anyway, because the fellow Takei follower mocked me, she took her place with all the scammers, abusers, real life idiots, and MAGA trolls who currently populate my block list.

This morning, I got to use the block button again. This time, it was against someone I don’t know in person, but with whom I have had a few unfortunate past encounters on Facebook. He is a very conservative friend of someone with whom I went to high school. I don’t enjoy engaging with the guy, but because I sometimes comment on my old friend’s posts, I’ve occasionally run into him over the past couple of years. I’ve even blogged about his stupidity a few times. After today, I probably won’t do that anymore, because like the Takei post idiot, he’s now on my block list.

The interaction that caused me to use the block button involved politics. My old friend from school had posted about Mitch McConnell’s apparent “mini stroke”. Someone posted about Joe Biden being a “criminal”. I did not directly respond to that person, but I did leave a general comment that I hate it when people call Joe Biden a criminal when Donald Trump is so much worse. I mean, he just got indicted again yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many times Trump has been indicted by federal and state governments, and yet people still champion him and would love to see him return to power. Why put someone in power who has no respect for the law?!

Anyway, my friend’s conservative “$1.89 gas loving” friend laugh reacted at me. So I decided to use the block button. I ain’t got time for that shit. He wants to laugh at me when I’m being serious? That just shows he has no respect for others. I don’t want to waste time interacting with him. I don’t have time for it. He can stay in his echo chamber with the rest of the red hat wearing cult crowd. I’ll engage with people who still have actual brain activity.

To be clear, I don’t necessarily have a problem with conservatives. I have lots of conservative friends and family members, and for years, I identified as one myself. I value other people’s opinions, because that’s how a person can develop a well rounded approach to living. But a person who laughs at those with whom they disagree is disrespectful, lacks an open mind, and doesn’t value other viewpoints. I take that as a sign of someone with low intelligence. So why bother interacting with them? I figure I’ve already lived half my life. Time’s a wastin’. Don’t need to be trying to mesh with someone who feels the need to mock others.

I mention my school friend’s “friend” because I want to show that I generally don’t block people willy nilly. I’ve had a number of interactions with that guy when I was in less of a “mood”. I’ve repeatedly tolerated his stupid comments about how great Trump is because gas prices were lower when he was the president (presidents don’t control gas prices). I’ve repeatedly read his dogged attempts to sway people to his MAGA cult, yet I’ve really tried to maintain basic respect for his rights to his own opinions. I don’t try to argue with him about his deeply held beliefs. It would be a waste of time, not to mention disrespectful. Even after blocking him, I still believe he has the right to his opinions. I just don’t want to read them anymore. We are not going to be “friends”, so he might as well not exist in my world. ๐Ÿ˜‰ May he go with God, and all… and enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful life… far away from my Facebook feed.

To the half dozen or so people I expect might read this, you might be wondering why I have these extreme reactions. Call it a “psychological sunburn”… or maybe it’s more like an allergic reaction. I’m allergic to people who don’t take me seriously. It probably comes from being the youngest child of four, with many years between me and my next sibling. For most of my life, people have treated me in a demeaning way because I’m younger than they are, or I giggle a lot, or I’m female, less conservative, have blonde hair, or some other dumbassed reason. They have failed to realize that I’m a responsible, basically intelligent person with feelings. I don’t deserve to be insulted or mocked, particularly by strangers.

Before the age of social media, I wouldn’t have anything to do with the vast majority of people who find their way to my sphere today. But, because of technology, and my choice to use it, here we are… dealing with idiots who don’t know how to behave with basic decorum. So I use the block button to protect my sanity. Honestly, I’ve gotten this way with my own family members, too. When they are blatantly disrespectful to me, I put more distance between us. Because fuck that. I’ve had my fill of disrespect, thanks.

I decided to write about this today, because I haven’t seen it addressed that much. I found one thread on Reddit by someone who wrote that he thinks people who use the block button are immature. He wrote that he thinks it’s better to just ignore them. But isn’t that what blocking does? If you block someone, you’re putting them on ignore, so you don’t have to be exposed to their bullshit. It’s like a vaccine against aggravation. Nobody owes anyone else access to them, or their sense of peace.

Besides… I doubt the vast majority of people in the world care about having communication with me, anyway. I seem to annoy most people simply by being alive. So I might as well spare them, and myself, the pain of an interaction. Some people think blocking people is weak and immature. I say, if blocking irritating people is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’ve got enough issues. So, if you want to be an asshole, be one somewhere else. I’d rather go wash my hair.

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communication, complaints, condescending twatbags, Duggars, rants, social media

“I’m not in need of correction from you, lady…”

Fair warning… for many people, this is going to be a really petty rant.

