|Fry gets a lot of work around this Parish ^^|
One of the problems with Social Media for me is the concept of who considers you a ‘friend.’ For me the word’s a bit… well… difficult sometimes, because there are those people you know that when you start a Blog Post or a Tweet are automatically going to assume your ire is directed at them. It’s the guilt complex in all of us, that moment when you read something and think ‘hang on, I did that today, is this being focussed at me?’ That’s the reason the Subtweet Gambit (TM) is as effective as it undoubtedly is in making the people who are causing trouble in your life sit up and take notice without the need to actual say you are.
Maybe therefore I should define the boundaries of what I consider friendship in the Digital Age. Would this help certain people in their desire to wind me up at every possible opportunity? Unlikely, because that happens with them just being what they are regardless. I know this happens the other way around with people who follow me. You can tell those who thought I was a good person to read when they saw me at my best, but the moment I go off on an emotionally-charged rant (which, let’s face it, happens quite a bit) they’ll be off in short order because what with that and all the GIF mullarky, I’m quite hard work.
What I need right now is to stop worrying about what other people think and just do what’s right for me.
|YES IT CAN.|
The problem of course comes when you do this, and people react to your reaction. I am aware that certain people follow others out of a sense of obligation, that by effectively cutting sections out of your media ‘circle’ you create potential schisms that can resonate throughout the ‘life’ you create online. However you try and dress it up, people undoubtedly often just see what they want and hear what they need. Very few even read what you write, if truth be told, and it can be hard to grasp why someone’s calling themselves your ‘friend’ when so little actual communication appears to go on to begin with. The most sensible approach to this seems to be that if you mute someone because you find them frustrating, you’re probably never going to feel otherwise in the long term, and probably just not having them there at all is a better lifestyle choice.
|It’s the same old song… ^^|
The larger your reach extends in digital circles, the more noise gets generated around you. The smart people will tell you this is a positive indicator of you doing something right, that upsetting people is a benchmark for progress. I always thought this could be avoided if you took care in what you wrote, but what has become increasingly apparent in the last few months is that you have absolutely no control of anything you write in the modern world, unless you are backed up by some fairly serious legal clout (and even that’s not a guarantee any more.) That means a choice at personal level: cut away the people that actively make you feel uncomfortable and move on. If the people you lose see this as a personal insult, so be it, but in the end you do what is right for you. Hopefully this works out well for everyone concerned, but if it doesn’t you just have to accept the consequences and move on.
When the shoe is on the other foot, and someone removes you because of the exact same issue, use it as a means to step back and re-assess your position.
This happened last week with two much respected and long-term contributors to my social media circles, and to have them both leave pretty much on the same day was actually not a surprise, if I’m honest. I’m tired of having to lie about how I feel regarding a lot of things in an attempt to remain relevant to many who it seems don’t actually agree with my approach to begin with, and as I have become more honest with words, people have begun to push back. Some do so in a very aggressive and active fashion, others simply turn and walk, and there are pretty much an infinite number of points in between. The fact remains, I know I am making a difference. There are days when I think perhaps that’s not true but the overriding majority of people I speak to find my work challenging and thought-provoking. They don’t need to subtext it with anything, or to be critical of me for what I am as a result. For those people alone the continued effort is worthwhile. For the others who feel they know me but aren’t actually listening? Well, I’m sorry but if you will not afford me the respect of actually trying to grasp what I say, what should I do? Ah yes, it’s me that doesn’t understand you, and that’s my job. Except, if you frighten or scare me with your attitude, I get the choice to walk away.
|No. And NO.|
In the end, some people just won’t ever like you. That’s just a fact. If you really don’t like someone because of the way you feel they’ve treated you, there are a number of practical avenues of recourse. You can mail them and challenge them directly, and I’ve done that, but be prepared to be surprised at the responses you might get. If you’ve judged them over time and feel that direct communication will just make things worse? Cut the chord. Your reasoning is yours to understand and ultimately nobody else’s to know. You don’t need to announce a Twitter cull or a Facebook prune, don’t make an event of something that’s already going to be drama laden to begin with. Grow some balls and remove the negative elements from your life once and for all, and you will feel better for it.
‘Friends’ are only worthwhile if both of you are prepared to make it work.