Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Keyboard Warrior's Creed

** A disclaimer to begin this post. I have had several individuals in recent weeks tell me they were concerned about their interactions on social media. I was glad to hear it. It let me know that I was not alone. One of them shared the first picture below. Thanks, guys, for being honest.

Something happened last week that has intermittently plagued my mind since. I was interacting with a Facebook group (one on which I am mostly a "lurker") and found myself engaging the entire group with a question. The question was valid, but I had the misfortune of posting it directly under a post made by an elder that I highly respect. I fretted about it for a long while. I knew what I had meant. But the people on the other side of the screen were now free to interpret that comment in any frame of reference that THEY SAW FIT.

I clarified my meaning, both on that thread, and then via direct message to the man I was afraid I had offended. He assured me all was fine, but it got me thinking.

I read comments on Facebook and on other social media outlets all the time that make me scratch my head. 
I would like to reply and defend some folks. I would like to reply and set the record straight in other cases. I would like to be able to delete some folks' threads. Seriously! (Admit it, so would you!)

And I had an epiphany... I don't want people to feel that way about my social media interactions with them. So out of that moment, and through others that I have both seen and experienced, this evolved:

The Keyboard Warrior's Creed

I saw the post, it *caught my eye, so in haste I clicked reply.
And stupidly wrote out my thoughts, "I am so wise", thought I. 
I hit the button and watched it go and slapped my back with pride.
I set them straight, I smacked 'em good, I wouldn't let it slide. 

Around the world somebody saw the words that I had said.
They saw no wisdom, read no wit, just sadly shook their head. 
And realized the answer to the Facebook bully's gall;
Is mostly just to hit "Mute Thread" and say nothing at all. 

In pity they avoid response, to help me "not look bad",
But if we're more than Facebook friends, I know that they were sad.
'Cause I thought I had been so bright, I saw myself as keen.
While everybody else just saw a goof behind a screen. 

Oh, why the desperate need I feel, to always have a say.
To offer my opinion -- to correct, persuade, disdain?
Is it not true, as Grampa said, that sleeping dogs should lie?
So why go stirring trouble up, just let it idle by?

Today I'll fill my feed with good and try with all my might,
To guard my thoughts, my words, my texts -- I need to get it right. 
I will beware of idle words, I'll go the extra mile,
To bless the "friends" upon my page and leave them with a smile.

* * * * *

*codephrase for ** "worked me up"
** which is codephrase for *** "made me mad"
*** sometimes.