The Immeasurable Power of a Word Slip

It’s been years since I graced this blog, so forgive me if I sound a little off. Like the first time I wrote an entry, though, there are thoughts in my mind that just won’t shut up. They have taken over my supposed good day, and are now threatening to overthrow my good sense — meaning it’s hindering me from working.

So let me vent.

Don’t worry, it will be amusing.

Have you ever been in a position where you say things about someone without really thinking why you’re saying it? Some people call it word vomit, others a slip. Whatever you call it, it imprints an effect on people.

Resulta ng larawan para sa saying rude things tumblr

The effects vary in degrees, depending on what you let slip and just how important you are to the person you’re addressing with these words. Regardless, it’s an effect.

In the most basic of interactions, like a restaurant server and a customer, it could be fleeting. A comment like “move faster” is easily shrugged off, unless, of course, that person has his own deep-rooted hatred towards being asked to move faster than the sloth it was compared to.

There are thoughtless comments though that unintentionally change people. You may want the adverse effect or you may just want to make the person feel bad, but really, you have no control over the results you create.

I have seen this happen so many times, and I’ve been on both ends. Never to the extent that those I’m trying to call out here have gone, I hope. I’ve witnessed this in real life, and alarmingly, on most social media platforms. People resort to thoughtless ad hominem because of a political squabble. Good if it was at least based on facts, but most are ill-conceived. It’s unfortunate that people find the time to put these comments up, but not enough time to Google their validity. Guess it’s easier to say things you never took the time to think through, than it is to challenge your current bias or improve your instinctive responses.

Ever thought to stop and ask what random, negative comments say about you?

 

Because these are spur of the moment comments, it reveals more of you than it does about the person you’re addressing. You call them an idiot, and it shows how easy it is for you to reduce people to their ability to think, rather than their other contributions. You compare them to another person you deem as incompetent when they’re actually helping just because they’re not doing it at your pace shows your lack of grace and gratitude. Resorting to thoughtless rhetoric to make yourself feel better and the other worse shows how self-centered you are. It also reveals that, instinctively, the only way you can motivate people is through negativity.

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What do you think you’ve accomplished by doing that?

If you’re thinking you’ve gotten people to work harder for you, you’re wrong. You’ve convinced them to stay as far away from you as they can when they work. Do you comfort yourself with the thought that you’re only inspiring them to move faster and be better? No, you’re telling them that they’re not worth respect.

Although we are all human and will inevitably make mistakes like this, try… try not to. It’s one thing to do it, apologize and aspire not to do it again. It’s another to resort to it each time you want to gain the upper hand.

Be better, you owe the world and yourself that.

 

 

 

 

 

#internetfriendsday

A few weeks back my sister got home from school seething and usually I steer clear of her -or anyone that pissed- when I can but something about her screams ‘let me vent’ so I asked what’s she’s reeling about. She told me that in one of her classes a prof blatantly told the class that there is NO such thing as a friendship forged online.

They’re not REAL friendships.

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Let me tell you about my little sister, she’s a world of words in her head but she usually stays in her quiet corner outside of it. You have to be either really dorky, like me, or very close to her for her to even consider starting a conversation with you much more maintain it. When she started with Twitter and Tumblr, she met teens just like her- a little awkward and shy but very creative and witty and with so many stories to tell and talents to show. She grew more outgoing and trusted people more.

People may argue that it’s an unconventional interaction. You can choose to hide behind anonymity or refuse eye contact or whatever else traditional social interactions it requires to make the encounter a success. Really though, what are the rules of friendship? And who made anyone judge of it?

IDGAF

Because trust and honesty, they’re not founded on proximity or your ability to physically touch someone, Yes, it makes it infinitely easier to comfort your sobbing best friend if you didn’t have a few thousand miles separating you but where were these apprehensions when we force women into arranged marriages or soldiers falling madly inlove with women they’ve ONLY written letters to. THEY WEREN’T BECAUSE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ARBITRARY AND YOU HAVE TO JUDGE THEM AS SUCH. 

