Common Sense Twitter…..

….or how to keep your sanity in an increasingly insane atmosphere (in no specific order)

—- Figure out your own motivation for being on Twitter before you try to understand others:  Why are you there?  Is it because you have a lot to say and there isn’t anyone in your real life willing to indulge you? Is it because you have a cause to push?  Is it because you lack companionship in your everyday life?  Are you a fan of a band or a show and are looking for others who share your enthusiasm?  Are you lonely? Are you vivacious?  Do you just love to interact with people in any way you can?

You can’t understand the world around you until you understand yourself and even then it’s not easy to understand.  Be honest with yourself and why you need Twitter as an outlet.  Do you actually really NEED it, or is it just a bit of fun?  That’s ok too.  Actually, that’s what it should be anyway….fun!

—- Take out a dictionary and look up the word “Friend”:  According to Merriam –Webster a friend is defined as –

One attracted to another by affection or esteem

One that is not hostile

One that is of the same nation, party or group

A favored companion

Personally, a friend to me is someone I can call at 2am when I’m stranded somewhere who will jump out of bed, without hesitation and come to my aid.  If you can honestly say that about anyone you know on Twitter, that’s wonderful.  Now, of course, most of the folks on Twitter live miles and miles away from each other and in many cases are in different countries.  But if you know for a fact, if they had the capability to help you, they would, that’s awesome.  But if you can’t say that, then what you have are acquaintances, fun people you are “friendly” with.  Not friends.  If you stop thinking about them as true friends you won’t be hurt when they “disappoint” you by not being what they never were in the first place.

—- Look in a mirror and say the most hurtful thing you can possibly think to say.  Would you say that to someone else…..face to face?  Would you have the guts to walk up to someone you know or even someone you don’t know (because do we honestly really KNOW anyone on Twitter?) and say something that hurtful to their face?  No?  Then don’t say it on Twitter!  If you would say it to someone’s face…well…. those are issues far too complex to attempt to diagnose here!

—- If you were lucky enough to be on a red carpet somewhere, let’s say the Oscars or some movie premiere or something and were lucky enough to have one of the stars randomly stop by and shake your hand, maybe even take a picture, would you then automatically think you have a “connection” with that person?  Of course not.  If you do….well… that’s a totally different issue that, again, we won’t explore here.  So, if an actor happens to answer one of your tweets that doesn’t mean you have a “connection” with them either.  There are exceptions to this, of course.  A rare occurrence where an actor makes a connection with a particular fan or group of fans but for the most part the optimum word here is….rare!  Have fun.  Tweet to your heart’s content.  But don’t be crushed when you find out that you are one of said actors thousands of followers and he really doesn’t know you from Adam.

—- Be flexible:  If you opened your closet and every pair of pants, every dress, shirt, pair of shoes were exactly the same you’d run screaming into the night like some bizarre Twilight Zone episode.  There is truth to the adage that variety is the spice of life.  It is also true with regard to opinions.  Unless you are discussing 2 + 2 there is no right or wrong.  There is only opinion.  I feel like I have been fighting this battle since grade school when Sister Mary Catherine worded a test question with the starting words… “In your opinion…” then marked my answer wrong!

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  You do not have to like it.  You do not have to agree with it.  You have every right to rebuttal.  But you have no right to tell someone they are wrong, or that they are an idiot, or that they are simpleminded or any of the other awful things people say to each other when they disagree.  Shut up and listen…you may actually learn something.  Oh and you….on the other side of the argument….do the same!!! As Voltaire so perfectly stated “I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

—- Do not be a pain in the ass:  Yes, you have the right to your opinion and yes, you have the right to say whatever you want to say.  It is a free country, after all.  But bombarding people with your opinion and your arguments long after the discussion has ended is just annoying.  Learn when a discussion has come to its natural conclusion and move on.  Don’t worry sweetheart; a new argument is just around the corner to occupy your time.

