Social media aka Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Google+, you get the picture, can either be an absolute godsend or an absolute kick in the virtual guts.
It’s filled to the brim with people who take it upon themselves to become keyboard warriors. What is a keyboard warrior you ask. It’s simple. It’s someone who uses the internet to show aggression that they wouldn’t normally show in life. For example being confrontational when IRL they are non confrontational.
I’d like to think that I’m not one of those people. I have a rule with myself that I will never say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. It helps me live with myself. If at the end of the day you can look at yourself and be happy with the way that you have conducted yourself then I guess that is all you can do.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found that not everyone lives by these standards. Everyone likes to twist their own meanings into things and it is so easy for an offhand comment made in jest to get out of hand. It’s so hard to convey emotions and sarcasm in the written text and you never quite know how someone is going to take something. Something that you see as hilarious, Mrs Joe Blow might find offensive. It’s so hard to pick.
Being a keyboard warriors is more than just an accidental offensive slip because lets be honest we all have them. Yes even me, the awesomeness has them ;). A keyboard warrior is deliberately aggressive. Antagonistic if you will. They make idle threats and usually don’t know how to debate constructively. A keyboard warrior tends to fall back on insults when confronted. If you are on the receiving end of a keyboard warrior you may even feel like you have time warped back to high school.
The last couple of weeks keyboard warriors have taught me a few lessons. The biggest lesson being to take a deep breath, take a step back and not let the online world take over my real life. Over the Easter weekend I took a complete break from social media and it was a breath of fresh air. I’m definitely too much of an addict to give it up forever and quite frankly it does have its awesome points. After my break I was able to come back to social media with a fresh slate. The comments made weren’t getting to me as much and it wasn’t spilling over into my real life anymore.
I noticed that 90% of my conversations to Paul were about my frustrations of Facebook, we weren’t having REAL conversations anymore. We even started to argue about it. After my break and a huge conversation things are better. I’m sticking with the good stuff and trying to ignore the bad stuff. Both for my happiness and my family’s happiness.