STFU Fridays: Rude Comments

Ugh.

That is a new thing in our house. Everything that is disliked, annoying, arduous- just about anything distasteful – begins with a big, long “UGH.” It started when Pookies didn’t want to do chores and just started flopping around the floor going “ugh, why do I have to do that?!” From there, the trend began, and it seems now it’s every other word out of all our mouths. “I have to put away the dishes.” Ugh. “The laundry needs to be folded.” Ugh. “What’s for dinner?” Ugh.

I’m sure you faithful blog followers can imagine that rude comments, on all fronts, are met with the unhappy groan in a big way. This week’s STFU Fridays is devoted to them.

Rude Comments on the Blog … Ugh

Being a blogger is the most bullshit job there is, I think. Sure, it’s cool to have a place to vent in a no-holds-barred way. Yeah, the community of bloggers is awesome. Will I ever stop doing it because it’s bullshit? No way.

But man are there a lot of dicks on the Internet.

At least once a week, I get a comment on an old post or my About Me page. I have come to emit the “UGH” right off the bat when I see it in my email, simply because it always means one thing and one thing only: someone is attempting (in an anonymous, chicken shit way) to call me an ugly, nasty, dirty, miserable whore. Some beat around the bush and say I’m childish because I stand up for something I believe in. Others go below the belt and tell me I’m a slut. There is also the group of comments that I just know are from my husband’s family and friends (most of whom very much dislike this bitter cup of tea).

Untitled

To all of them: shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up, or at least grow some balls. I have never had a rude blog comment come with an actual identity. You know, someone that has the guts to actually say their name and real email address? Because with a real email address, we may actually be able to talk it out. Sometimes people just got offended by something I said, or misunderstood me – that would be remediable if only we had a real identity other than “UraCunt@fuckyou.com”. But then I’m sure anyone that calls me something like that, or says that I “look like someone gang-banged your face and left you for dead to put you out of your ugly, slutly misery” may not be in the mood to smooth things over.

Rude Comments on Facebook … Ugh

Have you seen anyone post rude comments on Facebook? I see it all the time. In fact, I see it so often, it’s a wonder I haven’t bled to death from biting my tongue in an attempt to preserve friendships with people I am slowly, but surely, losing respect for.

MjAxMy1iOWQ5MGMzNWIxNzczYzNlOne such rude comment is this eCard that goes around regularly about how Facebook is not your diary. That is the rudest fucking comment anyone could make – be it directly or indirectly. Facebook is whatever-the-fuck people want it to be. If someone wants to blather their shit all over about their drama and their life and their various issues, just who the fuck is anyone else to tell them that they are using the social network wrong? If you don’t like it, don’t look at it! And shut the fuck up!

Ugh.

But it isn’t just a comment in a card like that. It’s everywhere. The other day I saw someone post that a girl with no money is made even uglier than her taste in clothes. What the hell? Yesterday one of my friends felt it necessary to qualify her complaint over her Facebook status with an entire paragraph about how she doesn’t usually like to complain on Facebook. In the comments, someone made some rude comment about how she’s “become one of those.” I could go on with these anecdotes for days.

It is as if all of our social barriers have gone away, and rudeness is the status quo. Shut the fuck up.

Rude Comments in Person … Double Ugh

I deal with a lot of rude comments in person. For those faithful blog followers that work in customer service, deal with assholes on a regular basis, or are surrounded by people that feel it their duty to let you know on a regular basis all the reasons why your existence in this world is wrong (I fall into this latter category), then you will really get this one.

Lately I have felt very criticized. Everyone in my family seems to be having a really hard time not telling me why every step I make is wrong. “This needs more…” “You did this wrong…” “Way to screw up…” “You aren’t cleaning this right…” “You folded that wrong…” “Why did you do that the wrong way…” and so on.

In the last week alone, my husband has implied I am a bad mother, told me I really am a bitch; and my father has questioned and argued with my decisions as a parent no less than eight times. Don’t even get me started on my Trailer Trash Mom – UGH, I know.

A few weeks ago, we had guests over for dinner and I was told that I went to college and graduate school to “do nothing.” That apparently spread around the family, and on New Years Eve I was reminded of the rude comment. These types of things occur in our house (directed at me) every, single day.

People that make rude comments like this in person need a big punch in the gut with a shut the fuck up fist. Life is hard enough without some trollish a’hole making things more contentious and miserable.

