It’s been a while since I was challenged online. As a result, this is the note that’s now being left to remind me that when that happens again, here’s how you sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that you were perfectly justified to do what was done.
It isn’t just STEM where this happens, and (ironically) it isn’t just men who reply. Potentially everybody has the ability to be a twat when presented with Social media. Last night, I was Pedanted.
Sticking anything online immediately holds you up for criticism, and increasingly that will have nothing to do with what’s been written, and more to do with why you bothered to do so in public. This would place my commenter very much in the ‘they mean well’ area of Reply Guys, right up until the point they came to look at my profile page, noticed I’d registered my displeasure at their initial comment with the above Tweet, and then proceeded to quote that straight back at me.
Hmm, where have I seen this before?
Looking at it in the cold light of day, if I’d have just been happy someone spoke to me online and not objected to the fact the person didn’t care about my work but was a pedant… we could be following each other by now. Instead, I scored my first legitimate block on the work account, and was rather disappointed that my clearly quite intelligent adversary decided to run away without a decent tussle.
However, when going to look at their account this morning, and having spent time reading their last few weeks worth of output, I feel this was absolutely the best outcome for everybody. What, you don’t go and do that before you follow someone? Really? It is why #FF (Follower Friday) on Twitter used to fill me with such dread… it still does. Throwing out a bunch of people just on the say-so of one person in your feed is all very well if all that matters are the numbers, but if you care about learning from interaction…?
Motivation is not just about eating well and pushing exercise. It is the means by which I maintain sanity and sanctity online. That requires, on certain days, a level of patience that would elevate most normal people to sainthood. If your task is to reach out to total strangers and attempt to start an argument, one should not be surprised when that’s exactly what happens. If you express an opinion and someone disagrees, you should not then automatically counter with a defensive stance.
I expressed initial displeasure that my combatant chose to focus on semantics and not on the point of the post, which (on reflection) was clearly my downfall. However, if the person had wanted to discuss the actual post, they could have done. The choice here was to pick a hole in my reason for posting. In that regard, they went about trying to start a dialogue with me in completely the wrong way. The result, inevitably, was stalemate. The cosmic ballet of Internet Interaction continues unabated.
Some people might wonder why I do this to myself, continually pick apart interactions that most normal people would just dismiss and move on from. I’m not normal. This is what I need to do to remain sane, helping an overactive brain cope with the issues that present themselves on a daily basis. Now it’s unpacked and understood, I can move on, and this post is marked as reminder that when this happens again (and it will) as long as you’re polite, pleasant and make your point, that’s all that can be done.
Motivation isn’t just about accentuating the positives.