Saturday, June 8, 2013
The Pros and Cons of Facebooking (with apologies to Roger Waters).
There are some days when you realize, even on the small scale of Facebook, what kind of people there are in the world. There are those misguided to the point of evil, and those who are more than willing to go to bat for what's right.
Things start weird sometimes. I think deep down, people usually have good intentions; people want to help others. It's part of being social creatures, even if it's just the virtual sociability of the internet. Someone asks what they think is a legitimate question or concern. Someone posts an opinion on a situation. Other people chime in with answers and additional information. Often times, a question gets answered or a problem gets solved. Everyone gets happy and moves on with their lives.
But there are those who don't really want any real help or advice. What they post is the only position on a topic that they care to embrace. An opposing view is anathema. Pointing out a flaw in their view of the topic is a cause for outrage. Logical thought? That goes out the window, as the individual feels obligated to mount a major defense against all those who would dare to shake the foundations of their worldview.
The details are never important. Vengeance must be theirs! There is a sense of justice to be assuaged, and it can only be done through righteousness! But ... that righteous furor must not be traced back to them. Oh, no. That would look bad on them. So let's allow some imaginary friends to come into play. Revenge and a clean slate! No one will know! They will be getting over on the whole world, not just those pitiful fools who dared to challenge them with things as untoward as facts. Only then can they sleep at night.
A group of my Facebook friends, all authors or reviewers, were unfortunately put in this sort of situation this week. The details of the offense aren't important; needless to say we tried to give someone some clarity on what could end up being a litigious point. What happened afterward is also not that important, other than to say everyone who attempted to provide that clarity was mercilessly insulted and defamed by a fake account of the individual.
What is important is that, unlike said individual, real friends came to each other's defense, getting nearly all of the libelous posts removed from Facebook, while providing succor and support to each other. Many of us are real serious about our art. Many of us just goof around. Many of us are mixtures of both ends of that spectrum. But ALL of us came together to offer support to those defamed by this malicious attack.
And that will probably make the individual in question even more annoyed and self-righteous. Unlike that person, we all had real people to offer that support. Not a figment of their imagination defending them. But good people.
To those people, I give my undying thanks. They know who was drawn into this miasma for no reason, and helped me solve the problem.
To the individual who did this, actually, you also have my thanks. I knew I had good friends on Facebook, but it takes an incident like this to truly appreciate the etheric tendrils that link folks together. Unlike you, we have each other's backs. I feel nothing but pity for you, stuck in your tiny world of hate. Best of luck to you on your future endeavors, and I hope you find something that will soothe whatever ails you inside.