—- Look out for yourself:  There are toxic people out there….beware of them.  But just like everyone isn’t allergic to cats or peanuts, what’s toxic for one person may not be to someone else.  So watch your own back and don’t worry about others.  Let them make their own decisions about who they associate with.  No one can take care of you like you can.  The same goes for them.  Having two of your friends not like each other has nothing to do with you. It’s their problem, not yours.  Keep yourself out of it for your own good and your own sanity.  Same goes for anyone you feel is toxic to you.  Just because someone else has no problem with that person doesn’t mean you have to deal with them. If they are toxic to you, or your peace of mind, that’s your decision alone…no one else’s.  Distance yourself from the toxic person for your own good.

—- Know when it’s time to quit: Or slow down, or back off or just take a break.  Relationships are complicated no matter on what level they exist.  Everyone…..EVERYONE……has something about them that others don’t like.  To be in a relationship, even one as trivial as on Twitter, you overlook that which is annoying in the other person because of what you get out of the relationship that is good. However, when a time comes and what’s good becomes hard to find…when what’s annoying is too overwhelming to ignore any longer, that’s the time to re-evaluate the situation.  That’s why they invented the BLOCK option.  It’s why people get un-followed.  It’s why people take a Twitter break.  None of these things are bad things.  They are there to protect you, so you can renew, revitalize, refresh.  Think of it as a vacation.  Everything is still there when you decide it’s time to go back.

—- But, try to remember you do not really know the people on Twitter.  You don’t know how they really feel or what is really going through anyone head at a particular moment.  You only know what they choose to share and even then it is censored by the person posting.  You don’t know the motivation for everything they do.  You don’t know everything that is going on in their personal lives.  So when a person decides to un-follow you it may not be about you.  I know it’s hard to fathom but not everything is always about you.  Maybe she just has issues going on at home and Twitter just doesn’t fit at the moment.  Maybe her philosophy has changed.  Maybe she’s at odds with someone else you’re connected to and you’re the bridge she’s burning.  It doesn’t really matter.  Don’t make yourself crazy over it.  Just as you have to know when to back off and take a break for a while, so does everyone else.

So….that’s about it.  A few simple things I use to keep myself sane on Twitter.  Some may agree with what I say, some may think I’m just full of hot air.  I just know it works for me because Twitter isn’t my be all and end all.  It’s just a place to have a bit of fun.  It’s not really important in the larger scheme of things.

How to keep your sanity in an increasingly insane Twitter atmosphere?  Just keep repeating the same seven words to yourself……



When childhood lurks…..

It has become a common thing these days in the neighborhoods, in the schools, even on the news, to hear about some kid getting bullied.  The conversation will turn to how it turned violent or suicidal.  It will turn to parents who found unique ways to teach their children tolerance instead of being bullies.  Yes, these days bullies and their victims are news worthy.  There are ad campaigns featuring celebrities and athletes telling kids not to be bullies and showing the victims how to get help.  It’s all so very relevant.  But being bullied isn’t a new fad, it isn’t a new trend.  It’s something as old as time itself.  Those of us who lived through it will always be touched by it, scarred by it.  It’s made us who we are today, for good or bad.  It is always there.

In my childhood years I was very much the odd kid out.  I was an only child in a private school where many of the kids came from families with more money than my family had.  So, I was not really accepted as being “one of them”.  At home, the neighborhood kids didn’t go to my school, they went to the parochial school so I was not really accepted there either because I was thought to be “stuck up” because I went to a private school and spoiled because I was an only child.  It wasn’t uncommon to have a friend one day only to find that she got a better offer the next day so I became old news, not needed.  It wasn’t uncommon to find out how they talked about me behind my back amongst themselves. About how pathetic I was for thinking they could ever like me.

