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Everyone likes unsolicited advice, right?

Sure they do. Or at least complete strangers feel the need to tell me a) what's wrong with me b) where I can go [to hell] or c) what I can do to myself.

For the past, oh, three or four years on my LJ I've had a phenomenon that I've not really seen happen on other people's journals. It started off with me making a post about something I loved, and I'd get multiple comments from people I'm not really close to (not even internet close) telling me how gross that something is, etc. And it's not that people can't have opinions that differ from mine, it's this: why do you think I give a shit about your differing opinion? and why do you feel compelled to make a stranger aware of your position on said topic, especially when that stranger is clearly happy about said topic?

I'm not talking about a post on race where it's possible that I would want to hear someone's thoughts on yaoi. I'm talking about me posting about a TV character. Or food that I like. Or something I didn't like because it's my JOURNAL. That's where you record your thoughts, yes? Now, I want you to imagine a post you've made in the past where you're really excited about something and you note it on your LJ. Now, picture a group of strangers coming over and pissing on that, calling you names, or generally trying to put you down. I get that a lot. Every month, for sure, sometimes more often. (12 times this past week, incidentally. RUDE comments, not "Eh, that wasn't my cup of tea.")

I've tried to figure out why there's such a breach in manners in my LJ, and I think I've figured it out: because we're really loosey goosey over here (we = me and my dudes) and it's a very chatty blog (people strike up convos in the comments, which I'm totally cool with, by the way) I think there's an idea that this is a community LJ. Guess what? It's not. It's my personal journal. Shocking, I know. I also think there's a lot of folks that pop up that don't really have a lot of understanding of the nuances of human interaction. As the mother of a child with a social disorder, allow me to put some more bullet points out there for your (not you, you, but for you. you know who you are*) edification. [Previous posts of Dos and Don't s]

How To Win Friends And Influence People On The Innertubes

[ETA] Please note that this information translates across the internet, and isn't meant to solely apply to my LJ. But yeah - these are rules for my place, too. *G*

1. Never hit the post button until you've read through your comment.
  • Does it say what you really mean to get across without worry of tone or lack of inflection? Remember that people can't see your face, unless you're using a webcam, then they can. Make sure your fly is zipped, in that case.

  • If someone doesn't know you, will they know you are being sarcastic? Or are you just trying to be a dick? Don't be a dick, be a dude. That first part was key: DO THEY KNOW YOU? If not, would you say what you've typed to a complete stranger in the post office? No? Backspace.

2. Double check the web address. Are you on a public forum where people are asking for your thoughts? If the answer is no, you have two options:
  • scroll

  • open yourself up to the fiery depths of internet wank hell

One of those answers is the better one.

3. There is no such thing as being truly anonymous, nor does hiding your identity give you license to be an ass. Your computer has an address and some people (like me) record those addresses. Sockpuppets have a way of being outed. There was a group of people in the south that thought they could hide behind anonymity and do and say whatever they wanted. They liked white sheets, what do you like? My guess is not unicorns, hopes, or dreams.

4. There is no such thing as a special snowflake. I know, that's hard. We grew up with our mothers telling us how wonderful and unique we are, but that's because it's a mother's job to say that. There are over 6 billion people on this rock, and surprise! Not everyone is going to agree with you, your religion, your life choices, your opinions, or how you vote. You can do one of two things:
  • Move on and be secure in your own mind with the greatness that is you. Who doesn't want to bask in their own awesomeness?

  • Stop and fight and allow the internet wank monkeys to descend on you like this.

5. So when is a good time to give your unsolicited opinion?
  • In your own journal! That's what it exists for, huzzah!

  • When someone asks for it. (Ah, but you asked for unsolicited opinions, Stoney! EXACTLY.)

6. How should you state your opinion in a way that will keep the internet Howler Monkeys from attacking?
  • The great separator of animal from man is our ability to reason. You should use cold, unemotional information to support your theory/opinion/thought.

  • Gentle comic stylings, not unlike Dmitri Martin. Note: he uses visuals to support his jokes and insight. Perhaps that could bolster your opinion in a way that will get us to smile and rethink our lives?

  • Irrefutable awesomeness. Not sure you have this one? Stick with 1 or 2, then.

7. But Stoney, I did all you said and I still have big, stinky jerks coming to my journal and being dicks, not dudes! What did I do wrong? Unfortunately, there are just big stink-heads that really like being that way. They look for ways to be jerks, or they didn't have parents that loved them, or their cream was soured before they poured it into their coffee, or who knows what. The great thing about the internet is that you can delete ugliness from your LJ.
You can also go to the admin_console and apply a ban_set [username] if they're really awful and then they can't leave any comments in your personal space! You have just achieved zen.

Ah, Grasshopper, I feel your pain. I have had to ban almost ten people from commenting in my journal for trolling (a word that means purposely being aggressive and irritating in repeated comments meant to upset the user) since Christmas. While it doesn't darken my spirit, it does irritate me to have to waste time. [True fact: my number one pet peeve is waste in any form. Well, going to the toilet isn't a pet peeve, wasting food, time, resources is what I meant.]

