Okay today I lost the plot.
Last week I listened to people talk about cowards collapsing comments unfairly. I read about inflammatory remarks and articles, left wing bias and left wing conspiracies, right wing bullying, smackdowns, unfair treatment and on it goes.
So....today whenever I saw an insulting comment I not only reported it, I announced the fact to the world and then justified my reasoning to everyone. Did it feel good? Err...no....not exactly.
I admit it. I was, in fact, a complete prat. I was a self appointed holier than thou sherriff and I was like another person sitting behind a facade watching this crazy woman moralising. For some reason I just could not stop myself.
And do you know why?
Because I am sick of it...SICK SICK SICK of how we let ourselves be drawn into unworthy slanging matches with people who are only offering us that.
I am done with it and we all should be.
Can you imagine what would happen if we took this site back and everytime someone started to degrade the conversation we all stood up and slapped that comment into outer space while asking the transgressor to change tack and try again. Would we not be taking control of the issue by allowing it to breathe while tossing out the venom???? Would we have influenced our cyber world for the better? Would we encourage people to stay on track without digression or degradation of the debate?
Surely we would....We could move from cyberwars to a cyber fantasyland of mutual respect and goodwill. I had to be on to a good thing.
I formulated an action plan and although some steps of quality assurance were sacrificed to haste and excitement - it was systems go in Operation Champion.
How did I go? - you wonder as you snigger behind your computer screens at my naive approach.
Okay at first I was like a quiet guardian angel, a quick word here, a concise statement there. I was fair minded, brief and stayed on topic. I did not care if you were left or right, an insult is an insult and needed address.
As time wore on and the stirrings of justice became blurred in my less considered less even tempered approach to fairness to all I found that I was not as successful as I had envisioned myself to be. I was called a paid troll, I was told I was thin skinned because so many insults exist on the vine. I was not rolling with the punches...it seems. One guy's comment was collapsed for making personal statements so although I was joined by other do gooders the negative accusations and assessments started - saying the same old thing....unfair collapses, echo chambers, freedom of speech gestapo...and then I realised...
I would have liked to have at least some bloody authority to be the caped crusader of insults and COH violations and failing that I would like the superpower of invisibility so that people could read my comments but have no idea who was writing them. They could then ponder on my thoughts and wonder if they came from an inspired source....you know - much like a conscience or a God. Hey I never said I did not have lofty ideals.
Unfortunately as I possessed neither safety net those people out there wanted to vote me off the island...and I must admit if I had come across someone like me I would have wanted to kick my own ass.
People have to listen to Tyler....and me...yeah...not so much. I was causing more COH violations by straying off topic to explain myself and thus the transition to cyber goodwill was lost in translation and pretty much lost altogether.
Did it feel good at all - you ask - to be on the side of righteousness?
Let me think about that for a moment. At first it felt good and then it got hairy amd sometimes I envisioned myself screaming and running for the hills in retreat. However I stayed steadfast to the task of moralising even though I felt like I had accidentally gone to school dressed only in my underwear. So I guess I have to say that the experience was not all negative and not all positive.
Would I continue being a caped crusader for justice without disguise and thereby opening myself up as a target? - You ask in that knowing way you have - Of course I need to rethink my strategies....hone my skills , evaluate how to preserve ones ideals through a more stealth like approach.
Overall I have this to say.
We can all stand up for goodwill and kindness on the Vine.
I must admit that although I was without training, support, a job description, backup and now the courage to continue I still acted on my ideals for a day and who knows I might learn how to be pro-active and brave again....maybe even the next time I visit.
NV could tell us that vigilantes are not welcome here...who knows...but being a sheriff for one day wasn't all bad.
It took away the feeling of hopelessness I often feel in a cesspool of hate. It took away apathy for common decency and courtesy and it gave me a sense of dignity that everything I said and felt was meant to encourage better interaction.
I always like to think of myself not as the person standing on the sideline watching another get beat up...but the truth is - action is harder than we think because you definitely move from the shadows to the spotlight. The problem of visibility is also exacerbated not in defence of the helpless by joining the debate but in the crying out in a loud pompous voice...."Hey you there......I am telling on you...yes that's right...it is I, or me, or I, myself... standing here telling you that I have used the inflammatory button....oh yes I have.....I have used it on you sir...be very afraid...
Unfortunately people were not shaking in their boots as anticipated.
Ultimately my failures came not from ideal but in practical application - I was prepared to cut off animosity at the knees..inadvertently I may have created more. I wanted to create a courteous environment - but telling people off when they do not know you from Adam does not foster an inclusive accepting environment of exchange. I wanted to be comfortable here on NV - not frustrated, not angry, not defeated - unfortunately by creating those feelings in others I failed to change that also.
After reviewing my efforts and some reflection of the results I decided that I had to finally shoot the sheriff.....but I think we need more deputies..... to carry out further testing stages of Operation Champion...
So come on...and take a gal's vigilante shift.....you may like it...or at least have some horror stories I can learn from....Take one for the team. I did.