So, faithful blog followers – I implore you to ruminate on this one a while. Because as I wrote, I realized a few times in recent history that I too could have been construed as having made a rude comment. I mean, I’m called The B(itch) for a reason, right? If you are a rude commenter, please join me in shutting the fuck up. And for Christ’s sakes, stop calling me a cunt on my About Me page. This Friday’s STFU will be meaningless if we don’t.

 

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An Open Letter To Facebook From a Blogger

Dearest Facebook –

On behalf of the blogging community, I have to say: we are all feeling a little put out by you lately.

When you first came on the scene, we all jumped ship from Myspace and came over to you. It was fickle and – for many of us – a little hasty, yes; but you were so new and clean and fresh.

I’ll be the first to admit that you impressed us. You won us over with your charm.

You gave us the opportunity to have Fanpages, which was an awesome way to market our websites and blogs. It wasn’t quite advertising, but it really helped. You said there was a Fanpages community. You said it was free to join. “It’s free and always will be.” We jumped on board. We did the timeline thing when you asked us to. We worried about how many fans we had. We started pinning highlighted posts to the top of our Fanpages like you told us we should. We even made cute, little posts when we reached a certain amount of fans.

We looked into making more professional designs like the big guns did. When State Farm started listing its Facebook Fanpage on its commercial, we really took you guys seriously. We talked about our Fanpages to our friends. We tried to get more fans in our blog posts. We shared each other’s pages in hopes it would grow our Facebook community.

Because we considered you to be a community – an online community where people could come together.

But recently it’s seemed as though you aren’t really a community. Recently it’s seemed more as though you are an enterprise. A dirty, greedy, extortionist-run, capitalistic enterprise.

You see, a community may have ads and billboards and opportunity for financial incentives and growth within it. But it also has some sense of participation that you get just for being there. Just for existing. People can’t be limited to only exist to say 10 or 15% of their community if they are there. If I am in a park, enjoying the sun and the falling leaves and the flowers still in bloom and the autumn breeze that is blowing through my hair, the whole park usually sees me. It isn’t limited to the number of people that I have paid to be able to see my hair as the wind blows it a little bit too out of control.

In fact, I would never, in a million years, expect to have to pay just to exist in the community in which I live. Which begs the question of just why Fanpages now are being expected to pay if they wish their posts to exist to their fans?

I understand, you are running a business. But that’s what the ads were for. That’s why when we go to log in, we have to be bothered by videos automatically playing on your homepage. That’s why in our personal Facebook pages, we are foisted upon with ads for companies we have never even heard of being suggested throughout our Newsfeed. Not just on the sidebar anymore, but between the friend’s baby photos and the cousin’s engagement announcement. That’s why we usually let go of the whole privacy concerns you raise. We move along with all the changes you make. We embrace your so-called innovations that are usually just setbacks.

There are all kinds of Fanpages out there. There are pages for professional companies. There are pages for products, like Tide and Snuggle. There are pages for activities, like turning the pillow over to the cold side when you are hot. There are pages for athletes and actresses, and even the prostitute down the street from our old apartment had her own Fanpage.

And then there are Fanpages for bloggers.

Don’t underestimate the presence of bloggers in your community, Facebook. Think about how many bloggers are out there. There are millions of blogs posted a day, by millions of bloggers. There are big bloggers that write for newspapers and magazines, like Time and CNN. There are little bloggers such as myself. There are people that blog for companies like you. At some point, enough of us will be upset enough by your blatant greed to jump ship from you too. And while some may be able to pay your ridiculous promotion fees, more will not on the principle of just how greedy you have become.

Eventually you will fall like every greedy empire does when it tries to extort money out of people, or just sits by and allows anyone that cannot compete fiscally to be squashed. There is still hope for you, though, Facebook. You could start letting more fans regularly see the posts that Fanpages make. You could make yourself viable again.

When I was in third grade, I read a fable once about greed that I will never forget. It was about a crow that found a piece of meat on the ground.  He picked it up and flew to the top of a tree.  While sitting there eating his meat, a small bird passed by carrying a dead rat. The crow called to her and asked “where did you get that dead rat?”  But the small bird did not answer: she flew on her way.   The crow saw that she paid no attention to him, and he became very angry; and called out, “stop and give me a piece of that rat, or I will follow you and take the whole thing for myself!” Still the small bird paid no attention to him.   At last, full of greed and rage, the crow was determined to have the rat by any means.   He left the meat he was eating, and flew after the small creature.   Although she was only a little bird, she could fly faster than the crow; so he could not catch her.

