The internet is so dumb. Beyond dumb. Last week, this guy started following me on Twitter. I followed him back. He sent me a direct message and asked if he could republish my material on his blog and give me 100% credit.
And then called me beautiful.
I tried to respond to him but it didn’t seem to work. I was unable to tell him, “Don’t call me beautiful. My name is Laurie.”
[Mz Ruettimann if you’re nasty.]
Now listen, I don’t know the guy. I am sure he is a great human being. Loves small children and animals. Gives to charity.
I just know that people use adjectives to demonstrate power and proximity. Calling me beautiful implies that he is in a position to judge me. Calling me beautiful implies that he is in a role to judge beauty. And calling me beautiful implies certain rights and privileges — and he can call me ugly at his discretion.
And really, the dude looks. It’s just rude.
But the story takes another turn. Some random woman left a comment on my Facebook page — where she subscribes through her own free will — and called me a moron.
Huh. That’s a little strong and weird. I don’t know why I took the bait — I’m usually smarter than that — but I decided to reach out to the woman and have a thoughtful, reasonable discussion about feminism.
Okay, well, sorta.
Holy balls, Batman!
I would never publish this woman’s identity although I did google the crap out of her to make sure she isn’t psycho. Guess what? She’s not. She is Human Resources professional and very educated. She has a pretty good career and a nice life.
So now I’m fighting with an aggrieved HR lady instead of focusing on the original point — I was contacted by a dude who felt like he held the authority and position to call me beautiful while asking me for something in return.
Geezlouise. This is why social media is ridiculous.
So I’m taking this crazy woman’s advice and trying to show you what a teachable moment looks like.
It looks like this.
- Don’t use adjectives. Use proper names. Always. And never call someone a bitch or a moron.
- If you ever find yourself getting angry with a total stranger on the internet, it’s you. Full stop. (This includes me.)
- When you’re angry with someone on the internet, it’s time to take a break, step away from the laptop, and go hug your kids (or cats).
And if you’re Bob Warren, don’t call me beautiful and ask to re-purpose my content like you are doing me a favor. Do I look new to you?
But you can use this post, Bob, and give me 100% credit.