I typically try hard not to hold grudges or let petty stuff get to me. And, for the most part, I’m successful. But something happened early Friday morning that has been gnawing at me ever since. The only way I can make it right, and make the gnawing stop, is to talk about it. So here I am, ranting, waving my arms in a frenzy, and ridding the demons.
I am not a morning person. The synapses in my brain don’t fire properly before 10 a.m. (Okay, probably closer to 11.) My usual morning routine is to sort the garbage out of my e-mail, then sit with Twitter and a cup of tea. I hadn’t even settled in with the tea when I received a very public, very abrasive tweet from someone accusing me of something absolutely absurd. I will give her a courtesy she did not extend to me, and will not name her here in a public forum.
Her accusation? I was tampering with her Twitter account. Apparently, my blog posts were showing up in her Twitter feed as if she’d shared them. This means my blog post title would go through her feed with ‘via @DarciaHelle’ at the end. She jumped to the conclusion that I was responsible for some sort of nefarious behavior. Had she thought it through, or at least contacted me privately rather than publicly attacking me, she might have realized how ridiculous her assumption was. Here are some things to consider:
1. I am some sort of hacking magician, but I only use my superior skills to share my blog posts.
2. Most of my posts are promoting other author’s work, not my own, so I hack accounts to help promote others.
3. I’m a genius hacker, but I don’t have enough common sense to remove my Twitter tag from the tweet. I apparently wanted her to know those tweets came from me.
None of these factors entered her narrow mind.
I’ll take you with me as events unfolded. I politely told her I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I was not doing a thing to her account and not forcing her to share my blog posts. She then sent out a couple more public tweets, instructing people not to click on my links or favorite anything of mine because my tweets are “invasive”.
I did not freak out, because, after all, this was a public conversation. Plus, I was barely awake. And did I mention I had no idea what she was talking about?
Finally, my brain took mercy and tossed me a line to save me from some sort of internal combustion. There is a site called Triberr, where members can join various “tribes” that allows us to share one another’s blog posts. I remembered seeing her posts go through there in the recent past. I suggested she might be a member there and have her sharing feature on automatic. She replied that she had been a member but had quit. I suggested she might want to be sure she had cancelled everything. (I wanted to also suggest she take her head out of her… Sorry. Yes. I was being polite then and will do my best to be now, as well.) She said she’d look into it.
No apology for her public flogging of my character.
Later, through a tweet she sent to a friend who is a Triberr group leader, I found out she had in fact still been listed as a member with her tweets being automated. She never bothered to send me a message of apology. Never bothered to send a tweet out to correct her out of control, blatantly false assumptions. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. She didn’t care enough to check facts before making public accusations of guilt, so why should I expect her to be the least bit contrite about her hurtful outburst?
Now, if this isn’t enough to raise my blood pressure, I find out she continues to make false accusations about me on Twitter. She’s doing this by using my name without the @ symbol, perhaps hoping I won’t see it. Seriously? Are we in junior high here? I barely know this woman. I’ve certainly done nothing to offend her. In fact, I remember sharing her tweets on numerous occasions. Now she’s telling people I never share, and that’s why she quit Triberr. And that’s also why she was upset about my blog posts going through her Twitter feed, despite the fact that she couldn’t remember I was part of the Triberr group she’d forgotten she was a member of. So my lack of tweet sharing is the reason she quit a group she’d forgotten she belonged to, but also the reason she was so upset that my tweets were showing up in her feed?
Or maybe these were reasons she needed to justify her attack.
Her behavior is, at best, passive-aggressive. At worst, she is a bully.
I do not like conflict. I do not like to engage in public tit-for-tat nonsense. I avoid defending my thoughts and opinions to people who have no ability to see outside their own righteousness. Yet, I couldn’t let this go. So I engaged. I sent her a public Twitter message telling her I was offended by her childishness and to please stop. What will that get me? Only time will tell, though, given her inability to admit to being wrong, I can only assume she’ll find a way to blame me further. But, for the sake of preserving my adult, rational brain and my questionable sanity, I must let it go. And, so, I’m here. Ranting. This is my way of letting it go.
In the end, people will think what they want. Some may read her tweets about me and believe I’m a crazy hacker. They might avoid everything I tweet and never read my blog. I don’t deserve that kind of treatment, but there are a lot of things going on in the world that people don’t deserve. This is minor, in the grand scheme of things. I’ll get over it. I’ll forgive her unacceptable behavior. But forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean acceptance. I do not need people like her in my life, even on the periphery. I will avoid her as if she has a blazing caution sign strapped to her forehead.
I would like to ask all of you to please think about what you put out there for the public to read. Assumptions hurt. Check your facts. If possible, confront a person privately. Don’t drag your issues with another person out in the open for all to read.
Remember, those who scream the loudest usually have the most to hide.
Thanks for reading.