Ugly On The Line
Social Media reared it's ugly head today.
I'm an active user on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
I like Facebook because I get to stay up-to-date on my friends and family, people are always posting funny pictures and videos, and it's an easy way to let people know what I'm up to, too.
I like Instagram because I've always been appreciative of photography. While I myself suck at taking pictures, I love to see friends creativity and even get an inside look into some celebrities lives. It's always just fun and mindless to scroll through a few times a day and see cute dogs or someone's delicious lunch.
Twitter... is a different beast. While I like having a billion sources of news, a bombardment of articles, videos, and interesting tidbits at the touch of my fingertips, I also found it's a good way to meet new people and get to know them.
But sometimes it's not. Sometimes these places meant for "socializing" show the worst of our society.
The other day a complete stranger told me I didn't know anything about theatre because I tweeted something about not liking a song in "The Sound of Music Live".
I was pretty appalled and automatically defensive that someone who doesn't even know me would say such a thing.
They told me I should learn to appreciate "real theatre".
I should just let this go and realize this person is ignorant.
They obviously don't know about my grandmother introducing me to great musicals like "Gigi" "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "My Fair Lady", when I was just a tiny kid. They don't know about me sitting by her side and turning into someone who freakishly loved being on stage.
Or the countless hours I spent in middle school and in high school devoting my whole life to theatre. Or the three summers I gave up to spend 12 hours a day NOT GETTING PAID in unfashionable black outfits working for Music Theatre of Wichita. Or how I was a theatre major, studied theatre, and did nothing but improv and plays in college. The all-nighters I pulled to make sure our sets were built and painted. The summer I worked for The Cape Playhouse, the oldest theatre in the country. Studying with Second City and helping bring Wichita's only professional improv group to life.
No no, I clearly don't know anything.
However today might have put me over the edge. For those of you who know me, I come with a fair amount of snark. Usually I'm joking, or trying to and failing.
I made a throw-away comment to a friend and the next thing I know, my opinion was flat out attacked by not just strangers, but friends. Then I was attacked PERSONALLY. Attack an opinion all you want, but never a person. I was called ignorant and told I "must not watch the news"- again by a total stranger. Oh, and that I must have failed in LA if I'm in Kansas City.
I don't watch the news. Nope. Just worked 5 feet away from the President of NBC News in NYC, sat in the control room while Tom Brokaw delivered the news, wrote the news for years the #1 station in Kansas, and made it all the way to CBS in LA where I....worked in news.
These comments from people are funny, except they aren't funny.
I have to ask myself why a stranger would be so insulting?
As I sat upset and shed a few tears tonight because I'm sensitive, my boyfriend unknowingly (or probably knowingly) said something wise.
He said "10 years ago this wouldn't have mattered. You'd be sitting there in a happy mood, enjoying your Friday night".
Which makes me think- did we really throw away all social sensitivity and acceptable behavior in 10 years?!
No stranger would ever have the gall to say shit like that to me if I had been standing in a bar. Why is it ok over the internet?
Why is insulting and assuming things about someone ok because it's online?
It's dumb to let social media stress you out. The bf suggested I delete my accounts. It makes me sad, because I enjoy Twitter. I'm a writer and when something pops in my brain, I have to get it on paper. If I don't, it stews there and I think about it til I write it down and send it out. That also explains why I'm writing this stupid blog at 4am. Stews.
But sadly, staying on this stuff can open you up to the negativity and hate in the world. Is it worth it?
Do you stay exposed to ugly, biting, head rearing Social Media? Or just shut it down when it can become a problem?
Hashtag- what would you do?