My ability to be a good friend is not limited to a hug or hauling ice cream and a bunch movies to your place when you feel like crap. It also means that I’m here to listen to your rants, share in your eccentricities, reassure you of how much I care, confide in you when no one else is willing to listen and accept you for everything that you are and choose to do including SHARING A FRIENDSHIP WITH ME ONLINE. No one has the right to tell me what my standards should be for friendships.

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I CHOOSE WHO MY REAL FRIENDS ARE AND THEY’RE BASED ON SO MUCH MORE THAN THE SUPERFICIALITY OF PHYSICAL AFFECTION. 

I’m in no way belittling the treasure mined from friends I’ve physically met and spent lots of time with. They’re all amazing and I thank the heavens everyday that they put up with me. All I’m saying is the connection that I organically feel with them can manifest with anyone, in any form, anywhere. It doesn’t have to be 2 meters away from me. It can be behind a screen, 5 time zones away.

So I’ll end this with a personal message to every single person I’ve met online and established a friendship with. The means of our meeting doesn’t in anyway change my admiration, care and love for each and everyone of you and I’ll debate any prof who tells me otherwise. 

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and danie if you’re reading this, it’s for you love. -wink-

#LouisvillePurge

I just wrote a thousand word entry about this 5 minutes ago but for some reason it got deleted so I had to redo the whole thing. I don’t remember much of it since most of you already know, I’m an emotional writer and I put everything I’m thinking to an entry.

Here goes.

About a week ago I got engaged in a conversation with a few of my online friends regarding this threat about a ‘Purge’. For those of you who are yet to see this dystopian thriller. It chronicles a 12 hour per year tradition of no laws, authorities and my opinion, morals where you’re allowed to do whatever the hell you want with no fear of prosecution or punishment. This goes to say that no one is safe.

The Louisville frenzy starts with a flyer.

This flyer got games cancelled, forced people to stay inside and encouraged the height of police vigilance.

When I woke up this morning, my twitter feeds were fire with the #LouisvillePurge trend. Basically there were two factions, one freaking out for their lives and those they care about while the other half condemn the hoax that is this issue. My first instinct is to gag at the stupidity of it. Who in the sane mind would want to reenact such a violent, pointless and avoidable act? I’m almost convinced that insanity is contagious and we’re contracting it. To be honest, I have no idea what to think.

On the hoax side

Well the pictures people tweet are from the movie and anyone who’s seen it can attest to that. Makes you wonder where the real pictures are if there’s any. They also question the validity of the police scanner everyone’s been tuning on to since the beginning of the ‘purge’. They say it’s pre recorded or it’s sketchy that there even is one.

At one point I even told my sister this might be some marketing campaign to promote the Purge movie franchise like Carrie. If I’m right, they’re sick and you should all just boycott the movie because that’s not a reasonable stretch of marketing tools use. If I’m not, we should be more discerning of how we interpret movies because reality imitating art doesn’t go for everything we get to watch. 

People also pointed out that the city should be on proper lockdown or else it would have spread to surrounding cities. The fact that it hasn’t is odd. Well honestly how do we know that it has or hasn’t? No major news center like CNN or BBC or Fox News has reported ANYTHING on the matter- which leads me to last reason why people think this is nothing a but a sick joke some guy behind the screen started. Where is the coverage on this really?

On the’IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING’ side

Mind you the Louisville Police Department does link a police scanner on their site and half the people I talked to online confirmed it’s credibility.

http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/13853/web

There’s also a few local radio broadcasts discussed by people living in the surrounding areas. Then there’s people living in the area talking about staying indoors and being really terrified. It’s on twitter under this trend. You can go check it out for yourselves.

And frankly, the fact that major news facets have not said anything about this is a double edge sword. The topic has plagued half the netizen world for hours and you don’t see them shutting this down while they blow up stories about celebrities getting back together. It leads me to infer this might be similar to the Guatanamo, Wikileaks cover story where everything is up in the air until they can come up with the perfect media diversion- but that may just be my conspiratorial, non trusting brain working.

Whatever it is, I’ll leave you to make conclusions on your own. I will however link sites to help you out.

