“Whenever someone writes one of these screeds, they have to ignore that Twitter is entirely self-selecting. You chose who to follow. You chose to behave like a jerk, or a needy child, or a boor. Twitter didn’t make you an ass. Twitter gave you an opportunity to exhibit your lack of impulse control.” [Sicha/Awl]
As almost always (as much as I might like it, I cannot see into his soul, hence the “almost” qualifier) Choire Sicha nails it as he gently chides those who sob that social media is full of meanies.
I’ve been in an email conversation with an ex for a few days now about Facebook. He’s not on it at all, I am mostly because it’s kind of expected of someone in my line of “work.” I was telling him that he might like Twitter, because I like Twitter and I assume that someone I banged in the 80s and I are still on the same page about everything.
One of the things he (this is the ex) brought up against participation in any of these things was that he didn’t want to deal with anyone he didn’t want to deal with (like, people from high school or whatever). But explaining that you don’t have to hear from anyone you don’t want to to someone who hasn’t ever used any social media platforms is kind of like explaining how to drive a stick shift over email. I give up.
But, like I said, Sicha elegantly points out something that should be common sense: you make your own Twitter (or Facebook, or whatever) bed. You can “forgive and delete” (or just block and delete and bitch to your friends about it and SAY you forgive the offending party but remember it ALWAYS — that’s my approach) people who give you shit, or bum you out, or say stuff that you find revolting.
And, of course, you can also hate follow people who do those last two things — that can be fun, too! But moaning that the place is unfriendly because you choose to follow (and/or won’t block) a bunch of jerks is on you, dummy. After all, as Sicha says “if you can’t simply unfollow people you don’t care about, or block people that gross you out, you need to go back to therapy.”