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.

17 comments:

  1. I love this, Rich! Well-said, my friend!

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  2. I will always have your back, Rich. Unless, of course, you are being attacked by a dragon...dragons are scary.

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  3. Love it, Rich! (Donna, just toss the dragon some M&Ms.)

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  4. I'm right behind you, Rich. I got yo back, man. *thumps chest in manly manner* While you cut off the heads of the slimy, lying, two face dragon...I'll be kicking her in the tail.

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  5. Well said Rich. The better man is not the one with the biggest mouth, but the one with the biggest heart. I am proud to know a community of people whose hearts are bursting out of their chests.

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  6. Very well said, Rich. It also takes a big heart of a man to also thank and wish the offending person success. Well done.

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  7. You're one hell of a super-duper chap, young Rich. Amazing post, well done.

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  8. And this is why we love you, young fella!

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  9. Yes - last night showed me a lot of things, not least among them the support of friends and their willingness to jump in and help if they could. I was surprised - the speed at which this was resolved showed me the power in numbers when something is obviously and doubtlessly malicious. Well done, Rich. Thank you, all.

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  10. Had my head buried in WIP most of this week and missed the kerfuffle. Looks like you nailed, as usual, Rich :)

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  11. My response was in the form of a share of this blog on my own Facebook page.

    Recently, we writers and writing groups found that some of our friends and kind hearted souls had been maligned by an individual whom I personally believe to be mentally ill. One sympathetic writer wrote this blog on Facebook. It would do us all good to rethink what we post and how it sounds to those on the receiving end. As my mom used to say, "You get a lot more with sugar than with vinegar!" (I know it wasn't original, but...) So, take a minute to read and reflect. And, when you find yourself the victim of malicious comments, don't hesitate to report the individual to Facebook and block the person. There issue should not become YOURS.

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    1. Oh, drat...make that "Their issue" not there issue... I haven't had my coffee yet!

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  12. Great post; so glad our cadre of friends are committed to the high road and not to pettiness. You are absolutely right that this person deserves pity; it's very obvious that there is a hole in his/her life which no amount of nastiness or belittling can fill. I'm so glad that's not my life.

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  13. I shared this Rich, it's a great commentary and exceptionally well-said.

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  14. It is so true that adversity often elicits strength from those who know right from wrong. I don't know what happened, nor need to; it's just nice to read this post and know that you have proven my faith in most people is valid and worth preserving. Thanks, Rich.

    I also review books at my site, but I don't post anything that is less than a four or five. Some interpret that as 'grade inflation' but it is actually grading only those that are ready to be graded. Rather than posting a low 1,2 or 3, I'll contact the author with suggested improvements, and ask them to let me know when it's ready for a review.

    You can find me at http://terrysthoughtsandthreads.blogspot.com, and also at http://wtandgnews.blotspot.com.

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  15. Hi, Rich. I don't know what happened in the incident you reference, but as I read your post, I kept thinking "internet addiction." I became aware of it when researching my own eBay addiction. Much more is written about the subject now. Flaming and generally going ape may be an integral part of on-line participation for some. I like this book by Dr. Kimberly Young, Caught in the Net. Here's an Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Caught-Net-Recognize-Addiction---ebook/dp/B000WGA890 I Googled online addiction and was amazed at the number of sites and treatment programs available now. So, whatever happened, the person probably was nuts, an addicted kind of nuts. Fruit of the cyber age. Best, Sandy

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