It was an everyday occurrence to be picked on, made fun of, ridiculed, or worse, totally ignored.  It probably seems odd to a person who never had to deal with that kind of treatment but believe it or not, you get to the point where you’d rather be picked on than totally ignored.  More times than I like to remember I was the only kid in the class not invited to the parties, or not able to find a seat on the school bus because every available seat was being “saved”, not for anyone in particular, but just so I wouldn’t be able to sit there.  I sat on my front porch as a bunch of the kids on my block piled into a station wagon to the amusement park while I stayed home alone.  They even laughed and waved at me as they drove by.  I lay curled up in my bed crying, listening to the grand party taking place just across the street that every kid on the block was invited to except me.  Every burst of laughter I heard, I was sure was directed at me.  Take my word for it; it was a hard way to grow up.  I would do anything, BE anything they wanted for it to stop, for it to be different even for just a day.

It took me many many years, well into High School before I was able to break the curse I felt I was living under.  I don’t want to tell you how many variations of myself manifested in my attempt to be whatever the person I was with that day wanted me to be.  It was exhausting.  Thank God I got past it early on in High School.  I could have gotten into serious trouble following that course.  I don’t know what did it.  I can’t remember if there was a particular trigger or event that made me finally realize that what those people thought didn’t matter.  There was only one person I needed acceptance from.  Only one person I needed to impress or needed approval from and that person was me!  I came to realize that I was, that I am, a pretty amazing person and I like who I am, and if they don’t want to be my friend…that’s their loss.

But, you know, that little bug is still in there.  Of course, there are always going to be people in the world who just don’t like you for some particular reason and that’s fine.  It’s their right.  But, even at 53 years old, when that happens, there is still that little 8 year old who wonders why?  What did I do?  Why doesn’t she like me?  What’s wrong with me?  What can I do to change her mind?? It’s so irrational that when it happens I literally shake myself like a wet dog…snap out of it girl!!!

So, yeah…bullying has become an in vogue topic these days and it should be.  It should have been then too but it wasn’t.  Back then you just had to learn to deal with it.  Grownups just shrugged their shoulders and said it was part of life, part of growing up.  It’s so unfortunate that it took large scale violent school attacks or tragic suicides with accompanying YouTube “suicide notes” to bring it the attention it should have had all along.  So many can’t deal with it.  So many crack under the weight of it.  Many never come out of it right.  Those of us who survived it, those of us who did learn to deal with it, to use it, made it through and became stronger because of it.

And, I honestly think it’s also one of the reasons I try really hard to stay out of the Twitter wars I see raging around me.  Well, honestly, I don’t really see all that much, only what I see in the threads of others I follow, because when I see a bully they are BLOCKED. DONE!  What happens on Twitter can be toxic and I just don’t want any part of that.  Short of closing my account and leaving, I choose to block those I feel ruin the vibe for me.  Because, after all these years, the last thing I want to deal with is a bully.  They don’t deserve any attention because what attention does is give the bully power.  They flourish on the attention, the feeling of control it gives them over those they attack.  The pain, humiliation, sadness and, yes, anger they see in the tweets of those they bully makes them feel dominant.  It’s like a high; they get a rush from it.  The more reaction they get, the more they do it.  It’s a vicious cycle that is so hard to break.  The only person who can break it is the victim.  Stop feeding the monster.  Cut yourself off. Cleave to those friends who you know you can trust; disregard the rest.  Look out for yourself because there isn’t anyone out there who matters more than you.  The only person you need validation from is YOU.  I refuse to be subjected to the venom and vitriol of a bully on Twitter.  Been there….done that… a long time ago! I won’t go there again…. I just won’t….

But, you know what?  There are days, some dark and uncertain days when my childhood is still there, lurking under the surface.  Maybe I don’t get involved because I’m afraid the bully will come after me next.  Oh I know I have friends now.  The kind of friends I didn’t have then, friends who would stand up for me and be there when I needed them.  I know that…. I do… I know… but…

Some days part of me is still standing in the school yard, the last kid not picked for a team.


Why are women so awful???

