The Importance of Being Personable when Impersonal

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I go on multi-tweet rants about things in spite of the microblogging mantra. This is partly because of my habit to go on and on about things in general, but it’s reinforced as “acceptable” by the people I choose to follow. These aren’t friends I connect with, or “celebrities” in the traditional sense of the word, but they are people with many followers based on the dialogue they spark. Naturally, to spark dialogue, messages longer than 140 characters need to be sent piece by piece.

One such person, not “famous” but experienced in an online social presence as I used to be, is “@donglord69”. Overnight she posted an extended series of tweets about lessons she’s learned in feuding ideologies in online arguments, particular with her experience on my unexplored territory of Tumblr. What happens in these fora is usually a more condensed version of public dialogue, spoken or not. In this case her stream of consciousness as translated a tweet at a time surrounded the argumentative style the internet permits – a stubborn us-versus-them mentality that knee-jerks to vilify the other side rather than have real conversation. If we tried first to understand others, then addressed their assumptions one at a time in respectful, lateral discussion, perhaps we could change people’s perspectives. “Do not feed the trolls” is an extension of making respectful conversation the first resort and ignoring/humouring them while choosing to be unoffended as I have in the past being the healthier alternative.

I get a lot of inspiration for this blog from the topics that spark from people like Don G. Lord/bell hookahs (both pseudonyms she’s assumed) – like minded people to both me and each other who tweet things that I agree with, but add an additional perspective to. It’s through reading (I think “listening” is more appropriate in this case since it’s not full books and tweets are composed in a more as-expressed-verbally sort of way) tweets of this broad group of people that I have been further convinced there is no need for an enemy. An enemy is a person chosen as a target. Targeting people won’t change the social context and cultural factors that made them that way. Not knowing what social contexts and cultural factors contributed to who you are is doing yourself a disservice, and not forgiving others for first being shaped by theirs is instant hostility. Listen. Talk. Educate. Learn. Don’t judge people until they make clearly conscious decisions to be an asshole. Don’t get suckered into arguments with trolls. Sucker trolls into constructive dialogue. That’ll show ‘em…the realities of the underclasses and systemically disadvantaged. Mwahahahahaha.

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