I'm about to go off-topic, so apologies in advance.
I seriously dislike having to unfollow people, or ban them from commenting on my sites, or block them from following me …But I've decided that this year has to be the year I start doing it — and to stop worrying about who I upset in the process.
I don't profess to be the perfect blogger in possession of an infallible opinion or understanding; nor am I model netizen. I, like everyone, can lose my rag or be immature, or misread a situation.
But something I do not do is spend my time indulging in negative, counter-productive pastimes. If I don't like a website, I won't read it; if I don't like a person, I'll not follow them. And where or when I do have to tell something they might not want to hear, I try to do so in a constructive manner, as a conversation rather than coarse criticism.
Some folk — some who won't get to read this because I'll have blocked them before they log on — have spent year after year sniping, whinging, moaning or being generally aggrieved at whatever
My entire online presence irritates them — and they enjoy being irritated.
For a long time I thought that it must be me. That I am a pretty crap blogger, an unlikeable person, and generally undeserving of encouragement, inclusion, or constructive criticism.
If I wasn't, why would some of #Ubuntu
council and community members seem to take such great joy in disparaging at whatever endeavour I turn to, week after week, month after month.
"It must be me", I thought.
It's like, in addition to marking every +OMG! Ubuntu! post that hits the Ubuntu subreddit 'misleading', certain community members were also making me
as "misleading"; a phoney; a tryhard wannabe.
> I stopped making YouTube videos because they liked to mock my voice, snipe about about the way I pronounced something, and so on.
> I stopped trying new things, or exploring new topics, because I knew they'd probably pounce on any misstep.
> I stopped writing articles that I wanted
to write because I could hear the snarky putdowns and preempt the predictable criticism they'd be ready with.
> I stopped feeling like I was someone who could do something.
Any fault, no matter how trivial in the grand scheme — shock, a typo in a site graphics, writing about a topic in an accessible way, — they'd use it to justify the way they feel about me and my site.
The faceless internet (the eggs, the greyed out silhouettes) are one thing, but when you see people who people you respect respect pick at your entire …life, essentially, as "misleading", "clickbait", "crap", "amatuer", "not good", and all the other phrases … it can get a bit too much.
And so that's why I'm writing this out (or rather, transcribing what I spoke aloud). I don't have room for the constant negative background hum. It's too much, too often, for too long.
So this year i'm going to be blocking people — not people who disagree, that's fine, but people who only
seem to want to disagree or find fault.
Life's too short. Don't hate me for it.