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.


  1. Sherry,
    Avoid negative people. I have a friend who is a neo-conservative and when I see his Broncho parked at my favorite bar - I go to another. I don't do Twitter or Face Book. I definately have strong reservations about my two neices messing with that shit and their Dad shares my views.
    Views diverge - lately rather sharply. But, respect for the other persons opinion is important and you may have to agree to disagree.
    If nothing else works - there is always the always effective - Fuck You...



  2. Honestly many on both the left and right have fallen off the deep and in some cases gone nearly insane. I have liberal views, some extreme, but I have yet to completely give up on intelligent dialog. Although, I don't know how much longer I can keep that view.

  3. Sarge,

    It's almost as if being anonymous on the internet gives people the right to not respect the views of others. Like the internet is one too many brews which loosen the tongue and freeze the brain. Or, maybe it's the new schoolyard for adults who didn't want to leave school anyways.

    I mind my own business these days and when the stuff gets to stinking too much, I just log off and go someplace else. Youtube has a bunch of these birdsong videos and they please me. Which goes a long way towards curing the ugly.

  4. Beach Bum,

    Amazingly stupid people have found a way to be listened to via a blog. When anyone disagrees with them, it's back to the schoolyard they go.

    I'm more of a moderate liberal, if such a thing exists, lol, but the more I see of the Tea Party the farther to the left I lean. I take care of the very people their agenda is going to hurt, badly. I can't for the life of me figure out how money became more important than people.

  5. Sherry,
    I had the one Twitter account back when and ditched it, then started new. I more or less piddle around with it. Gain a follower or two, lose two or three. I have no idea why. One day I expect to find you are the only follower left. So it goes.

  6. Sherry,
    I don't do twitter, and I have a facebook that I look at once every 6 months which is to often. I find it all a terrible waste of time, actually this may be a waste also but at least it's harmless, no one harasses me here, not much anyway.

  7. I REALLY need a trip to the woods, Sherry.

    There's a certain place the Mrs. V and I used to go to with a little stream that ran along a tree-lined bank and man a small water fall. I can sit there beside that waterfall for a few minutes and feel completely refreshed.

    I always feel, when I am there, that I am a few more steps closer to God.

    I know you know this, but not everyone who is not liberal acts the way these people you describe do. Some of us try to be civil.

    You know the old saying, though, "a few rotten apples".

    I offer no apologies for those who have caused the offenses you speak of, though. If they truly believed in the principles they purport to believe in, they would not behave that way. I'm very vocally Libertarian, but, I have no use for people on any side of the aisle that behave in such a childish and hurtful manner.

    Have a beautiful day, and please pray for Mrs. V who is not feeling well today.


  8. Sherry:

    I was invited to join Facebook by a friend, but I declined. Because of some of the stories I have heard, I have no desire to get on either Facebook or Twitter.

  9. Mr. O,

    I haven't been into Twitter since Monday. I will never understand what people get out of that kind of nasty trolling and I don't need to deal with it. I have better things to do.

  10. Fringe,

    I hear ya about the waste of time. Some people consider Twitter a way to get their message out to the most people at once. I can't see how fighting helps, but that's their problem.

  11. Paul,

    I can't take a trip to the woods right now, it's been pouring for 2 days. What I did was stay away from the computer and spent my time with Hubby and the cat.

    I hope Mrs V is feeling better. Sorry I missed the prayer request.

  12. Whit,

    In order to be happy on Twitter, you have to really, really enjoy blowing your own horn. I'm not that important.

  13. Sherry, I don't Tweet or Twat or Twit, but Facebook has been a source of aggravation for many of the same reasons you listed. I divorced FB after I found it had become a time-suck, I was spending hours arguing with trolls and mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging troglodytes every time I expressed a liberal (re: sane) political opinion. Left FB for over a year. Went back at the urging of so many friends, and now I just poke at the trolls' nests with sharp sticks, make my point, and then leave them to froth at the mouth. I'm much happier, now.
    The troll attacks on my blog have been a pain, but manageable. In the words of Neil Young, "Don't Let it Get you Down"...

  14. Squatlo,

    I just spend less time there and don't engage with people on the same level that I used to. It's become too much of a popularity contest for me. I like to have fun and fighting all the time just isn't fun.