Yesterday I asked “What can we do?” to encourage people to stop being fucking horrendous humans with their wordchoices in disagreements, by drawing on inappropriate and degrading language that hurts pretty much everyone, and attacks people who are not even part of our debates. Sannion’s reply is a interesting one, which is giving me a lot of things to think about, and it can be here. His primary advice is to just turn the comments off. This is, as he points out, somewhat terrifying to think of, and I’m uncomfortable by the idea of it. I don’t think that I agree, but I also might entirely agree, and am leaving room in my ruminating about it for my resistance to be entirely stubborn emotional response. But maybe it isn’t. However, I really fucking strongly agree with his closing piece, especially the parts that I add bold emphasis to below:
So my suggestion?
Even if you decide not to turn off your comments I think people would be a lot happier and our communities a whole lot better off if more of us followed these few, brief steps:
* Disengage from dysfunctional and irritating people and groups.
* Slow down.
* Be more thoughtful and creative.
* Seek out authentic connection with the people you like. Send e-mails, make phone calls or Skype, write physical letters, and above all get out there and meet folks face to face.
* And when you blog, write from the heart. Share what you’re moved to share without worrying about how your audience is going to take it. Some will like what you have to say, some won’t. But if you’re being honest and consistent to your values, that shouldn’t matter.
I think that the first point is fucking essential and totally answers the question I posed. Let’s just stop fueling these fuckwads by responding to them at all; just disengage. Fuckyeah.
I think that being more thoughtful and creative is always a good fucking way to lubricate the shit out of things and get a more comfortable glide going. So do that shit.
Authentic connection is fucking lacking and oh hey, let’s do that. Yes. Once upon a time, I remember that this is what the internet helped achieved — long before the 2000s. Remember those days? Yeah, they’re long fucking gone. But maybe we can forge and pioneer a new fucking netaissance of connection and interdependence and relation and authentic expressions of self and self in relation to Other, because fuck, the internet is supposed to bring us closer together, not infinitely further apart.
So yeah. That, and stuff. Thanks, Sannion. (I would say that on your blog, but since you’ve turned off comments, I have to say it impersonally over here. Or just tell you in person next week, over some fucking whiskey in a room filling with hookah smoke with a fucking raven on my shoulder.)