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.
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.
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. 😉 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.