While the crow was chasing her, though, a hawk happened to pass by the tree where the crow had left his meat.   The hawk saw the meat, and at once seized it in his claws and flew away.

The crow was left with nothing. He had the meat and he gave it up for nothing.

You could make us love you once more, Facebook. But it isn’t going to happen if you expect us to pay just to exist in the community that we built for you. You’ve got the meat, but you’re going to lose it all to your avarice over a dead rat.

Reasons The Internet Has Become A Little Lame Lately

Is it just me or is the Internet becoming a little lame? I mean, without the Internet we all wouldn’t have been able to watch that amazing jump from the edge of space today. We wouldn’t be able to stay as connected as we do with our friends and family. And we wouldn’t be able to read fabulous blogs such as mine (bahahah … I’m fairly certain you all read my blog regularly out of pity, more than anything else).

But there are some things awry with the Internet lately.

#1 Everyone’s bitching about politics, or bitching about bitching about politics

I know, I’m one of the worst with the bitching about bitching about politics. I’m just so sick and damn tired of reading people’s little political tirades about this candidate doing this, and that guy they think is a Nazi. I’m also up to my ears in upsettedness about how disrespectful people are about the President. I know he is a Democrat and is a candidate in the race like any other, and not everyone will agree with his positions, but he’s also the President of the United States. That – in and of itself – deserves a very basic level of respect.

And the people that post these political tirades on Twitter and Facebook and shit just go on and on and on. It’s like paragraph after paragraph, with the need to click “continue reading” at least twice if you actually have some morbid curiosity in how the rant ends.

The thing that really sucks about this, though, is that now there are two camps of people: (a) the people that are bitching about politics, or bitching about bitching about politics; and (b) the people that have basically turned off the Internet until after the election.

#2 Bloggers just posting about how they blog

Do you follow a blog that does nothing but host list serves, blog about what blog followers are talking about about their blog, and post week recaps of posts and comments?

There is nothing wrong with hosting blog hop-style lists. I participate in quite a few.

There is nothing wrong with mentioning in a post what people have been talking about in the comments or the Facebook page of your blog. I do it often.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting a recap. I don’t do it, but I also don’t find anything wrong with it.

But if these things are all a blogger blogs about … it begs the question: where is the good blog content? It’s as if they don’t actually have anything to write about and are just doing the lists and the blogs about their blog to cover that up.

#3 Facebook’s acting like a dick

I just cannot get over the fact that Facebook openly admits that they will only allow about 10 – 15% of your Facebook fans (of fanpages) to see what you share on your page. It’s outright extortion – the only way to actually have your followers see what you post is to pay.

So I log on to my B(itch)Log fanpage Facebook profile, and I want to see what is going on with the other blogs I normally network with. But because I’m only part of that small 10-15% of the ones I follow, my feed is made up of not much I want to see, combined with a scramble of posts from weeks ago.

It makes me not even want to waste my time logging onto that Facebook page anymore.

I’m not sure what it is, what is happening. Maybe it’s because of political season. Maybe the Internet is finally really jumping the shark. So is the Internet being lame for you too?

Are Bloggers Becoming Mean Girls?

A few days ago, I saw on someone’s Facebook page a post about how much bloggers have become cliquey. It was from a relatively new blogger. I won’t give any identifying characteristics of her, besides that she is a “her,” simply because I feel bad that she got so upset about this, and I don’t want to make her feel worse. Anyway, this blogger was complaining – emphatically – that she couldn’t get into any of the “in crowds” and, therefore, she was going to stop blogging altogether. She has since deleted her blog site.

I thought about this for quite a while. In high school, I hated the cliques. Now when I think of them I think of Mean Girls with Linsay-the-trainwreck-Lohan. When you have cliques, you have backstabbing. You have cheating. You have a load of gossip. You have more drama than a daytime soap opera. And you have people being excluded for no reason other than that they aren’t “cool” enough, by whatever standards of “cool” the clique collectively determines.

I have a hard time believing that bloggers have become Mean Girls.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized this blogger was let down by her experience in the community of bloggers probably of her own doing. I, myself, have felt let down with the ebbs and flows of blogging, but I didn’t allow myself to give up as a result. Really, the blog community may have niches (politics, food, parents, humor), but on the whole, if you find yourself not being “embraced,” it has absolutely nothing to do with being excluded from a clique or some vague, ruleless popularity contest.