Some readers will doubtlessly think it’s much ado about nothing, or that I’m being childish or silly. It’s fine to think that, but just so you know, I really don’t need to be corrected. I understand that the more mature beings in the world will probably think I should be posting about world peace or another lofty topic. And maybe that’s true… but it’s not what’s on my mind today. I’m often petty, obnoxious, and easily annoyed… but I own those characteristics. They’re part of what makes me “me”.

I grew up with the message that who I am isn’t okay… and now that I’m 50, and realize that I won’t ever be changing. I’m working on living with myself. But you don’t have to live with me, so if I write something today that makes you think I need “correction”, “advice”, or anything else remotely resembling “special help”, I would like to encourage you to go write about it on your own blog and leave mine alone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here’s what happened…

Yesterday, I was on the Duggar Family News page on Facebook. The page’s moderator posted about the Duggar Family’s annual Christmas celebration. A few days ago, I had noticed how extremely cute John David and Abbie Duggar’s daughter, Gracie, is. I even wrote about it in a recent post. It’s not that I don’t think all of the other Duggar grandchildren are cute. I just think Gracie is at a really sweet and expressive age, and she obviously mugs for the camera. She is especially adorable right now, in my opinion.

She is so CUTE. This is not the photo I commented on, by the way.
What a doll!

So I typed under the picture, “Gracie is so adorable”, or something along those lines. Nice, positive, kind comment for a child who probably can’t read, and wouldn’t be on that page, anyway, right? Several others agreed with me and signaled by hitting the “like” button. I didn’t mention her brother, Charlie, who is a beautiful baby, but to me, not as obviously cute as his big sister is. When he’s older, I’m sure he will give her a run for her money. Besides, everybody gushes over babies.

Early this morning, I opened up Facebook and noticed that I had a notification from someone I don’t know. Usually, one can tell what Facebook notifications are in reference to, but in this case, there wasn’t a clue. I had forgotten about the Duggar Family News post I’d made, and never thought it would be controversial. But there it was… Someone named Donna tagged me with the comment, “So is Charlie.”

What am I to make of this comment? It would be one thing if she’d just posted it without tagging me, making it clear that she was expressing her own opinion and not criticizing my comment. But she responded in a way that made it very likely that I would see her comment. And while I can’t be absolutely certain, since she’s a total stranger and I didn’t have any non-verbal cues to offer a hint, my guess is that her comment was meant to be pointed. How dare I comment on one child’s cuteness in a photo, and not the other child’s “equally” adorable visage? What is Charlie? Chopped liver? Give the lad a participation trophy, at least. Give me a break… he’s a BABY, and he’s not reading that page. I am sure his feelings wonโ€™t be hurt.

I’ll be honest. My first instinct was to respond to Donna with snark and sarcasm, because that seemingly corrective comment legitimately pissed me off. I know a lot of people would laugh about that โ€œover-the-topโ€ reaction, too… which makes it even worse. Because this was a genuine reaction I had to something that, in the grand scheme of things, really doesn’t matter. It’s just some busybody feeling the need to correct a perfect stranger’s innocuous opinions on Facebook, right? I have no idea why my comment triggered her enough to tag me with a response. For all I know, she’s just as irritated as I am. We all have our hot buttons.

There was a time when, indeed, I would have dashed off an inflammatory response to Donna. But middle age, years of psychotherapy, social work training, and the fact that I hadn’t been drinking, collectively gave me the gift of restraint and composure. I took a moment to consider if I wanted to make an actual reply, or even just leave a “laugh react” or “anger emoji”.

I very quickly decided that I didn’t really want to get into it with Donna over such a non-issue. I figured any response I would make would simply make me look bad, even though her comment was unnecessary and kind of disrespectful. So I deleted the notification and didn’t respond to Donna’s “correction”… at least not on Facebook. I’m sure she means well, but I don’t really want to get in a pissing match with some “biddy” I don’t know. Especially over something so inconsequential and… well, petty.

Since this incident has made me think for longer than a moment or two, I’ve decided to write about it today. Maybe other people can relate. I do feel slightly self-congratulatory for not taking Donna’s bait. I scored a “little victory” with that one, even if I am now posting mental spew in my blog. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Fewer people read my blog than my Facebook page, though.

If I had been in a more engaging mood, how could I have best responded to Donna? I thought about it as I drank one of Bill’s expertly brewed cups of coffee, fixed just the way I like it. What can I say? My husband is truly wonderful. So let’s see…

There’s the positive approach. I could have acknowledged Donna’s “correction”, either in a sincere and apologetic fashion, or in an over-the-top, sickly sweet, passive-aggressive way…

  • “Of course, Charlie is cute, Donna. Thank you for the correction. May I have another?”
  • “Yes, he sure is scrumptious, Donna. Shame on me for not acknowledging it properly.”
  • “Oh, I’m sorry for the oversight. I’m such an ignorant clod. Charlie is also adorable.”
  • “Whatever would we do without you, Donna, to keep us straight when we comment on the Duggar grandchildren? We wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings… even if they can’t yet read, and wouldn’t be on this page, anyway.”
  • Or… just a plain old “Yes, you’re right, Donna. He is cute.”