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Let me just end with this. Hoax or not, we should not make jokes about this. There are people who actually suffer from purge-like scenarios. Stop insulting them with humor and your attempts at a pun. IT’S NOT FUNNY.

DELETE (tweets, posts, entries)

I tweeted out something this morning that I thought was pretty well constructed. Boy was I wrong. Turns out I missed an article which for a girl with grammar OCD is pretty glaring. Well, I thought I could just delete that tweet like I always do when I spy something wrong or unappealing about anything I send out to the virtual world. Just one click and buh-bye!

photo from lynndae.tumblr.com

But is erasing an error that easy? Could you really wipe away a blunder with a swift stroke? No, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, we’d be a world of righteous do-gooders. More than the consciousness of righting a wrong, I find the culture of getting off the hook so quickly for something you do mindlessly is perpetuating society. It’s great that you’re keen enough to notice a mistake and correct it but why were you able to make a mistake in the first place? Have you ever considered that the ease of correcting a mistake is directly proportionate to the tendency to commit it?

Take baking for example, we measure ingredients down to the last teaspoon because we know even the smallest inaccuracy in measurement can cause the cake not to rise or taste bitter or burn. The knowledge that we are doing something so intricate encourages us to think more clearly and act more carefully.

I’m not suggesting never doing anything crazy or spontaneous for fear of making mistakes or things not working out but instead to stop half thinking when doing menial jobs like tweeting or cleaning the house or texting. If you have a preconceived notion that you can easily right whatever stupid thing you do, you’ll condition yourself to do that even in the more important things you engage in. After all, habits are only repeated actions.

So here’s what I’ll do, I promise to double/ triple check my posts before I publish them and {this particular clause I might violate now and then but I promise to try really hard} if there are any mistakes I won’t correct them anymore. I have to learn 2 lessons here and I wanna share them with you. First if I care enough, I should check enough and not always fall back on ‘I can come back and correct it anyway’. Second, that some mistakes are meant to made. If you did your best not to make them but you still did, maybe the best to do is accept you made them and just learn from it rather than pretend it never happened.

 

***

Don’t worry. This isn’t a correction, only an addition.

I’m not implying that you never try to correct your mistakes. You should, if you can that is. I merely want to train myself not to err because I have safeguards i.e. deleting a tweet after considering how stupid it sounds. Removing that safeguard forces me to be more careful. This are but training wheels. When I don’t feel the urge to keep correcting mistakes I should not have made in the first place, I’ll let up on myself a bit.

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when vanity will get you killed

Okay, okay, I get that #selfie is a trend these days but should anyone really be too engrossed as to get killed because of it? The past days my twitter feeds are flooded with pictures of couples in the middle of the street holding hands, all sweet and uncaring of the world around them. They’re happy, that’s great. But let me just remind you guys that whether the shot is brilliant or not is not necessarily the problem of the driver or DRIVERS passing by that lane. It’s a road- FOR CARS.

It was like this

or this

or this

*calming down* Since Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social networking and blogging sites have dominated the lives of every netizen *including me*, we’ve seen all kinds of reckless posted online. Pictures and videos of people hanging off a cliff, plopping on the bed head first, racy twerking all over the streets, romantic pictures taken in the middle of nowhere or in the midst of a bustling crowd of people, they’ve all graced our news feed at some point. These are all just expected consequences of having the internet so accessible to half the global population, if not more.

I am in no position, nor do I want to be, to judge what’s ‘too much’, ‘too racy’ or ‘too vain’ because it’s very relative but there are instances that are universally UN*friggin*ACCPETABLE and I think we’re all smart enough to know which ones these are. Like for example, standing in the middle of EDSA (a very congested road) or the national highway without any permit just to take a couple of pictures to post on instagram and hashtag selfie is bollocks. I don’t care which continent you’re from, you don’t do that. You’re gonna get people killed. The moral of this story is to know the limits of your vanity especially if it already affects more than just yourself.

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deleting comments

Posting online takes a lot of bravery.

