Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Online Strife

So, being new to my neck of the woods, I did what anyone nerd would do, I Googled the area. I found lots of cool links and even one local "Forum". At the time, I was really frustrated with the conservatism and intolerance I'd seen and experienced and I wondered if what I saw was typical of the area.

As per "netiquette", I watched and read the forum for a time. Then I introduced myself and explained why we'd moved to town (insurance) and shared what I'd seen. I got a couple nice emails back telling me I was accurate and a few more that told me I wasn't. One person suggested that because we had to move for insurance reasons, maybe having kids with a chronic illness was stressing me out and that's why my views were jaded. I politely replied that it wasn't the case. I also sent a personal message to that person wondering if she meant to be as snarky as I took it. I got another message back in which the person over-reacted and said she'd leave me alone. That should have been a clue. But I'm kinda thick.

When another thread was started on a topic I was familiar with, I shared my experience as a parent and as a teacher. Woah. Can of worms. The situation dissolved into hard feelings on both sides. (If I told you the topic, you'd laugh uncontrollably, that's how silly it was.)

I contacted this person and said that maybe a good night's sleep would help us regain perspective. Again, from her with the can of worms and snarky reply. Basically it was "you stay away from me and I'll stay away from you". So I obliged. But this person didn't. Snide comments started coming and then PIQ (person in question) got buddies on the bandwagon.

This particular "playground" isn't very friendly when it comes to progressive ideology. Actually, this place wasn't friendly towards anyone whose ideas differed from the masses. Interestingly enough, this PIQ is also someone with some pull on the forum. My messages started getting edited and deleted! Especailly if it was a message responding to PIQ's outright squirrley-ness towards me. I brought up such controversial topics as the President's Veto of the SCHIPs bill and my state's recent adoption of a law requiring all school children to observe a "moment of silence" each day.

The best thing was when a friend of PIQ made some mention about me "bleeding". I guess they found my blog. I guess they didn't read too far into the blog to find out why it's "Girl_Bleeder". Duh.

Again, I got some support from others who'd been subjected to the Wrath of PIQ and others who had watched the drama unfold. I knew that I wouldn't be playing on that playground anymore, so I decided to go out with a bang and speak my mind.

Next thing I know, PIQ threatens me with legal action! PIQ's partner is in the legal field; I'm sure dealing with some stupid Internet message board forum squabble is high on the list of pressing legal matters. No worries, I hadn't planned on participating in that group anymore anyway. I'll just take my ball and go home.

I guess I'm grateful that there are people out there who have no other worries besides what happens on an anonymous local Internet forum.

I got two words: If Only.


Ms. PH said...

Exblick - I just found your blog and I must say that it is good to see someone else in this area shares some of my viewpoints. I have read many of the forum posts but never commented because I knew I wouldn't be able to contain my anger of some of the BS and intolerance.

At one point, some of that bled over to my blog, so I understand what you are frustrated about. (Check my August 1st post). I looked for an email for you on the blog but couldn't find one. Here is mine, if you would like to discuss: hypertechnical@gmail.com. Us liberals have to stick together!

Ms. PH

PeoriaSpeaks! said...

You now have a place to discuss progressive political discourse, or any other topic of one's choice, at peoriaspeaks.com. No fear over there of retribution or censorship. Hope to see you all there soon!

Pammy said...

Though I'd describe myself as "apolitical" (not necessarily apathetic), I have to admit that you are part of the reason I VERY rarely post there anymore.

Don't take that wrong, though. I don't mind not posting there anymore. Who, in their right mind, wants to be ostracized for expressing their opinion? I might be a lotta things, but I'm not stupid.

I watched you being...well...essentially attacked for speaking your mind. Or for wanting to talk about something a little more important than some fluff topic.
And I didn't like that. The whole SCHIP "discussion" is the straw that broke the camel's back.
The bonehead that called WIC and SSI "welfare" was priceless.

Anywho, I just wanted to say 'hey' and let you know that I'm not playin at that playground anymore, either. heh