The best job I ever had was when I worked for the Navy. I was one of 2 civilian clerk typists, the only women in the office full of men.  She and I were two of a kind and we got along famously from the very beginning.   Our office consisted of the two of us and 12 men, both civilian and Naval Officers with all manner of others coming and going throughout the days. I worked in Foreign Military Sales so not only were our officers coming and going through the office, we had several officers from allied countries stationed at our base as well. UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, among others. Men…. in uniform……. with accents!!!! I was in heaven!

Needless to say…. I LOVED IT!!! It was irreverent and funny and all the men, both civilian and military, were of 3 different generations and they would talk about their military service from WWII, Vietnam and Korea (this was the early-mid 80’s) and the stories were always fascinating.  It amazed me how much work we managed to get done every day when it all seemed like so much fun.  We were always laughing about something or other.  It was the best working environment I have ever worked in.  It’s been over 25 years since I left that office and no matter where I’ve worked since then I have never been that happy going to work.

The reason is very simple.  It’s the last time I worked predominantly with men.  Ever since then, every place I have worked has been populated with women.  And I am not shy to say….without hesitation….that I really HATE working with women, mainly because, for the most part, I don’t like women all that much. Yeah, I know, I am a woman but I have never really understood women.  You would think that women would be understanding and open to other women.  You would think they would understand the trials, problems and worries of women and do their best to ease their way.  You know….sister to sister?

Ummmmmm nah!!  Women are nothing like that.  They are catty, selfish, two-faced and often times, generally awful. If a man doesn’t like you, you usually know it up front and he doesn’t have to like you to work with you. A woman, on the other hand, will be your best friend to your face and stab you in the back faster than you can blink once you turn away.  If you manage to have some good fortune, instead of being happy for you they’re looking for some reason for why it was you instead of them.  They love drama, love to wallow in it.  They will decide they don’t like someone simply for the way she looks or because she makes more money or because she goes out with some guy they lust after.  Whatever.  It doesn’t even matter what it is, as long as it’s something they can glom onto and never let go.

Now, into this realm of insanity comes social media.  A place made in heaven for these women.  A place for them to spread their manure without fear of retribution.  A place where pseudonyms and fake IDs flourish and ugliness is becoming more and more prevalent.  Now these women can gossip and pontificate all they want behind a veil of secrecy.  And because of that, they can multiply geometrically and spread their vile crap far and wide.   One person can open dozens of Twitter accounts under different names and all of a sudden…wow… look at that… she has dozens of followers who all think just like she does.  Wow…that’s amazing isn’t it?? *eyeroll*

Now, of course, I don’t know for sure that it’s all women who do these things and I do know many many wonderful women out there who hate what goes on as much as I do.  I also know there are more of us then there are of the trolls.  The problem is, negative, awful, horrendous women tend to be louder than we are.  They post more often, pretty much constantly and spread their venom in what seems like a never ending stream.  So it looks and sounds like there are more of them than us.  Also, we, being mature women with good friends and happy lives simply don’t have the time to sit on twitter all day and all night trying to counter these lunatics.  WE HAVE LIVES!!!  We also tend to blow these women off as useless and a waste of time, which, of course, they are.  I personally see very little of this nonsense these days because once I see a troll, I block her.  End of the line for you babe!  But, they on the other hand, will find one of us, usually some other woman with a degree of fame or good fortune and turn their guns on that person with a vengeance generally making her life hell.  Why?  Because she DARES to have the life they want and can’t have.  It is sick!

Why can’t women just be happy when another woman has something good?  Yes, I would love to have the life some of those I follow on Twitter have but you know what?   My life is pretty damn good all on its own.  I may not live in paradise.  I may not work with wonderful creative people.  I may not make a ton of money.  I may not get to kiss the object of my little private fantasy.  But I have a wonderful home, a fantastic, loving husband, a smart, beautiful daughter and an online Ohana I cherish.  I am content!

I honestly feel sorry for the trolls.  It’s apparent they are not happy people.  I pity them.  Doesn’t mean I want to have anything to do with them however.  Thank goodness for whoever at Twitter invented the BLOCK button!