During all my years online (almost thirteen), I’ve been careful not to be too controversial. I am not a person who likes contention or welcomes insults. Too many people are reactionary, responding with emotion or the party line when anyone disagrees with their pet view of the world, and it’s not worth attracting such attention.
Admittedly, I don’t like people disagreeing me, either, but if that disagreement is accompanied by thoughtful (meaning full of thought) or thought-provoking ideas, it often leads to a new understanding of the matter. But rote remarks that simply iterate popular opinions don’t accomplish anything except to stop any dialogue and possible accord.
Unfortunately, this controversial time, with all the wrong information, misuse of statistics, and outright lies that pass for knowledge about first The Bob and then the riots has made me a bit less than close-mouthed. I’m still trying to be circumspect, so when a person I saw in real life disagreed with a comment I made, I let it go. It’s not worth discussing points of disagreement when you know nothing will come of it. Unfortunately, the person continued the discussion on Facebook with an insulting comment. Matters came to a head when I posted a controversial video on Facebook that pointed out some of the fallacies that are being disseminated, and sure enough, this person left another insulting comment. The comments weren’t bad, not what most people are faced with, but I didn’t want to deal with the situation. So I blocked the person. I’ve never done that before, but it seemed the right thing to do. I don’t know what I’ll do when I see this person around town, but that’s not a problem for today.
It just goes to show that I really do need to stay away from Facebook and other such sites, especially if I ever again let myself express unpopular opinions. I haven’t yet deleted my account, and I don’t plan to, but I am not happy with FB’s non-response to my appeals to have them remove the block they’ve put on my blog.
Luckily, I have plenty of offline things to do, such as organizing the things that are to be stored in the garage when it is finished. As hard as that work will be, especially with my bum knee, it’s easier than living in controversial times.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.