IM = Social Rudeness

I hate instant messengers these days. The reason I hate them is because people don’t have any courtesy when they use them. They think that because it’s just a form of online social networking that they don’t have to use the common courtesy that they use with people with whom they are speaking face to face. Here’s some of the stuff that’s been nagging me lately about IMs:

Scenario 1: You see a friend online on your IM. You send them a HI. They respond and you start talking. Then your friend just stops answering you. After 10 or 15 minutes go by, you wonder if they are on the phone or working or something. However, an hour or more goes by and you notice that the person still shows as online, yet you never once got an explanation from them for why they stopped talking to you.

Scenario 2: You see someone online. They do not have a busy message up. You send them a message and they snap back at you, telling you that they are busy.

Scenario 3: Someone sees you online. They send you a message. You talk for a few minutes and then they just stop, like in #1 above.

Scenario 4: Someone IMs you as soon as you come on, to ask you about someone else. No, how are you? No, are you busy? No anything. Just blurting out what they want, getting the answer and then, without a thank you, they stop talking to you.

There are a lot more scenarios. Those are just the top ones that several people have been perpetrating in my world lately. I know that IM software is buggy. Sometimes it shows people online when they are gone. I give people the benefit of the doubt… until those scenarios become regular occurrences.

So here’s the thing. Why is it that people feel it’s okay to be rude, because you’re talking to someone online and not on the phone or in person? In this age of technology, those scenarios up there are just as rude as hanging up on someone. Why do so many people not get that?

At any rate, here’s what I’d like to see the perpetrators of those scenarios do so that they stop pissing off me and others:

  • If you don’t want to talk to all the people on your IM list, make yourself invisible to the ones you DON’T want to speak to. Then, if they are courteous, they will not IM you.
  • If you do start talking to someone but become distracted by other IMs or Tweets, tell the person you gotta go, you are talking to someone else and you just can’t concentrate on all the convos. I don’t get pissed when people say this to me. I prefer to know that they’re busy with someone else rather than they can’t be bothered to tell me they don’t wanna talk to me anymore.
  • Start your IM convo by asking how the person is. If they are busy… this lets them know that you will not take offense if they don’t have time for you, and shows them that you aren’t just some rude SOB who lives in an egocentric world.
  • Use your busy or away message if you busy and/or away. Don’t just snap at people because YOU didn’t put up an alert or warning.
  • When you IM someone, and start a convo, don’t just stop talking because someone or something else is more interesting or more urgent. If you started the convo and you can’t continue it, then you need to end the convo. Tell the other person you have to go.
  • Don’t forget the common courtesy that was instilled in you as a child. The people online are just as real as the people you see every day face to face. They have feelings and they deserve to be treated with the same level of courtesy as any other person.

All of us have been the victim and the perpetrator in these instances I’ve depicted. I’ve started becoming more aware of how I treat others online because of the way I’ve been treated by a handful of people whom I thought – knew – were my friends. We all need to realize too that just because someone is your friend doesn’t mean they understand what is going on with you and isn’t hurt when you treat them rudely in IM.

I’m not sure how to solve these issues. I’m probably going to have to bite the bullet and send an email to all the perps because they don’t read my blog. I wanna be nice about it, but at the same time, it’s hard because I’m disappointed in their behavior. I don’t want people to be mad at me, but I also don’t want to feel bad when I speak to them in IM and they just don’t show me any courtesy. Obviously, it’s something that has to be tailored to each friend in an individual way, but I don’t like having to do it. I wish I could just understand how people can get like this. It reminds me of how people drop all their friends when they have a new love interest. It’s rude, and hurtful.

Ok, I’m stepping down from the soapbox. Do you have an IM or Twitter pet peeve? Something that common courtesy would resolve? Feel free to rant about it in comments.

Have happy social media Sunday!

Solar Plexus

*sigh* My self esteem has taken a hit in the solar plexus. Lucky for me, I’m used to gasping for air. However, it’s left my mindset that of the poor kid staring in the window of FAO Schwarz at Christmas. Or Ebeneezer Scrooge looking in the window at the happiness of Bob Cratchit’s family despite their lack of money. So I’m a little disconnected, a little lost today. You’ll have to forgive me my moodiness.

One night ShinyBitch told me she needed a poem for her character Sascha. Sascha was going to write a poem to her mate. Shiny was looking for poetry on the internet. A few minutes later, I gave her this:

Winter breeze cold and chill
The screams of broken hearts so shrill
You stand before me so tall and real
But hold me always, let me feel.

The path to love is long and hard
The potholes linger, like your guard
Upon me always watching, ever there
Catch my stumbles with your care

You hold me up when I’m alone
When I can’t bear the river’s moan
The shrieks of pain from winter’s night
You always shield me from its fright

To me you are the only one
Who breathes and sighs and always comes
To my side in darkness free
And lives to love no one but me.