8. But Stoney, I really like being a dick, dudes are weak! I want to go to complete strangers personal space and wildly insult them, their mothers, the horses they rode in on, the barns in which the horses were kept, but especially the little bare-footed boy that brings the hay to the horse, he's the best one to mock! Why can't I do what I want?

Dear Dick: you can! You can do what you want. And when you take that step, you make it acceptable for people to do what THEY want to you! This is when we all break into a chorus of "The Circle of Life!" except we should change the lyrics a bit to reflect our internet activity and also to keep from being sued. My suggestion is a substitution of "wank" for "life." Yes, I realize that could be taken out of context to reflect a circle jerk. I'm okay with that.

If you feel the need to be a jerk to people in their personal space, have at it. Just know that you have just slapped a huge target to your forehead and many of us are not afraid to pull the trigger. Metaphoric trigger, let's hope.
Love, A Dude

Remember: the internet is home to all, and just like in any democracy, that means the jerks as well as the people that are awesome. If I may borrow from Edna Garrett,
You take the good, you take the bad
You take them both and there you have
Your live journal. Your live journal.
There's a time you got to rant and rave
About the awful and your fave'n
Your live journal. Your live journal.

When the 'net never seems
To be living up to your dreams
And suddenly you're finding out
Your livejournal is all about you! You!

It takes a lot to not fight
When you're blogging on live journal. (blogging on Live Journal)

* I have not always known the rules to 'netiquette myself. I have had missteps and made mistakes, but I do NOT go to people's journals and say shitty things to them, regardless of what you may have heard. I won a HUGE ongoing wank once when I showed that I'd never made fun of a certain person by linking them to a search for their name in my LJ, after unlocking every single post momentarily. I practice what I preach, in other words.

Remember: the internet knows all, and anyone with some skills can find out anything they want.

I think my all time fave was from this weekend, where someone linked me to a drug and alcohol rehab clinic on a post where I thanked a friend for sending me a gift. Bless. Final thought: if you are an asshat in my journal, you have given me the right to say what I think about YOU. Do you really want to give me that power?

And for those of you who pop up and have commentary, this doesn't apply to you lovelies. I always welcome lurkers, commenters, conversations. I'm talking about capslocked "UR SUCH A BITCA THEY ARE IN LUUUURVE ZOMG I WILL KILL YER BABY" comments. Or "Gross, how can you like Connor on Angel: The Series? He's gross." F you, and take that crap to your own place, thank you.

~The Management


( 184 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
I have this odd compulsion to postly a really dickly comment now! But I shall refrain, to avoid being hit by the ban stick, lol.

Seriously, people have such a sense of entitlement on the intarwebz. What is up with that?

Jan. 21st, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHHA. I think our sense of humor has confused the masses, Aimee!!

Oh, that sense of entitlement! It's a thing of breath-taking beauty some days. Whoo.
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
I've had very little of that sort of thing, even though I'm occasionally more provocative in my opinions than you. I can't work out whether it means you're more threatening, or less (and vice versa). ::ponders::
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I think I might come off as intimidating sometimes, even though I'm totally not. Everyone is the boss of me. :D

I think people feel like it's okay to be dicks around here because it's lackadaisical and chatty - they forget this is someone's journal, and not a community, is my guess.
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
If I really feel the need to be sarcastic in a comment of a journal of someone I don't really know, I generally end the comment with a line like "(Yes, sarcasm.)" exactly because inflections do not always come across clearly. (And I am very rarely sarcastic towards them, or their tastes.) Journals are people's personal sapces, and to some extent bogs are, too. Of course, in many cases lurking and lurking some more shows you exactly how personal the proprietor perceives their space to be, but then part of the problem with Impolite Netters is that they almost never lurk in the first place...
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, cracking wise can be a great thing, and you're right: sarcasm doesn't always come through. I got busted on that one during the Kristallnacht wank, but I forgot that I wasn't on my friend's LJ and I was in a community. I did apologize, which is key, imo.

Your last line "Impolite Netters [...] almost never lurk in the first place." DING DING DING! Nail on the head, I think. :)
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)

Every time I think people can't be more moronic or assholish, they prove me wrong. I will never understand pissing in someone's Cheerios when he/she states an opinion just because you disagree.

Oh internet trolls. What ever will you think of next?
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
I stopped being fannish a while back because of that. I just don't get what makes people think they should be derrogatory on a love post, you know? Baffling.
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
. I get that a lot. Every month, for sure, sometimes more often. (12 times this past week, incidentally. RUDE comments,

You should make a list of these people so we can point and laugh at them
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Some days I think of doing that very thing, but then would I become a dick instead of a dude?

Aww, your icon makes me want to pop in Pulp Fiction. "Pancakes, with blueberries on it!"
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
And when you take that step, you make it acceptable for people to do what THEY want to you!

