Part of my social media presence involves sharing silly things I find elsewhere. (I don’t share some of them, because the AI bots and South Asians hired to enforce things have a decidedly different political slant than I do, and its not worth the grief.)
At the same time, I share things I find uplifting. Most of my friends are artists, and a great many of them have unfortunately drank the silly kool-aid that says they must be miserable. Which is silly, but I see the world in a far different manner.
Whereas many of them approach their art with “I have to go write now…” grumbles, I wake up and think “I get to go write now!!!” I chose to be happy. Choose. They have not all made that choice yet.
So I try to uplift them.
Recently, I accidentally conducted an experiment in unconscious bias and assumptions. Posted something that shouldn’t have been controversial, but man, did a lot of people come out of the woodwork to verbally assault me.
And they picked the wrong day to try and engage me in a deep philosophical conversation, because I had to stop and not block folks cold. Turn them into un-people. (You don’t EVER get off my block list. I had a reason to put you on there, and it would take years of you proving otherwise, in other places, before I was willing to let bygones be bygones. Easier on my digestion)
Once I cooled off a little, I saw an interesting pattern to their commentary. A friend once told me “Hurt dogs howl loudest.”
I took that to mean that when you hit a sore spot, you get a bite back. And several folks bit back at me out of the blue. Like, for the first time ever some of them came at me with knives out, which in a couple of cases was more like being threatened by a kitten.
But I let it go. Watched. I do that. Watch. Follow your language and your behavior and judge you accordingly. I assume you do the same to me, but I try to be as authentic as I can, and behave myself around folks I don’t know that well.
Many of my friends on social media are folks I have never met in the real world. Doesn’t make them any less interesting to know, because it allows me to have conversations all over the world and learn things from interesting people in ways my grandparents couldn’t have even imagined.
But we’re not in the same room. I can’t watch your body language. All I have are your words. And your emoticons, if you chose to include any.
For me, that means an extra level of reserve is necessary, because I don’t know some of you that well. Or maybe I haven’t been IRL with you in years. Momma always raised me to be polite, at least until someone proved that they needed the sharp edge of the tongue.
Or, as a friend explained recently: “Never be the first asshole in the conversation.”
So I posted something uplifting, and a lot of hurt dogs howled. HOWLED!
I got to see folks suddenly outing themselves in ways I don’t think they really appreciated.
As a rule, every vibrant accusation can be interpreted as a projection of some sort. Lots of you were projectile vomiting all over my wall. Luckily, I was already angry enough not to engage. Not to dump your silly ass at a truck stop outside Kansas City and let you hitchhike home.
Considered it. Still do. Keeping score, at a dead minimum, because I can be pushed backwards off the table if you decide you have to get that much up in my face and start something. Sometimes, I have to walk away, because I don’t stop at simple retaliation when provoked like that. Easier to just take somebody to the wall immediately and put them down. Less risk to me later.
Haven’t had to destroy anybody in a long time isn’t the same thing as never done it. It was even necessary, that last time. Ugly, but necessary.
So the dogs got to howling. And I got to watch.
Then I got to wondering about the level of hurt. Shouldn’t have triggered folks, but they were already twitchy. Already itching for a fight on the topic. Chose my wall and my day to do it.
You ever stop and wonder what it says about you when you do that? What others hear when you howl?
I learned some interesting things about folks. Probably not what y’all intended, but we’re not in the same room. All I have are your word casting a shadow on the wall, and I must play the role of Plato, interpreting it.
So you howled. Some of the shit was so over the top I had to delete the comments, just so I didn’t decide to go back later and exact vengeance. It might have been innocent on your part.
Might not. Dunno. Gone forever now. Safer that way.
Left a few up, so I could go back later, scratching my head and going “Really? That’s who you are?”
Interesting social experiment. I’ll leave it at that and go about my day.
But I do have a question for y’all.
When I haven’t named you, explicitly or implicitly, but you still jump madly to your defense, snarling and biting, what does that say about you?
And why you howl?