What a world we live in. A world where technology has enabled us to renew friendships from the good ‘ol days; have a forum of like minded people in just about every topic imaginable (and then some); and a world where we can work from one location when the office is located half a world away. Progress. I guess.
It is also a world where we don’t have to fight face to face. And that’s a problem. My first experience with this was years ago while I was working as an Equipment buyer for a manufacturing company in Minnesota. We had Lotus Notes, lol. I worked alongside a big crew of Mechanical and Electrical engineers and quickly learned that these guys liked to go after each other through e-mails. WHAT??? Who does that? You guys live three cubicles away, go talk to each other. Nope! We need it on the public record that the Mechanical guys are always wrong and morons to boot (yes, Controls engineers are always right. Just ask ’em;)
Fast forward to now where we have those wonderful forums; facebook; and other avenues to spew our public record hate of others. Some keep it on a professional level; some tiptoe around the topic; some go for the jugular. Are any right? Is there a right time to publicly go after someone on the internet where the only thing on the line are differences of opinion? I honestly don’t know.
I think about what my Grandpa would say about this. He died at a very spry 96 and thought the wonders of the internet were quite amazing. But Grandpa was a hand to hand combat kinda guy. For realz. Growing up with his brothers in a Chicago orphanage; surviving polio; working through the depression types things kinda left an impression on my Grandpa. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. The man was not afraid of throwing a punch, if deserved.
But I wonder how he would feel about someone going on-line and beating him up there. Trashing his work or his character or (goD forbid) his wife. I have to believe that would require a face to face meeting. He would not go back on the internet, he’d get in the car and come for you. Believe me, even in his 70’s and beyond, my G’pa was a force to be reckoned with. I’d pass on that little confrontation.
I’ve made some comments on the FB that have certainly irked people. MyBad. Would I say it to their face if given the chance? Yup. But I didn’t have the chance so I spewed my opinion. I’ll need to watch this in the future. Not good. Grandpa wouldn’t like that.
Ultimately, who looks the fool? The attacked or the attacker? Lines get blurry pretty quick. Do we gain allies by publicly humiliating someone else? Maybe, but who wants those kinds of allies? If they turn on that guy, they’ll turn on you. Fact. But what if they started it? Please, if that’s the mindset, go back to pre-school. They’ve failed you.
Stand up for myself, face to face? Yup, that’s Grandpa approved.
No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.