Yes, THANK YOU. This is my current Thing That Is Wrong With The World peeve right now, people who blow the "It's a free country! I can say/do/think what I want!" horn expecting that to mean that then there are no consequences for saying/doing/thinking whatever. That's not how the free world works, dudes. You can say/do/think it, but then stuff happens in response. That's LIFE. I'm pretty sure it's a law of physics, even. But then I failed physics. (No lie, Physics class in college was Public Enemy #1 for me. I frigging loved and rocked every other class I ever took, but Physics I had to drop. Some day, Physics. SOME DAY.)

Here, this song has been making me happy lately.
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, when you act a certain way, you're giving license to ALL! And I believe that would be Newton's Third Law. *G*

Oh, thank you for the link! That song makes me happy, too! <3
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
You know, I had an LJ friend visiting me this past weekend and we were discussing this very thing. We both had a mutual friend who made a post expressing her opinion regarding a certain pairing in a very offensive way. (I.e. "OMG! ONLY STUPID PEOPLE LIKE X PAIRING! And if you like Y character, YOU ARE BEYOND STUPID!) Both of us happened to be writing and posting stories with that exact pairing at that time, and it was rather obvious that at least some of that was aimed at one or both of us. Guess what we did?

We scrolled on by. Yes. Because however insulted we felt, it was still her journal, and she was entitled to her opinion, whether we agreed or not.

This is just to say that I completely agree with you. Personal journals should be places to be able to discuss your own stuff without fear of people coming in and pissing on your parade. As my mom liked to say, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. And treat others how you want to be treated."
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Oooooooh. 1) that was pretty ballsy of that person, and weak, too for hiding behind her post and rudeness instead of just saying that wasn't her cup of tea, imo. 2) what you two did is the best solution. Rise above it! *applauds*

However, I do get why people jump into someone's journal and bash them if they say something racist, homophobic, or hate-inducing, there's just a way to communicate that WORKS and a way that doesn't, you know?
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
People are weird. Some in a lovely-weird way, some in a weird-weird way. And that is my deep thought for the month.

"Gross, how can you like Connor on Angel: The Series? He's gross"

Random comment from me...Vincent and I share a birthday, so I love everyone who loves/likes Connor. LOL.
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
hahaha, I agree 100% with your deep thought.

Oh man, the constant Connor hate I used to get! And I was very open with how he was my favorite character on A:tS, too! What the hell, folks?? It really killed my interest in participating in fandom.
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Have I issued my general apology lately? I forget?

For my personal tendency to dickishness, I'd need to add "Do not post or comment before the stimulants kick in;" but instead for most of the past year or more, it's been "do not post or comment."

My worst encounter with this phenomenon wasn't on LJ but on the adult ADHD board on About. I posted an entry detailing how the fact that the Mariners were winning (this was obviously a long time ago) was about the only bright spot in a life which was otherwise pretty bleak, what with grief over my Mother's death, both kids in early puberty, and constant construction noise, and all of my meds chosing not to work all at once. One of the men on the board decided to respond to this by saying how boring baseball was, how baseball fans were idiots, et'c and so on, and then when I objected labeled me a man-hating bitch.

You'd think that would have learned me, but not so much.

Julia, to soon old, too late smart
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm talking about people telling me to go to hell, that my children should be killed, that sort of thing. I get it often. More often are the "well, you clearly feel this way, but allow me to shit all over your statement" type comments, which... what purpose does that serve? Why do some people feel the need to be correct (if only in their own heads) with complete (or veritable) strangers?

The world may never know...
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Asshats. Let me at 'em....
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
*turns you loose* :D
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHA. Why thank you. I don't know that I'm as awesome as a PB&J... Maybe mac-n-cheese, but PB&Js?! That's high time!
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Very eloquent post on the subject. As always.

Jan. 21st, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Well, thanks. I was fairly certain I was borderline dick here, not dude. :D
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Jan. 21st, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I will never understand people who deliberately act like asshats in someone else's journal. It's really SAD that some people can only be happy when they're bringing others down. Can you imagine how toxic they must be IRL?

Also....LOLOL @ the monkey pics!
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I can't imagine them in RL! Wait, it's probably something like my icon...

Jan. 21st, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Ok, that is REALLY weird, Stoney! Really weird. But good for you for punching them in the head just now.

I, however, reserve the right to consider myself a supersepcial snowflake and also to not read my comments before posting.
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)

If there ever WAS a special snowflake, I would not be shocked to discover that it was YOU.

And me, obviously. I clearly AM a special snowflake. :D
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)

DOes the above quote have anything to do with Twilight? I don't know why but that made me laugh really hard. Not that I think someone killing babies is funny, but yeah.

I can't remember what brought me to this journal but I like reading it and I'm sorry people are giving you heck/hell/shit/whatever. *hugs you*
Jan. 21st, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. The Twilighters haaaaaaaate me, apparently. At least a handful of trolls that kept coming over to my LJ and leaving comments wanted me to believe that. Me posting my opinions on that juggernaut just brought more weirdos back over here, that's all.

This has been a constant in my LJ since.... 2005, maybe? Bizarre.
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( 184 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
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