Thursday, July 8, 2010

When regular everyday blog comments go psycho

I have a love/hate relationship with the web and blogs (I’ll get into that in a future post to come this week). Anyway, the last month or so while cruising my favorite blogs several majorly disturbing things have really bothered me. Mainly because they are just irresponsible, wrong and distasteful but also because it’s the type of behavior you would assume children would be doing when in actuality, these are full grown adults behaving in a way that is absolutely loony. This is a venting post and I should warn that it’s a long one, bordering on an essay. If you have an aversion to reading, you may want to stop here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, lol

One of the main problem that the internet has caused is a sense of comfortableness with complete strangers due to an unfounded belief that when you are online you are completely anonymous and therefore do not need to be responsible or considerate in what you post. As parents, we train our children from their first internet log in the do’s and don’ts of releasing info online: don’t give out your name, address, phone number to strangers, don’t trust anything or anyone online, don’t say anything online that you would not want anyone to know, don’t post pictures or videos that you wouldn’t want anyone to see and so on. You would assume that adults would automatically know these things, right? Wrong!!!

I’m not gonna lie, I entered social networking late in the game but now I have a facebook that I use daily to communicate with friends, family and old classmates/coworkers and a twitter page that I use mostly to follow various news and blog sites and celebrities that I’m interested in, and recently to communicate with people that I’ve met on some of my favorite blogs and have conversed enough in the comment sections with that I feel comfortable holding convos with outside of the blogosphere. I’ve made sure that both pages are private and am selective with who I accept as friends or followers. Neither page contains contact information outside of my public email address which in no way can be linked to my home address/phone/etc. I’ve taken these precautions because I’m intelligent enough to know the do’s and don’ts of what to post online. Until recently I was one of those who assumed that all adults with at least minimal brain function understood these things but I discovered that I’m wrong.

As I said in my last post (which by the way sorry for the slow updates, I’m also writing a book lol) I only frequent two sites and in both sites I’ve noticed some common things that unfortunately shouldn’t be common amongst anyone let alone adults, not to mention the facebook statuses/comments or tweets from celebs that I take major issue with for their vulgarity, tmi, ghetto-ness (it’s a word today) and just plain stupidity. There’s no way I’m the only one who has noticed these things so I’ve composed a list of some of the major faux paus:

1. Grown women (and men) openly commenting on celebs and openly saying that they will screw this one and that one. They’ll do this guy/girl no matter who he’s with and so on… Come on now people, we’re all adults and in most cases are all somewhat sexually active or have been in the past, but there is a way to say you are attracted to someone without coming off as a sex crazed lunatic. Not to mention, lets say you’re attracted to 10 celebs and on every post on one of those celebs, you say how you would bang him if you had the chance, and you’re saying all this under the same user name. Do you have any idea how that makes you look to people on the outside looking in? It makes you look like a promiscuous skank. I’m sorry but it’s true. Have respect for yourself be it in person with people you know or online. Things that you could say at the bar with your homegirls is one thing, they know you and know that you’re playing around, but online people will take what you say as verbatim and either way it looks horrible. What really bugs me is that while white blogs have their issues (racist crazy comments mainly) almost every black blog I have ever visited seems to be filled with these types of comments from a disturbingly large number of commenter’s. It makes it look like black women (and men) are nothing more than sex crazed creatures and we are so much more than that.

2. Grammar and spelling is a major peeve of mine and I admit, we all make typos here and there, but one of the biggest problems that I attribute to the current atmosphere of texting for everything and everybody and constant electronic communication is the fact that so many people have come to typing as they speak or using shorthand (lol, , gr8, I luv u, r u cumming over, etc) in regular conversation or online when commenting, come on people. If you have completed high school there is no reason to type like this, period, really no reason to speak like this in everyday face to face conversation (and yes I have heard and seen it done too many times to count) and it needs to stop because it is absolutely horrid to see in comment after comment after comment. It makes you look like an illiterate teenager and it makes it difficult for those of us who are used to reading actual words and sentences to understand what point you are trying to make.

