One In The Same, Clark.
I apologize in advance if this post comes off as condescending. I can look myself square in the mirror and see my own flaws ... Meaning this is not coming from a place of arrogance. We are all human. We all falter.
With that said ...
Public Service Announcement: The person you are online is the person you are in real life. There is not a version of you separate from yourself. If you use a psuedonym, a nickname, if you think you have an alter ego, etc ... it’s all still you. Superman was Clark Kent. Clark Kent was Superman. This is true for you, too.
I had a good friend who kept dissing me online. It was at a frequency that was so subtle that she was able to get away with it.* A dogwhistle, if you will. I never confronted the friend for fear that she might say I was severely misunderstanding the comments, or accuse me of making everything about myself. But the truth was it was a consistent enough occurrence that I was in a constant state of “WTF”. It ate me alive. How could this friend behave one way to my face and then treat me 180 degrees from that online? I know I’m not alone in this. Other friends have experienced this in their own circles. Who hasn’t seen a cruel comment on a friend’s page at some point?! It’s common enough that it bears repeating: The person you are online, is ...still YOU. *And for the record, she didn’t really get away with it. Our friendship is at an arm’s length now. A gal can only handle so much, amiright?
Politics. WOOF. This one is a hard line for me to walk. I don’t think we should keep our views to ourselves. Especially not in regards to racism, misogyny, equality, the environment, gun safety, etc. However, there’s trolling, and there’s discourse. Discourse doesn’t always lead to an agreement. But trolling NEVER does.
We’ve all (or most) fallen prey to making some jabby, vague post to get the attention of a person who has wronged us. I regrettably have stooped to this kind of low. The problem with this behavior is that it is on full display for ALL of your other friends/colleagues/etc. And, of note, jabs can sometimes be counter-effective. Example: I’m fairly certain I am a target of vaguebooking. It makes me feel two ways: First, justified in my reasoning for estrangement. Because yo, that behavior is petty. And second, I wonder if I’m not the intended target, well, how many enemies does this person have? Either way you spin it only creates a further divide.
Please remember you are one person. The person who stares you in the mirror in the mornings is the same person that exists on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The things you say online can and SHOULD come with the same consequence they would carry in person. You are one in the same. Behave accordingly. (And may I suggest: Be kind.)