Back in 2008 I joined Twitter. I wasn’t sure what it was all about, but back then I experimented a lot with things so I could write about them here. After about a month I wasn’t sure I was a fan of the platform, but but a couple of months later I started seeing its appeal.
The year 2008 was a very intriguing year for America. That’s the year Barack Obama was running for president against John McCain, and though I really wasn’t overly interested initially (which would have shocked me 10 years earlier), I knew early who I’d be voting for.
The power of Twitter was intriguing because one could see people all around the country talking about politics in ways one had never seen before, live and online… and at a certain point things started getting kind of ugly.
Politics is a subject I really hate talking about. Because of politics I almost left social media and blogging last year. I still try to stay out of it, except for health care (since I’m a health care finance consultant) but it’s not easy to do, and certainly wasn’t during the campaign of 2008.
What I started seeing was a lot of hate being directed at Obama. The problem people had with him wasn’t his politics… it was “him”. That’s when the birther lies started, and people who were against him not only wanted the courts to say he wasn’t a real American (thus, couldn’t run for president), but some of them actually started questioning his race (which none of them were qualified to do).
That was a problem for me, but it got worse than that. Back then I was connected to a lot of people who I’d heard of but didn’t know personally. Many of them were top level internet marketers and supposed social media professionals, people I’d wanted to learn from and a couple I’d actually talked to. Unfortunately, some of those people jumped on the “birther” bandwagon and some of them questioned his calling himself “black”.
If there’s one thing that’s definitely unforgivable to me, it when I feel that someone’s being racist. The birther thing was absolutely racist; there was no other reason for using it against him. If you believe there was, please stop reading and leave now because I’m not even going to entertain a conversation about it… not on MY blog.
What did I do? I immediately stopped following all of those people and removing any other links to them that I had. I went through the blog and deleted any comments that some of them might have left and all my responses to them. I was connected to a couple of them on LinkedIn and I killed those as well. I told myself that I would never, and I meant EVER, interact “nicely” with any of those people again.
Years ago I wrote a post here where I talked about there being times when people exhibit inappropriate behavior and how irritating it is to me. In this particular instance, I couldn’t believe that business people would forget themselves and say some of the most hateful stuff in public on a forum like Twitter. It’s a commonplace thing people do now, even though people are watching us all the time on social media, and when they get called on it they’re shocked that people are reacting negatively to it and want to fall back on their “freedom of speech” rights without realizing that rights and consequences are sometimes a dichotomy.
Where am I going with this? Hold on; the story’s not over! 🙂
In the last few years, some of those people I dropped all those years ago have suddenly started following me on Twitter again. Their memories are either much shorter than mine or they hadn’t realized I’d left them all those years ago. However, it’s not just those people.
There are a few other people that I’ve dropped for “cause”; people who irked me, people who decided to react badly to something I’ve said to them when trying to be nice (a couple I wasn’t nice to I have to admit…), people I tried to help when I thought they needed it and they reacted badly to it… basically, people whose bad behavior I decided I didn’t need to take anymore and was glad to be rid of them. Sometimes it had nothing specific to do with me but touched upon something I care about; sometimes it was someone attempting to bully me in my own web space; ain’t putting up with that.
The best thing about not being religious is that I get to ignore all those people who talk about the act of forgiveness, that it’s more for me than them. Nope, sorry, ain’t happening. I don’t cut people off lightly, so their behavior or action has to be particularly egregious for me to decide they’re not worth my time anymore.
Loss of compassion for others; you’re not worth my time. Targeting women on social media; if I get the chance I’m calling you out (it’s ugly when I do lol). If you have no ethical base on social media, you probably don’t have one in real life and I don’t need to deal with you.
If you’ve wronged me, don’t even think about coming back; I never forget. It might be a bad habit but so be it. Everyone has standards; mine are loyalty, honesty and trustworthiness… in that order. There may be things people don’t like about me, but no one can ever say I violated any of those 3 things if they think about it… even if they ended up not liking something I did anyway.
I put this out to the masses; do you forgive people for their bad behavior, whether it’s toward you or not? If you do, can you ever trust those people again? Do you think people are one thing on social media and another in person, and if you believe that do you think it’s appropriate? Finally, would you work with, buy from, or be friends “again” with someone who exhibits this type of behavior towards you?