3. PERSONAL INFO!!!!! I’m not gonna name which blog it is, but I’ve noticed on one that lately everyone is posting photos of themselves or their children as their gravatar, you know what, cool. No problem with that, if it’s your choice, me personally, I have tons of photos of myself and my children on my fb page and several on my twitter, but these are private pages and I’ve personally selected who can view these and see these things, however, I will not post a photo of myself and especially not my kids on a public blog where I cannot control nor do I know who is viewing these photos, right clicking and saving these photos on their pc’s or phones to use for God knows what without my knowledge or permission. If that’s your choice, again that’s fine BUT be careful what you post next to your picture or your child’s picture. The new thing on my fav site is for a certain group of women and men to discuss graphically, I’m talking hard core porn, Zane novel, Beverly hillbillies type familial relationships comments right next to a picture of their kids or themselves. That’s just irresponsible. I talk about my life on blog sites, I do. I’ve experienced sexual abuse, domestic violence, I speak about my children, my current health problems and I’m open about it. I’ve ragged on my share of celebs (not to the extremes of some and mostly about fashion sense or talent) but none of that is information that could harm or hurt me or anyone else if someone were to figure out that it is me posting. This group is talking about things that some people wouldn’t even discuss with their closest group of friends, which has caused three things to happen as a result. For one, it has alienated the regular readers who are not interested in clicking on say for an example a post on Usher’s new shoes and hearing about the best ways to go through with anal sex. Many regular readers have stopped commenting on the board and are lurking, reading the posts and then using other mediums to discuss them such as twitter, fb, or email. If anyone dares comment and say something about it, then they get defensive and say well don’t look but that’s neither fair for those who want to use the post for the medium it was designed for nor is it practical because they have ZERO control over who is reading what they are putting out there on the web for all of eternity (because nothing on the web is ever truly deleted). Now for those who don’t know, employers and potential employers are able to do online searches based upon your email address and pull up anything that you do under that email address. Meaning if you put out information about screwing, doing drugs, slacking off at work, etc it can be traced back to you, it’s been done in the past to many high profile employees as well as many regular everyday employees and if you have your picture up that is added evidence against you. Not to mention if you are posting from your work computer, everything you type is forever stored in your employer’s internet files, waiting for the day that someone discovers them and hands you a pink slip. And in the most unfortunate but sadly possible turn of event¸ if you are discussing sex next to a photo of your beautiful child, some pervo could be reading, getting turned on all while staring at your precious baby. If you are discussing doing drugs, even something as silly to most as marijuana, and you have your photograph up or your child’s and someone recognizes either of you¸ guess what? You could be reported to CPS and lose your child over that. Things like that are in the news ALL the time and happen even more than they are reported, especially in the black community, where we all know that unfortunately if it’s not a huge crime the media just doesn’t care.

4. This is my final point, respect. Have respect for other people and if you can’t respect other’s at least respect yourself. Sure, chances are the people you are conversing with online are strangers or maybe they aren’t strangers and they are people you know on facebook or twitter, but guess what everyone does not want to know the details about your sex life. Especially not the gory details. Nor does everyone want to know about your drug use and things of that nature. Maybe these people have no impact on your life whatsoever, and therefore, you feel that their opinion does not matter to you, but guess what… you never know who you will come across as you continue to age, grow and live your life. There’s an old saying, something like be careful who you step on, on your way up because those will be the same people you pass on your way back down. The web connects people from all walks of life, all communities, cities, states and countries. Of all races, in all occupations and of all different morals, religions and codes of ethics. Just as you would respect someone standing right in front of your face, respect those on the other side of the computer screen. If you have to have a conversation about something that may be one of those things that everyone shouldn’t know, exchange email addresses, if you’re unsure about that, create a free email address under a pseudonym with a fake location and chat there. But be careful with the things you say especially when there are clear traces to your private identity and just in general. Consider other’s feeling just as you want them to consider yours. If you don’t want people in your business, guess what don’t put it out there, most learn that in high school. If you don’t want people to hold a certain opinion or judgment of you then don’t put things out there around people who have no other way to base an opinion of you.

All in all, like we tell children all the time, be careful what you put online because it can come back to haunt you. And the same way that almost all have been taught from preschool, treat others as you would like to be treated. If you want to be respected than respect others, including their beliefs, personal choices, backgrounds, etc and don’t post things on a public forum with no advisory warning that could easily offend and turn people away. Act like an adult with the knowledge, sense and ability to make mature decisions in life even when you are online, no matter how anonymous you think that it is.

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