Monday, June 20, 2011
Relaxing The Mind.
I joined Twitter to have the pleasure of engaging with different people on a level that blogging doesn't allow. In the beginning there was the sharing of news, laughter, music, and realtime conversations with people from all over the world about everything under the sun. Then, somehow it started to change.
Long time users started publishing blogs with rules for the rest of us to follow. Businesses started advertising their wares. Some bloggers began to use it as a self promotion tool and slowly Twitter became something else. It became all about broadcasting, popularity and the engaging aspect of it started to die. People who were there for the fun went to Facebook and set up their FB accounts to post to Twitter when they posted to their walls in FB. Then apps began to develop which were designed to automate ones Twitter account. Write your tweets, pick your times and tell the application you chose to post them at prescheduled intervals. Look Ma, no hands. If you can't be there to speak with people, you can't see the ugly.
I have many different interests, including politics, so I follow many different people. I'm not interested in popularity so my account is small compared to some others. This usually protects me from being a target of scammers and spammers, and since I'm not in Twitter for hours on end it usually allows me to ignore the trolls. If someone bothers me, I just block them and since I'm not a big enough account, they don't come back as someone else to attack again.
My problem is, I follow some very lovely liberal ladies who are being targeted by some very nasty trolls. These trolls are using pornography to attack these women.
The accounts are being set up via mobile phone applications. The background page is usually graphic pictures of anal sex acts. All tweets consist of a list of these ladies names with an added sentence promising them sexual activity of a type that I'm thinking they don't wish to engage in. When blocked, the troll just creates another page and comes back at them. Twitter can't really help because these are being created from mobile phone applications so there is no ISP to block. In a way, this is a rape of their dignity and peace of mind.
The stress is beginning to show in all of the women who are under this form of attack. Those of us who enjoy the tweets and conversations these women provide are frustrated as well. There's not anything much more maddening than wishing one could solve the problem and totally being unable to. It's making all of us too quick to see insults where none are intended.
It isn't just the women who are having problems. There was an email attack on one of the more politically active males on Twitter. He expressed an opinion about the people who are involved in supporting Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. The emails suggest that the sender hasn't graduated from the school yard yet. All were threats to expose his secret life as a lover of cybersex. All done on camera, mind you. The evidence seems to have gotten lost in the intertubes since none of it materialized. Threats are easy, proof on the other hand, not so much.
Since the attacks began, some of my more fun and engaging Tweet friends have been taking vacations from Twitter. I am as well. I will post to my account using the lovely twitter tweet button I have on my browser. Which will remind people that I'm still alive. I found, the last time I took a quick vacation from Twitter, my inbox got filled up with messages asking if I was all right.
I spent 10 minutes there last night and lost my sense of humor 2 minutes into the experience. I restored it with the help of the video I embedded at the beginning of this post. Bird songs, relaxing music and some awesome landscape pictures helped to right my equilibrium.
It's sad that people have to do that to each other, but they do it. I used to fight against that kind of behavior, but have learned to take steps to ignore it. When it's so prevalent that I can't ignore it, I just silently steal away to another part of the web where the air is clean, the waters calm and I can breathe.