Or, there’s the negative, confrontational, unfriendly approach…

  • “Speak for yourself, Donna. I don’t need your help.”
  • “Why did you feel the need to tag me, Donna? You think he’s cute? Good for you.”
  • “STFU, Donna.” Or my personal favorite, “Oh fuck off, Donna!”
  • “Trying to make yourself feel useful, Donna? Glad I could help you out.”
  • “Actually, I don’t really think he’s adorable. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.”

Or I could have been really passive-aggressive and just laughed, posted a “?”,… or used an obnoxious rolling eyes GIF to get my point across to her.

But as I had just opened my eyes, I didn’t feel the need to engage. I didn’t want to spend precious energy… especially since Donna is probably sleeping right now, anyway. I get the sense that she’s the kind of person who would wake up in a few hours, see my comment, and feel the need to “set me straight”. And then, hours after I was over it, I’d be invited to an online melee, which probably would have included other people who don’t know either of us. Life is too short for that shit. You gotta pick your battles, if you want to stay sane in this world.

On the other hand, maybe posting a “?” and inviting her to explain herself would be satisfying on some level… but I don’t like to be deliberately obtuse. I think I know what she meant by her comment. She was just “fixin’ it for me”… the petty bitch… tryin’ to hook me into a scuffle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I guess I’m just left kind of puzzled, though. Once again, a perfect stranger is looking at my innocuous communication from a seemingly negative, corrective way– like the people in my wine group who insinuated that I’m a “Karen” because I had the โ€œaudacityโ€ to complain about a legitimately bad experience we had in a wine shop in France. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to be negative, but I don’t think our culture likes to admit it anymore. If you aren’t “positive” and inclusive all the time, you’re a problem, and need correction from others.

Then, there’s my dysfunctional, reptilian response to Donna’s “correction”. It comes from a lifetime of being the youngest child in a family where my presence wasn’t really welcomed or valued. For most of my youngest years, I was repeatedly criticized, corrected, and told, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn’t making the grade. I’m sure if I were to point this out to my family members, they would deny it… and again, that would be a perfect example of the problem. Because even if, in their minds, they weren’t overly critical of me, that was the message I constantly received and internalized. And now it’s a trigger, because I have come to realize that I do have worth, and my opinions matter to someone– even if it’s only me… and maybe Bill.

When someone leaves what appears to be “correction” for me, especially when it’s on something that is really innocuous, or of little actual consequence, I have a tendency to get very annoyed. I’m not referring to “constructive criticism”. Sometimes criticism is necessary for growth, for safety, or to become proficient in something. That kind of criticism is much less irritating to me. No, it’s petty criticism over things that don’t really matter that bugs me the most.

Nobody likes to have their opinions corrected, especially on a “public” forum like Facebook. No one likes it when some smartass on Facebook posts, “Fixed it for ya!” in response to something they’ve written. It’s just diminishing, discounting behavior that is meant to make people feel small. And while getting annoyed over that behavior is legitimate, it’s also doubly bad to express that irritation, because that is, in and of itself, PETTY behavior. It really should not be worthy of any response whatsoever, but yet, I still feel compelled to express all of this so early in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m sure a good therapist could help me figure this out, sometime.

There’s one other observation I would like to make. I was quite agitated about Donna’s comment when I got up, but by the time I’d finished breakfast and was draining my second cup of coffee, I had almost forgotten about it. If it weren’t for a silly exchange I had with my cousin regarding this incident, I probably would be posting about something more hard hitting and consequential today. ๐Ÿ˜‰ See? It really doesn’t matter at all… It’s a minor blip in the day, now forever immortalized in my blog. And now I can smile and hold my head high, as I fold laundry and change the sheets on my bed… two chores that do need attending to, and will actually matter in my life.

So… not today, Donna. I’m not taking the bait and getting into a ridiculous online pissing match with you. I don’t agree with you, because I do think Gracie is cuter than Charlie is, at least right now. I don’t need you to correct my post, and I’m not going to validate your correction with any direct response– negative or positive– that gives you the opportunity to engage further with me and attempt to make me feel bad about myself. I am going to ignore you (except, of course, in my blog, which is not for you). Find someone else to play with. ๐Ÿ˜€

Off to go tend to my chores now… Have a great Tuesday, y’all.

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