Sunday Reads: Of social media outrage and other unfriendliness

“Outrage is the theme for the day every day for some social media users.”

You’re probably nodding your head in agreement with that quote if you use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

In this case, the writer on the Maxim site was talking about the backlash experienced by singer Paul Simon after he tweeted some comments about the late actress Carrie Fisher, to whom he was once married.

You see, he had the audacity to say Ms. Fisher “was a special, wonderful girl.”

Some Twitter users took exception to the word “girl,” according to Maxim, and starting “bullying him” with nasty tweets.

I think many people who express themselves on social media have been bullied there, too. I have been on several occasions. I have learned not to engage the bullies, because they are just looking for a fight. They thrive on that, perhaps because they are lonely, bitter people determined to make other people feel as miserable as they do. So, I simply block the bullies so that they can’t send me any more nasty comments or see my account.

But this week, I got hit with a more subtle form of bullying: two people “unfriended me” on Facebook and Twitter because they didn’t like, in one case, an article I shared (not my own) and, in the other case, a tweet I retweeted (again, not my own). In other words, I was sharing the views of others. One of the individuals actually sent me an email giving me heck — over the views expressed by some writer in an article I shared on Facebook about the Barack Obama/Russia affair — and stating that she was unfriending me. The other person sent me a snide comment giving me heck for sharing a tweet by a naturist organization that offended him. Too much nudity, apparently. I tweeted back that I found his comment interesting and that I was planning to write a post here about nude photos posted by naturists. He unfriended me.

No, I am not upset about the fact two people unfriended me after subtly bullying me. After all, friendship on social media is a fleeting thing. But I wonder why they didn’t just quietly unfriend me and stop reading my stuff. Why did they feel the need to lash out at me?

Personally, when I am offended by tweets or posts by people, I simply stop reading them and following them. No fuss. I certainly wouldn’t dream of lashing out at them first.

Of course, it takes all kinds to make the world go around. And social media is certainly a diverse slice of the global community. But as one wise young man once told me, if it all gets to be too much for you, simply turn off the computer and, perhaps, take a walk down a country road or something.

How about you? Do you have any stories to share about your adventures on social media sites?

P.S. I’ll be writing a post later today about naturist/nudism photos being posted on social media.

About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature giving us all a chance to point to an article or two that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever.

So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.

— Jillian

 Photo credit: ePublicist via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

3 thoughts on “Sunday Reads: Of social media outrage and other unfriendliness

  1. <>

    I think the lashing out was a reaction to the impotence, the feeling of being ignored, that people have these days. It’s the same feeling expressed by so many Trump supporters in the US and Brexit voters in the UK – “they” don’t take any notice of us. Social media gives everyone the chance to make their voice heard (though how many listen to any particular comment is debatable). You have the luxury, through your media columns, of saying what you think and getting a response – if the people who unfriended you and then lashed out had merely unfriended you, you would never have known, their act would have been irrelevant. By lashing out they have drawn attention to themselves and their feelings (albeit in as tenuous a fashion as the whole social media thing). If they’ve read this column they will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you were aware of their lashing out and that they have acheived some effect.

    Here endeth the cod psychology …

    peter

    Like

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