Another time, my friend Jen, who uses the name Opalgirl on message boards and IM, was bemoaning the fact that people were writing poems for each other on the Zanctuary board, but no one had written her a poem. A few minutes later I gave her this:

She glows with a regal light
Twists and turns give forth
Fire beneath the surface
Brilliance not as like the diamond
But instead a warmth felt
From the heart out to the skin
Her moonglow in muted hues
Outshines her sisters
With understated elegance
A genius caught within
The unknown, the mysterious
She is aglow with magic
Her fire banked always
But flashing brighter than the sun
To make those self same sisters
Pale in comparison
And kneel as supplicants
To the Opal.

I’m not into writing poetry these days, although on occasion I can just slap something together like those two poems. I’m sure that neither of them would survive a critique, but both made people I care about happy, and that was all that mattered to me. With the hit to my self esteem, I’ve been sort of bashing myself internally, wondering if all the things I write only matter to a few people. I’ve been questioning my creativity, my skills. I’m no literary genius, but I somehow thought I had it in me to be something more than a technically proficient cliche.

You expect to be critiqued and judged when you put the things you write out there in this electronic media world for others to read. Somehow I’ve come away from a few recent writing experiences with the sense that I’m not expressing myself very well. When I write a piece that is meant to give the reader a sense of the character’s quietly growing despair, a spiraling swirling darkness that is sucking them in, and the reader doesn’t feel that… I can tell myself that it’s just one person. When others chime in with a “meh” attitude about it, I begin to wonder what I could have done to make that sense of quiet despair more palpable. And the answer, of course, is nothing.

I yam what I yam. My creativeness has been honed over a lot of years, and if it’s just not there… then it’s not. I’m not going to drink some magic bean juice and wake up in the morning with a brilliantly creative bean stalk of ideas sprouting from my brain as if I was a JR Ward, Nora Roberts, or Charlaine Harris. (Harris’ books have spawned a new HBO series called True Blood.) I guess I have to admit that I’m just not that creative in an original sense.

I don’t have any trouble being run of the mill and cliche on most days. I was just a little more sensitive today what with the way things have been shaking out at home and work. Tomorrow I’ll probably wonder why I ever felt as if my self esteem had taken a hit to the gut. I’ll probably look at my writing and be happy with it again. Today, I’m just gonna sigh again.

Hope your Wednesday is sigh free!

I’m Full

The IRS rebate check hit my mailbox today. My return had my old PO box on it so I mailed them a change of address. Did they manage to get the correct address on my check? NO. Bastards. Did they send the check to my old PO Box? NO. Bitches. Whoever got my change of address transposed the numbers when entering it into their system. Morons. Grrr.

Since I was flush, I ordered a white pizza. And boneless hot wings. The wings were a little warm so I drank a few bottles of water with dinner. I’m full now. Thanks Dubya.

Too Much

There’s too much emotion out here in this corner of the Blogosphere. I’m swimming in the stuff. I have a couple of things to say and they are prolly not things that will gain me any fans. Yeah, I don’t like lying or cheating. Yes, there are people I like who have cheated and lied. Usually, they didn’t lie or cheat on me. Well, actually, no one’s ever cheated on me. Yes, if I don’t have first hand knowledge, proof positive of something, I don’t like to rush to judgment. If the reasons for why something happened are not readily available, I don’t like to assume. I probably should have been a lawyer. I often have a very logical mind. I also have been accused of being a cold blooded, cold hearted bitch.

What are you going to believe? What you see and hear of me on this blog and the other sites I go to on a daily basis? What my kid says about me on her blog? What my sister would tell you if you met her? (She’s the one who’s repeatedly tarred me with the cold bitch label.) What do you believe about me? What do you KNOW?

Are you disappointed in me now that you know my sister believes those things about me? If I make a mistake, if I’m confused and upset and I make poor choices in my life and blog about them here, will you tell the internet that you’re disappointed in me, that I’m a liar or not what I presented myself to you as? Does my whole blogging “reputation” come down your assumptions about who I am on the inside, as misguided as that may be?

I’m not taking a stance on either side of the fence in the drama that happened. It’s a horrible tragedy, and neither of the extremes in stance that I have heard appeal to me. My sense is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle and no one but the participants really knows the whole truth.

However, seeing and hearing all the opinions about this, does raise some questions with me. I find myself looking over my shoulder, wondering what fucked up thing about me will be the thing that turns first one person, and then many others who listen to that person and allow those opinions to color them, against me. Because truthfully, I’m not pristine. I would never claim to be nor present myself in that manner. I’m a hugely flawed person, from my emotions, to my motivations, to my heart, and my soul. Which one of those flaws will one day disappoint you?

Devil’s advocate is a role I can never seem to shake. I always have to ask those questions and look at the other side. I’m eternally optimistic and practical at the same time. I have a scientist’s love of facts and digging for them. I have the psychologist’s yearning to delve into the psyches of others and understand their motivations. I like people who are real. Or are at least as real as I can determine them to be based on the information I have to work with.