Granted we are protected by a veil of anonymity and very few if not none will be able to tell who we really are when we decide to hide behind the masks of our online names but it doesn’t make us any less vulnerable to judgements  made by our fellow netizens. The pang of anger and hurt we feel when we read derogatory comments about our posts, what we stand for or, much worse, who we are as people is not diminished by the fact that they don’t personally know who we are and that they’re not saying it to our face. It’s equally painful.

Yesterday I was posing a question towards a stance a blogger had on gun control. It wasn’t anything personal nor argumentative. It was a simple query regarding the logic of his parallelism. He then responded with a full on tirade about how I must be black or an immigrant of some sort who wishes to reek hell on US. At first I thought he was joking. It really did not make much sense how he attacked my character and how he stereotyped non-white races as pro destruction or violence. Although I found it extremely offensive, I wasn’t going to let him turn me into some conflict crazy monster who argues with everyone who has a different view so I simply told him that there was no need to feel attacked but he just wouldn’t stop. He then deleted all my comments and the comments of those who also had a different view.

It’s a blogger’s right to moderate the comments on his page especially if it hampers the image or the goal of his site. However, I hope that we’re all responsible enough to understand that presenting our readers with a skewed version of the truth lessens our credibility as bloggers. Just because you quoted a Harvard Study out of context, it doesn’t mean you’re handed the authority bastardize the dignity of discourse. Disrespecting those who have different views or are of a different race or culture under the guise of a pen name or an online profile is barbaric. Let’s not make the web an avenue for bullying, promoting irrationality and creating racial divide.

And by the way dear Sir, erasing my comments and the comments of all those other people on your page only proves that you think they have merit and you’re a little scared your readers will think the same. Let’s be dignified netizens and respect the influence we’ve been awarded.

the power (or curse) of anonymity

@thenerdhub

@pilyongBrentTzu

@livelaughred

@lasswhoreads

@FantasticThread

@callmetolay

More than half of my Twitter community aren’t using their real names. A good amount of my Facebook friends aren’t who they say they are. Most of my followers on this blog I have not met nor had a conversation with (but I’m thankful for each one, really). In the age where we live half our lives on virtual media, we ought to understand why people act a certain way online and act different off it.

Context changes a lot how people interact with each other. The cloak of anonymity and the lesser possibility of physical confrontation emboldens a person to pursue actions which he might not normally consider doing during face to face interactions. The premise is similar to the rush of courage we feel to go topless on a beach in Ibiza while we refuse to do same thing on the beach in our neighborhood.

It feels as if we have lesser responsibility towards our actions when people who care are not aware we are doing it or people who see us doing it don’t care about us at all. 

On the downside, more and more netizens are becoming unaware and uncaring of what they thwart about online. They believe it’s legitimate because it’s an expression of their freedom but ask them if they’ll do the same, use the same words, curse and not care when they are in front of the person they’re addressing it to. Chances are more than half of them will retract their words or would not show at all.

Granted we have the right to say what we want, when we want, the way we wanna deliver it but with that right comes the responsibility of standing by it, defending it and being quoted for it. If you have the nerve to call someone names and walk all over them, have the nerve to be called out and have someone trash you too. That’s how freedom of expression works, on and off the net.

It’s not all bad though. I finally found the guts to write again, anonymously at first. I was afraid, you see, to be judged and not be good enough or as good as most people thought I was. Slowly, my confidence grew until one day I realized I was typing in my name at the end of my work again. Had I not written anonymously at first I don’t think I’ll be able to take the pressure. I wouldn’t have posted my work at all. I know this rings true to many other people.

For some anonymity is like training wheels, they come off when we’re ready to ride on our own. For others they keep the art or thought pure, free of the bias others might have against or for the writer or artist. Still others find it important to maintain a mystery, an image. I am in no position to judge any of them for I too was once there and every now and then I revisit the perks of namelessness.

I guess the bottom line is you get to decide what role anonymity plays in your life. Will it be the hero that pushes you to higher grounds or the villain that drags you down? You have to make that choice because nobody else can dictate who you can be, whether it’s on social media or in real life. Just remember accountability is not mutually exclusive to people who have names plastered on their opinions. Remember, what you say about others says more about you than it does about them. 

Do everything as if it has your brand on it because it matters less that people know, what truly matters is that YOU KNOW.