In These Shoes

When you followed me on Social media, what were you *actually* expecting?

24 hour dance party?

It’s a serious question, and one I’m going to start asking people now whenever they turn up looking as if they’re after a bit of a slapfest. I mean, realistically, what do you expect me to do? If you copy something into my feed thinking its cool or funny, and its actually deeply offensive, am I supposed to just laugh, smile and ignore you? If you moan about an issue without actually thinking through the logic behind it, do you expect me to just accept your summation is correct? You’d love me to stop being politically correct when you won’t treat me as an equal and insist I remain a woman so that the labelling’s intact? I’m sorry, but if you follow me, there’s an implicit acceptance that the places we intersect will be subject to joint jurisdiction.

If you don’t want to talk about stuff that upsets you, what the fuck are you doing here to begin with?

Not all dictatorships are the same.

Because inevitably, ultimately, conflict happens. In shock news, people don’t go out of their way to create it, often it occurs when Person A decides to be funny, cool or clever in their own mind and it ends up that actually, that joke’s not funny with an audience. Oddly, this is why comics try stuff out before they go on tour. It’s why stand up is actually one of the hardest things to pull off successfully over generations, because what one old person find hilarious a young person is likely to consider offensive. Ultimately, your indignation isn’t worth the effort, especially in a virtual space. I can get as angry as I like but nothing changes, no worlds are altered or outlooks trashed. It’s just the Internet.

Except increasingly people use this as an excuse that’s becoming quite dangerous to wield.

BECAUSE WE ARE CORRECT IN THIS SPACE.

Sometimes, the best way to win an argument is not to start it. But that doesn’t give people an opportunity to seem cool or clever, or to have as a story to wheel out to friends or family. Once upon a time, it was all about how your house first got a TV, or a telephone. Now it’s ‘that time I defeated a troll on the Internet’ and the badge of honour can be worn both ways. Kids don’t fight playground battles any more, they’re no-scoping in CS or being the most follows on Instagram. The future is being moved from actual to virtual and this is a very, VERY dangerous precedent to set. Not simply because reality matters far more at every step of the equation, but significantly if your virtual spaces don’t fall under the same rules as the meat spaces? People can groom or radicalise, and that goes for anyone at any age. In shock news, governments and lawmakers, lots of very angry and dangerous people are using the Internet, and many of them could be more of a risk than any number of teenagers.

Mostly I think people have to accept that if you come to the Internet, you’re accepting ‘drama’ as part of the package. Because this is a place absolutely chock full of conflict, just like the real world.

Dramaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So, make your choice, people. I challenge stuff pretty much daily. I post a FUCK of a lot. I’m not changing that, and if you find it hard to cope with then its probably best for everybody you leave, mostly because I see this as my way of becoming a better person. As of right now, I’m pretty confident that’s working rather well.

Don’t be surprised at how other people live their lives, because they’re simply not you.

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