I like Facebook.
To me, Facebook is what a chat room should be. A place where one can have truly inane conversations about whatever, without worrying about whether or not someone is gonna insult you, harass you or stalk you for what you say.
For those of you who have the pleasure of seeing me on Facebook, you probably know that I go out of my way not to post a lot of stuff about myself, simply because that 1) I don't like bombarding people with mega doses of me, and 2) I much rather bombard people with mega doses of me in the blog world.
So what I do for the most part is spend what little time I'm there, reading what other people say. I enjoy staying up to date with what my friends do in their life, because there's nothing worse than making an inappropriate comment about something a friend is involved with, simply because you weren't paying attention.
Sometimes though, old habits die hard. Like for instance, having a good argument. A good argument is probably the one thing that I truly miss from the chat rooms. I really enjoy one upping someone in a verbal battle, but in Facebook, the arguments have been relatively few, if not totally non-existent.
So more often than not, I'll post a snarky comment on one of the many fan pages I participate in, hoping that someone takes the bait. Sometimes, I'll post a snarky comment on a status update just to see if someone is paying attention.
Last Friday (7/23), someone was paying attention.
Someone posted a link to a story from the Huffington Post about Sarah Palin and Kate Gosselin going camping in Alaska. So a few people started leaving a few silly comments, which was fine. Then I left this comment: Since when is the Huffington Post considered "real" news?
Didn't get a bite until the next day (7/23), when someone left this comment to me: Haha G, I do hope you're not busy watching your "news" on FOX. If so, how's that white anger (at the New Black Panther Party, ACORN, Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP, and the racist Obama administration) working out?
Now to be honest with everyone, I really don't mind being insulted. Because of where I've been since 2007, I've long gotten used to being insulted. But I do draw the line when people chose to engage in painting me with the widest brush possible with their insults. So I wound up letting this person have it with both barrels and told him in no uncertain terms on what I thought of him, which in turn brought out someone else to defend his "honor".
Why is it that all those supposedly open minded individuals (on both sides of the aisle, mind you), choose to paint with the widest brush possible when they come across a person who has a differing viewpoint from them?
Prime example is the responding comment I posted from that individual. Personally, I don't like the Huffington Post. I used to like Ariana Huffington about fifteen years ago, but now I don't, which is why I made the snarky comment in the first place.
But saying I suffer from "White Anger" simply because I don't think that the Huffington Post has real news is very wrong. Why is my opinion somehow less valid than yours? Why would you even make a snotty comment belittling my personal beliefs and calling me a racist when you don't even know the first thing about me?
It bothers me that someone would call me "racist", because I consider that to be an personal attack on my character. People who usually do personal attacks don't last very long in my world. I used to put a few of the more intelligent souls in their place by relating the following:
"Let's see, my close friends are people of color. I work in an office building where the majority of my co-workers are non-white and I work in a city where I am very much in the minority. My in laws are Hispanic (Puerto Rican). My nephew is White/Hispanic. My step-nephew is Hispanic/Black. So tell me, am I really a racist?"
I also usually respond much the same way about the issue of gay marriage. My personal viewpoint on gay marriage has been modified over the years (because I am that open minded) to basically having a problem with the word "marriage" being used. But that hasn't stopped me considering the other side of the issue. Problem I'm finding though, is that a lot of people are so passionate about the issue that to them anyone who doesn't support gay marriage is a "homophobe".
I've been called a "homophobe" and much worse, simply because I don't support gay marriage. I also realize that gay marriage is here to stay, whether anyone likes it or not. I'm still the same person, even though I don't support gay marriage.
The point I'm trying to make here is this: just because you don't agree with a person's particular viewpoint, don't try to paint that person with the widest brush possible. Use a little common sense when you choose to disagree with someone. You're an adult and I would think that you have the smarts to figure out when someone is being stupid (aka a racist or a bigot) or when someone is voicing a reasonably intelligent viewpoint.
Because you know, it's very easy to have the tables turned on you, and sometimes, once a particularly personal insult is unleashed, it's very hard to undo the damage.
I've been on the receiving end of a few such insults, and I'm still paying the price some three years later.
So please, do yourself a favor by putting brain in gear before opening mouth, because you'll never know how your intended recipient is gonna respond to whatever potential insult your brain spits out.
Think, before you shoot. Because sometimes, the other person will do the exact same thing in retaliation.