Barking up the wrong tree

“Jesus Christ, am I your friend or your enemy?!”

[tree bark]
Uhhh… I’m a tree.
Relationships are messy.  They’re a part of life, and you will be tested… naturally.  The internet, however, being as it is a global network of computers, isn’t natural.

Long ago, I thought communicating online could be the solution to my difficulty of communicating in real life, being brought up in isolation.  A window of opportunity, a way to soul-search, witnessing personal accounts of friendships that began online, an outlet of productive activity, etc., where I would otherwise have the, well, void.

…Boy was I wrong.  Dead wrong.  Keep your day job.

So far, it’s been a blend of dreams, news and entertainment, and… like TV, you almost never apply, at least without some implicit obligation… If anything, venturing down that path, I became more alone than before as those little heart symbols remain alien to me.  ♥

Don’t get me wrong, the online experience was liberating; I got a much better picture of the world looking things up; the more I read, the better my perspective was… provided my “B.S. detector” was on.  But as time went on, age caught up, and things became bleak again.

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Now, technically, the world-wide web is what you/we make of it, and in any infancy of a technology there’s going to be a lot of failure.  A lot of failure to communicate properly, for one… which is ironic considering the whole point of the internet was communication.  It’s artificial to begin with, so when it doesn’t work, it seriously doesn’t work.  Miscommunication, and the fear of it, can add a ton of stress, particularly for those who don’t know what they’re doing. …Yeah, me included.

I’m always afraid of being wrong to the point of needing to be technically correct.  I have little life experience, so I spend way, way too much time editing.  In the effort to not be so stressed out, I remain to a degree lazy, but sometimes, when I see just how superficial the web can be, and at the same time how inadequate I am, I think, “what am I doing here?”

And now it seems I’ve refined myself out of existence.  I hit a tree…

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…er, dead end.  It’s the situation where you have nothing to do, and despite room for improvement it’s been hard enough, and you can’t keep doing exactly the same stuff… The point of pointlessness.  Clinically depressing pointlessness.  Three days in a row, just… useless.

Now, it wouldn’t be accurate to say nothing happened this past week.  If you’ve had any experience in social media, you just know you’ve offended at least someone; there will always be people who don’t get your sense of humor; there will always be someone who will take what you say personally… especially when you give in to someone’s claim of there being ‘a connection.’  Normally, a connection would sound sweet, but we’re talking the internet and all of the stories of questionable ethics associated with it.

My little meltdown experience began in the middle of the year on twitter, after following a ‘friend of a friend.’ …Yes, yes, I know, those are flags already. :/ At any rate, I never seem to know what I’m getting into.

Not wanting to be on twitter 24 hours a day, I made a mistakes— writing poorly articulated and late responses… as always… and things gradually went south until finally blowing up in my face.  The openness and curiosity turned into assumption-making, and my friend became irritable and accusatory when rejecting his/her ‘help.’

It’s not as bad as it may sound, but don’t you think it’s a bit hypocritical to call me self-righteous if you begin punctuating with passive-aggressiveness, and… using tactics that only someone like me can see through?

That fear in my voice isn’t anger per se; sometimes you frickin’ scare me.

…Okay, so I haven’t been a very good friend, and if you’ve read any good lot of my words on this blog…it’s not a good lot of words.  But there is such a thing as common decency.  Be respectful if you care about respect… and stuff. —Something teenage me had violated, so maybe it’s karma.

But still, you know something’s wrong when the term ‘irrational’ comes to mind; I mean, when you have no solutions, the situation is the very definition of irrational.  What I saw doesn’t quite meet the criteria, but I do know that I became unsettled.

[birch tree]
peel off (p.v.): to leave or depart.
The other thing is: it’s twitter.  What can you take seriously on twitter??  You know it’s a person with feelings on the other end, but… Do you see the paradox here?  It’s not a good thing to think that a friend, responding only in text, might not have the best of intentions.  I think back to a man who supposedly worked at my mother’s bank screaming in her ear over the phone about “Wanting The Money!!!”  Fleeting thoughts…as with so many thoughts I have the stupidity to post on twitter…

Considering how easily content can be taken out of context, shouldn’t there be some benefit of the doubt?  These days just about anything can be held up as racism(!).  On my end, I made a comment on how distracting the new emoji skin tone modifiers can be when they’re not parsed correctly—solid black rectangles for unrecognized characters with my Android phone.  I said that I don’t care for the modifiers— which include Simpsons-like yellow tones… it gets misinterpreted, and in so many words I am perceived as having a preference reflective of ‘institutionalized racism.’

