No Surprises

A Graph makes it all so much better…

Today has been a day when I’ve spent a lot of time on the back foot.

I am well aware that pretty much all of the blame for this can be laid at my own door: I’m very good after many years at knowing when I stuff things up. I’m also very grateful for a family who accommodate my ability to be rubbish at the drop of a hat, and without them I’d probably not be here. That’s a wonderfully blaze statement to just throw away in the context of a sentence, but it is true. They make me better, push me to try harder, and help to pick me up when I fall down. So, after I’d done that from the ball of tears and guilt this morning I made it through the day without too much recrimination. This evening however I got hit for six again, but in the most unexpected of ways.

It is sometimes easy to forget just how social media can affect people when you’re least expecting it.

I’ve had my share of issues with people on Twitter since I started using the platform: as your readership grows, so do the issues with what you say and how that affects people’s sensibilities. As I’m blunt, often typing before I’ve allowed an idea to percolate and am (I suspect) conceived as arrogant as a result I undoubtedly raise hackles. I don’t have a plan however, I’m really not here to deliberately piss in your cornflakes or upset your equilibrium. Normally I just say it as I see it, or often (as has been the case at least twice in recent memory) I’ve been completely unaware of anyone’s offence until it’s been pointed out to me I upset them to begin with. Then, I have apologised. That’s me, in the ‘Unaware’ bubble, happily doing what I always do with no grasp of the mortifying nature of my act.

I’m not out here to offend anyone. However, that’s often how it goes down, and it makes me wonder why.

Is P for Pushy?

Certain people just rub others up the wrong way, an abrasive side to their natures that could get a coat of paint off your front door in double quick time. If you don’t know me (and let’s face it, most people won’t bother online for fear of potential consequences) then you won’t understand that starting a fight is absolutely the LAST thing I ever want to do with anybody, but sometimes it just happens. So tonight when I suggested to someone that yes, you can be on Twitter every day but only actually use it once a week at your leisure, to have them pointedly respond with the comment that ‘I know (their) life better than (they) do’ was clearly meant as a dig at me and my assertion. There I was, trying to be helpful and enthusiastic and BANG it’s a slap in the face. So, I apologised, but then I found myself thinking that actually, this IS true. It’s not general advice, it’s an actual FACT. You don’t need to log onto Twitter every day, and you can create a great illusion of presence if you so desire with nothing more than an hour of planning and a Tweet Scheduler like Hootsuite. Most people won’t do this because, for them, Twitter isn’t a marketing tool, it’s the Pub. Many people avoid it altogether as they see it as a massive timesink for just that reason.


Mine’s a Sol. Yeah I know, weak Mexican beer… ^^


When I say ‘the Pub’ I mean that place where you lose yourself for an evening just chatting with a drink in your hand. For huge numbers of people it has become the instant medium of communication Facebook’s just never been, mostly without adverts and pretty much under your control. It’s the running commentary at your sporting event, or gig, or major news story. It is snarky and often blunt and frankly long may it remain this way, because many people just don’t want to be immersed in the details of everyone else’s lives, they just want to pick and choose their own highlights. It’s also really easy to make that instant nature work for you if you know how to. This is how I was able to still post on the gaming Blog when I was away in Paris for a week and maintain the interest of my audience whilst at the same time have a holiday. Everyone knew this as well: I wasn’t deceiving or being underhand. This is possible if you can find the time to plan ahead. ANYTHING is possible if you want it enough, after all.

So when I offend someone for suggesting there’s another way, I really shouldn’t let it bother me, but increasingly it does. Not because I’m right and they’re wrong (or vice versa or any combination thereof) but simply because advice is no substitute for actual enthusiasm and passion. If you want to encourage people to write, for instance, getting upset when they say summat you don’t like is not the greatest of starts. However, it is inevitable that confusion will occur, and when it does it says a lot about the person as to how they respond to that conflict. I’ll freely admit I’m not the greatest at relationships, or making friends, or indeed actually being a human being on certain days. However, I will always admit when I’m wrong, and I will do my very best not to shut people off until I’m sure there is absolutely no chance of communicating successfully. So, today, I was reminded if it matters to you, you’ll work at it to make it happen for everyone. First impressions do matter, but what happens AFTER you fall over and smack yourself in the face are just as important.

Most significantly of all, caring about what people think still has a relevance in the Modern World.