#1 You may not be generating

good content

It’s hard to look at our own writing objectively, so if you find yourself lacking readers it’s sometimes a good idea to ask someone you know to read a post to see what may be turning people off.

My dad is one of my most faithful blog followers, and while many of you may think he is too “close” to be objective, he thinks I’m a blazing asshole, so usually serves as a pretty good source for what’s awry in my posts. You can always tell he’s been giving me constructive criticisms (read: yelling over the phone at me) when my language tones down a little, I talk about hookers less, or I change up my themes a little bit.

Beyond good content, bloggers are writers, which means they want good grammar, excellent spelling, and – for God’s sakes – appropriate punctuation. I’ll tell you faithful blog followers right now, if someone places a space between their sentence and their exclamation point (like this !!), my brain explodes into tiny particles and I immediately put that person on the “not interested” list to avoid future damage to my noggin.

#2 You may be a liar

A couple weeks ago I saw someone post that they had made it into the Top 25 on Top Mommy Blogs – a list server where people cast their votes for the best of over 5,000 mom blogs currently out there.

I was floored because I knew this woman had only written a couple blog posts in total, and had just joined TMB. When I clicked to see where she stood (as compared to my meager standings that hover between 50 and 75), I saw she had totally made it up. She wasn’t anywhere near the Top 25. She wasn’t even near the Top 200.

The most important rule of blogging is to be honest and yourself. If bloggers find out you’re nothing but a big fibber, you’re going to have a hard time getting support.

#3 You may not be a sincere peer

The blogging community is a community of peers. That means we have equal respect for each other. It means we help each other, and often. It means we communicate with each other. And it means we approach each other with sincerity.

It does not mean we follow people on blog hops just to get follows back, then “unfollow” the next day. It does not mean we ignore people’s comments, Tweets, and otherwise communications because we think we’re “too big” for that. It means we thank people for what they’ve done for us.

If you find yourself feeling a little excluded from the blog community, it may have to do with your sincerity towards your peer bloggers, or rather your lack there of.

#4 You may be a victim of the ebbs and flows of blogging

Newsflash: we are all victims of the ebbs and flows of blogging, on many occasions through the course of our time as bloggers. Earlier this year, I was so “over” blogging because I hardly got any comments or views for a one month period, and then a few posts later I was Freshly Pressed. Over the summer I had another ebb, and was just completely disillusioned with where to go next to get out of the rut; then completely out of nowhere I got about 600 more Facebook fans in a matter of days.

The point is to not give up. You haven’t been excluded. The Mean Girls haven’t stabbed you in the back and permanently kept you on the “don’t bother” list. You are just experiencing the same thing we all do as bloggers.

So do I think that bloggers have become Mean Girls? Absolutely not. Do I feel bad for anyone that feels they have, regardless of what I just said? Absolutely. The community of bloggers is one of the most supportive, open-arms communities I can think of. We aren’t Mean Girls. We’re all just people with stuff to say.

Internet Memes

And the Internet has screwed us (intellectually) again.

I have to tell you, I am not really a fan of Internet memes… in fact, I didn’t even really know what they were until recently.

Well, a few days ago I saw a cute one about writers, then a similar one about stay at home moms. Then all of a sudden everyone was posting them about their stupid goddamned profession – nurses, doctors, postal workers, you name it. It was that six box “what society thinks you do…” “what your mom thinks you do…” meme that quickly became an Internet sensation.

I can’t take it anymore, though, so I’ve created my own meme in response. I recognize the irony (or, more accurately put, the hypocrisy), but I’ve seen so many of these things in the last few days I am beyond the point of caring.

Dirty Thirty, Dirty Thirty

You all recall I’ll be turning the big three-OH in less than six months; on April 15th to be precise.  Thirty is a huge deal to me, although it remains to be seen exactly why.