Insert ‘Anguished’ emoji here… oh, there it is: 😧

…Now, when I say I don’t care for the skin tone modifiers, that does not imply “I don’t like people of color”; it does not imply “stop using these emojis”… it doesn’t imply anything… other than, of course, the fact that I prefer Google’s set over Apple’s.  (Over-polished any?)  They’re characters.  On the internet.  Send a pizza emoji to Domino’s to order a pizza.

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Almost looks edible, doesn’t it?

…Just that word, ‘appreciate’— it’d help in all this, right?  I would appreciate it more if you said, “I don’t appreciate you talking to me this way,” instead of: ranting.  (And twitter DMs, by the way, no longer have the 140 character limit, if you get my drift… 😣)  People, if you want to be effective with your words, listen first, know where the line is, and don’t alienate.

“Find the funny, or else you’re preaching.”
—Kathy Griffin

Take it from our current President: he only listens to the people of his choosing, enjoys getting away with things, and always alienates half the country.  It’s no wonder Congress is gridlocked.

Now, I know how draining it can be to self-edit… and how draining I can be in general… and the fact that I opened the door… and the smirking emojis— Maybe what I’m receiving is a reflection of my own language? …No, no—the things I point out— I’m not trying to nitpick; a line was… when… but… I must’ve… no— Ahh!

Darn you, social media, and your confusing charms!  Gosh-darn you to heck!…

Sigh. …Oh— and this friend may or may not have nitpicked at my written sighs too. …Like a (low-grade) nightmare come true.  I am reluctant to publish this outside of WordPress.

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And on that note, I hope you had a decent Halloween! 🙂 And don’t forget to set your clocks back if you haven’t already— Standard Time. …A bit late, since it’s now Wednesday morning. …Three days spent editing.  Isn’t it fun having to use a flashlight when you take out the trash?

…Well, whatever you’re doing, have a good one. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Barking up the wrong tree

  1. Ha. Yes.

    I have a friend who is a social worker. When he is in the mood to be left alone, which is often, he calls himself the antisocial social worker.

    Perhaps the same could be said of social media? Which, by the way, my antisocial social worker friend does not do. 🙂

    As a grandmother with teenage to twenty-something year old grandchildren, I have often thought that if there had been social media when I was a teen, I would have ruined my life at a very early age.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ….and when it comes to editing yourself cross-eyed, don’t you hate when you post a comment and then, when it is too late to edit, you realize you have used the unnecessary word “very” twice in two sentences in a row?

        Sigh. Some of us are doomed to never grow up.

        Like

      2. Ah, but the double-very worked… apart from some sentence fragmentation that gave the impression that it didn’t. …In my experience, perfectionism ruins the writing process, so it may be something to never ‘grow up.’

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Social media sure is bizarre, isn’t it? It’s like a peek into the human psyche and once seen it can never be unseen again. Studies are showing that the more connected we become, the lonelier we get. I think part of that is our love for melodrama, power, and rejecting others. IRL people do not behave this way, because someone might just punch them in the nose and be done with it. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the loss of real connection really has an effect on people… rejection for some semblance of control, melodrama for entertainment as some reason to be there. Real life has those vital elements you can’t ‘delete,’ where it comes full circle.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many things are confused on social media. It’s very easy to be misinterpreted. There are also probably many lonely people looking to fill a void with social media. I can only take it small doses, Adam. I hope you’re well. Happy Face. 🙂

    Like

    1. No worries, just… I have these moments, like, ‘is this it?’ I mean, twitter’s better than tumblr, to me, that the news feeds are actually respectable to a degree, but… sigh, so much of the internet sucks.

      You have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that… Those who were popular in high school have that in their genes. They simply know how to be popular, and they are most likely hitting it off really well in social media also.

    And I’m totally expressing myself wrong. But you know the ones “I ate a muffin for breakfast, here’s a picture of it” and boom 65 likes! And you post something that was thought out, edited 6 times, with a great image to support and — nothing. Yay. I was rejected by my peers in high school and now there are no limits to where and how I can get rejected. Oh joy! 🙂

    I’m just being facetious. I really enjoy my social media life, it’s helping me better understand how to actually really be with people. Although there are times where I feel like Dexter when he analyzes how th normal human should feel.

    ps. It’s 6:39 am, i have a cold (first one in over a year) and I have to move out of my rental home back into my home and all roads are closed between both houses because of a parade. But everybody loves a parade. I preferred it when I was the 5% in the parade.

    Liked by 1 person

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