Sunday, April 27, 2014

Social Media Boundaries; I love you but you're getting blocked.



Blue Boats in the Tickle at Change Islands

Having a snuggle with my favourite Newfoundland Pony Jigger on Change Islands.


The other day a person sent me a message through face book. This is a person who is a friend of a friend of a friend shall we say. I have never spoken to this person in my life, have never really given her any thought in any real sense though I do know who she is. She isn't a face book friend though she's never been blocked or anything because, well, I don't know her enough to block her. Mostly she is just sort of irrelevant.

And then I get the message. It appears in the "other" box  and it has several lines which are terse and taciturn and somewhat accusatory. To make a long story short, I pointed out that her contacting me was bizarre and untoward, denied her weird and unfounded allegation, and then blocked her immediately.

It was obvious from the fact that she messaged me that I, a stranger, was somehow on her mind and that she felt compelled to inform me of her disapproval of whatever her, frankly,  delusional mind had decided I was doing wrong.

Social media is a strange thing.  You have to get used to the idea that people are watching and that perhaps you don't know who they are. And from that lurking and creeping they will come up with a conclusion about you that, while potentially sound, is entirely dependent upon their own perceived notions of how one is supposed to conduct themselves.  In other words, they must approve of you.

Once you get used to being watched and judge you have to filter out that which serves you from that which doesn't. I love social media, all of the Internet and I take the bad along with the good.  I have sold books, gotten jobs and made lifelong friends using social media. I've also seen the darker side and I've had a few really unusual characters try to attach themselves to me in one way or another.

I am fairly open on Social Media and people who meet me in person often comment that I'm quite like my online self.  I pretty much am. No I don't put every single secret out there on the web but guess what, I'm not going to do that in person either.

Social media is a useful tool but it's only a tool and you have to maintain complete control of it. You can't become fixated on the one dimensional profile of a person you haven't met.  You do not have to consider the feelings of a person who really isn't part of your life except from behind a computer screen. I accept that I am not every body's cup of tea but I am fine for many.  And if some, one gives me the heebie jeebies in anyway, insults or abuses me, they get the big bad block without explanation. Being on my friends list or even accessing my public profile is a privilege and I get to deny it to those who don't deserve that privilege.

I think more people should do the same.

When somebody wanders into my world with no other purpose than to disturb it for their own, strange and disturbed reasons, I have no qualms about removing them.

I send them off with compassion however, because things must not be safe, secure and happy in their own world if they feel the need to intrude upon a stranger's.  I wish them well in my mind and move on from there.

Wishing  people happiness doesn't have to come at the cost of my contentment and peace. I am quite willing to do it silently behind a wall of cyber protection.

Also, the photos above having nothing to do with the post but hey, they're nice pictures. They'll make you smile and smiling is all I want you to do after this post.

Because all of you, well most of you, I know only through the Internet and so far, I like you all just fine.

Carolyn

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Partridge Berries and Ponderings on a Thursday

Kate of the Cove

Every pony deserves to be loved by a little girl..or two!

Beloved Kate of the Cove








I don't know what people see in crack. Partridge berries are so much better. I just made buns with the juicy little marsh candy that grown in the marsh and hills of our fair land and I like to call them marshcandies. The buns were light and fluffy with little tart juicy berries bursting with flavour in each bite. I know it's an unfair comparison as I've never availed myself of the crack but I can't imagine it's any better.

Here I sit, the dinner is cleaned up, my dessert enjoyed and it's the evening before Good Friday. Did you know that I was born  on Good Friday? Yes indeed I was. And in my world since that time I've always referred to it as Great Friday.  I suppose it might even be considered by those who understand my incredible worth, as Magnificent and Awesome Friday.

But I don't have that sort of ego.  I really truly don't.

Tonight I partook (uh?) in a political conversation that was a great discussion with varying points of view and low and behold, I was shocked to discover that one fellow was not so much about debate but insulting those whose view points were different from his rather steadfast and, may I add, simplistic ones.

And so it went that he accused me of having a certain amount of ego. Well no, I really don't.

See ego is when you think you are superior to others.

What I am is confident. I know who I am and what I want and what I am capable of. I know where I excel, I know what I'm good at and I know what I suck at. And because I know the latter I don't spend any time doing those things.  I focus on my strengths,. It is just sensible to do so.

And most of the things I'm good at result in success.  But the truth is rather my ego being being buoyed up by any success I have I'm usually quite humbled by it, mostly because no success I ever had was accomplished without an incredible amount of hard work and support from others. Because one of the things I excel at is encouraging others to find the very best in them.  I think when people really trust and understand that you look for and find the best in them and value them for those qualities it's appreciated.

I don't have to work at that. I truly absolutely love human beings and I know that everybody has something that makes them incredible and I find it every single time because it's what I look for.

Confidence is not ego.  Confidence for me means that YOU can be as successful as you want to be and I will not attempt to knock you down but rather I'm quite happy to build you up and give you the accolades you deserve.

I once read something that stuck with me forever and perhaps it's one of my most guiding principles.

It said this. "Know that you are at your core, divine, special and unique. Also know that each person  you meet is exactly the same.  Ego is when you live by the first part. Martyrdom is when you live by the second.  Happiness is when you live by both."

One thing I've learned from my dissenters is this--they have value.  Every time I have a discussion with someone, particularly someone who practices a certain brand of judgement and insult,  it reinforces my own assertion that integrity and character are of more value than success, that kindness is of more value than intelligence and that I have far too much of all of those to be insulting people on the Internet who obviously have had struggles of some sort in their lives to lead them to such a cynical and angry way of being in the world.

Now I'm no pushover, don't get me wrong. I may be accused of many things but a lack of backbone isn't one of them.  But sometimes the fight isn't worth it. There is a limited amount of energy in a person's body and expending it on somebody who takes delight in insulting and degrading you seems a rather wasteful way to expend it.

So I ate marshcandy, wrote a blog post, smiled a lot and I hope even the angriest and most hurtful among us, have as pleasant an evening as I intend to have.

I am all alone this week and heading to Change Islands with my girls to visit our new pony Kate of the Cove and to find the island peace I've craved all winter.

Oh yes, we own a pony now. How can one be unhappy when one owns a pony? I will write more about Kate soon. She's special.  Take note of the photos!

Time for Downton Abbey now!

Carolyn