I was really gonna do a Thursday Thirteen about 12 giraffe photos in my My Pictures folder. I guess my thoughts just took over and wrote this though. I don’t want to be judged by all of you, yet I know that every word I type, whether it’s funny or reveals my heart, are words that you will all judge… even if you say you won’t. I’m a big enough girl to accept that people will judge me. I learned long ago that is just another part of human nature and to rail against it is to isolate myself from the world.

So, instead, here are my thoughts for you to see, to judge, to like, to dislike, to do with what you will. I’ll be back tomorrow, whether all of you stop by or not. I’ve been through too many brouhahas and other shit in this life to let people’s feelings about me stop me from doing something I like doing. After all, you’re entitled to your feelings and reactions… and so am I.

Maybe next week I’ll do the 12 giraffe photos. You might want to stop by and see them. One of them is giraffe sex. I’m not quite sure how I found that photo. It was completely by accident, I swear. And it’s funny. Well, really what’s funny is the way Shinygal laughs at it. Yeah. I think I will post the giraffe pics next Thursday. I hope you come by to see them.

BTW… here’s the pic of me at the company picnic that Motley took with her Nikon. No makeup. All grey haired, and age spotted, with crow’s feet and bags under the eyes. WYSIWYG. If you’re not afraid of all that reality click on the photo and look at the larger version. Maybe if you look real close… you’ll see into my soul.


Alone

I’m beyond pissed off at someone who is staying in my house at the moment. I cannot do anything right now, I am so pissed off. I cannot go off on this person either. He has a heart condition, and he’s a bonehead. He’s been a bonehead most of my adult life. Saying something will get me absolutely nowhere. And I’ll feel guilty later if I yell at him. I mean, his kids don’t do jack for him. I guess I feel a little resentful because I supported him for a few years. A few years when I didn’t have the money to. I lost everything I owned because I was supporting more people than I could afford to.

He’s here “visiting”. That really means he has nowhere to go and no money until his Social Security check hits the bank Monday. I was hoping that then he would go back to Seattle, but apparently, he’s not quite ready to go yet. It might be another couple of weeks… I hope I survive that long.

For the 2 weeks he’s been here I’ve barely turned on my TV because he has to have the TV on in the living room. I can’t afford an inflated electricity bill so I leave my TV off. He has all kinds of lights on because his vision is bad. He has poor marksmanship in the bathroom. He cooks and leaves food out all day and night. All of which wouldn’t be so bad if he would just CLEAN UP AFTER HIMSELF!

I’m so angry right now, I’m crying. My brand new manicure is messed up from cleaning the stove because he couldn’t clean up from the stuff he cooked yesterday and the day before. And then he roasted a chicken and baked on all the crap he spilled on the stove yesterday.

Tomorrow, I’m going to the company picnic… ALONE. That’s right. I’m not taking my brother. I’m not taking anyone. I am NOT good company right now. And the worst thing of all… this stupid shit makes me feel very alone. I put a good face on it for those around me and for those I’m talking to on IM, but the fact of the matter is… I am alone and I FEEL alone.

This is why I need my characters, and why I’ve been rather irritated that I couldn’t write them. They are never too busy playing online or going to the mall to have time for me. It’s just imaginary time… but still, they never leave me alone. I can always turn to them and lose myself in them. I don’t feel inferior with them. I don’t feel like a wallflower or the unpopular girl or the bitch with them. They hear me. They listen to me. Okay, maybe the guys flirt with me too. HEH. I mean, if they don’t, who will?

Maybe it’s a horrible selfish whiny ass woe is me pack of bullshit fed by where I work, but a lot of the time, I wonder how long anyone would miss me if I died. And ya know, even though it is a stupid whiny feeling sorry for myself thing, I think I’m entitled to a few of those a year, wouldn’t you think? I’m responsible the rest of the time after all.

Sheesh. I’m already regretting what I’ve ranted. I guess, it’s not just the alone. I think… I think I’m lonely too. I can’t remember the last time I really felt lonely. I talk on IM and in email and on boards and to people at work… all the time. But for some reason, I think I feel lonely. It’s kinda weird. I haven’t had this feeling in a very long time. I’m no Pollyanna, but I always spring back from every bad mood I have. I guess I will from this one too. It’s just that I can’t remember the last time I felt like one of those movie tricks where someone is standing still and there is all kinds of activity that goes on around them in a blur because they filmed it in slow motion. All these conversations going on around me, on Twitter, in IM, email, boards, in the office, in my house… and I’m just not feeling connected. Weird.

I’m going to bed. Maybe my characters will talk to me. Motley was nice to me on the phone just now. She’s gonna help me get my hair really straight tomorrow morning for the picnic. That’s nice of her. Although… she still needs to take out the trash. HEH.

Wishing you a non-lonely Sunday!