For years I had a huge and overtly unrealistic list of things I wanted to do by the time I turned thirty, of which not one thing on the list was completed.  Not a one.  So for my 100th blog post, I went ahead and recreated my list with some things I thought were a little more realistic.  To review, that list in short was:

1) Finish 40 books for the calendar year 2011 and get a good start on 40 for 2012

2) Go on a date with Wolf Blitzer

3) Prove to myself once and for all that I am going to stop letting what other people say influence me so much

4) Buy a plane ticket to take a trip home in 2012

5) Take a road trip to northern California to visit the John Steinbeck museum

6) Eat sushi

In hindsight, though, faithful blog followers, short of #2 inspiring me to Photoshop a picture of myself with Wolf Blitzer, that list was pretty lame.  There were no typical-Heather crazy times on there.  There was nothing too terribly difficult or lofty.  (I mean, seriously … eat sushi?)  In the end, I think I was just trying to cop out so that I could hit thirty and say that I had actually done the things I wanted to do before turning thirty.  Well, I’m still months out and have accomplished almost all of those things already.  I’ve almost finished my forty books for the calendar year and have stacked up my pile for next year.  I had happy times in Photoshop Land with Wolf.  Recently I decided to ignore the majority of the comments made by a group of writers I previously allowed influence my writing to the last period, thus proving to myself that I actually can overcome uninhibited influence of others.  I ate sushi (albeit just a taste) and I have planned a trip to the Steinbeck museum as well as booked my trip home (in fact, that very trip is happening a few weeks before the dirty thirty hits).

So it’s time for a revision.  Here’s my new list of things to do before I turn thirty on April 15th … this time, please tell me if it’s lame:

Meet an author that actually inspires me

I’m not talking about the people that write that glitter puke crap like Twilight or Harry Potter; I’m talking about a real author.  Someone that has made me cry when I read their poetics, or that has given me the hope and courage to move forward with my own writing.  In graduate school, I always wished I had been in a situation to had the opportunity to meet the likes of Bertrand Russell or Plato; Nietzsche, Sartre, or Simone de Beauvoir.  Now that I spend hours and hours a day reading, I salivate at what it would have been like to meet some of the American greats – many of whom I missed by only a few decades.  So goal #1 is to meet an author alive today that actually inspires me.

Finish my manuscript, once and for all

A few months ago, I finished the manuscript of my first book only to turn myself around a few weeks later and start the entire thing over from pieces of the original.  Since then, I have thrown away more writing than I have ever thrown away – in all of my years writing professionally as well as academically.  I have learned so much about myself during this time, mainly that I have self-confidence issues when it comes to my writing, that I let myself get caught up in what others want rather than what I know is good, quality writing, and that I lack the focus to stay on track sometimes.  So you see, in meeting this goal by dirty thirty I will have done a lot of other personal growth in the process.

Go for a full week without dropping the f bomb

… or the s bomb, the d bomb, the GD bomb … you get the point.  I swear a lot.  I know, I know, faithful blog followers – perhaps I’m being too hard on myself.  But seriously, I curse worse than some of the sailors I know.  I am sure I can go for a day or two without dropping any of the bombs mentioned above, but a whole week?  That is quite a challenge.  This isn’t to say that after the week is over I will swear less, just that it would be nice (I’m sure) for the people around me to not have to hear my potty mouth for a week.

Finally get up the courage to delete dysfunctional family from Facebook

We all have at least a couple dysfunctional family members – many of us have more than a few.  The difference between you and me, though, is that I can admit that they are dysfunctional and I also know that no line of blood, nor obligations of “contributing to my existence,” require me to associate with them when they’re that messed up.  The first step to mentally freeing myself from the psychological discord that accompanies every family holiday?  Deleting those psychos from my Facebook friends list.  I’ve hemmed and hawed over this one for months, it’s time to give them the ax.

Begin turning my cell phone off for three hours every day, and stick with it

I feel overly connected.  Everyone can reach me at all times – be it over email, cell phone, Facebook, Twitter, you name it.  It’s frustrating because with such accessibility it seems that people now expect to get a response immediately.  This really hit home for me last week when a woman I met at a conference called me to ask a question about Facebook, then called me three more times and emailed me twice upset because I had not returned her phone call right away.  Effective immediately, my phone is going off from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm PST.  Let’s see how long it lasts…

Start a new trend like owling, planking, or tebowing, only with some sort of a purpose or message.  You know planking was so stupid and had no message.  Then owling and tebowing – both stupid.  But there’s also something to be said for the impact of an Internet sensation and the potential to actually carry a message.  So I want to start a new Internet trend with a purpose.  Sure, probably five people will participate … but five is better than none.

So, faithful blog followers – do you think I can do it all?