When Social Media Goes Astray
I must preface this piece with acknowledging that 99.5% of the time I adore social media. Folks are so friendly and kind when you share an interest, in my case, life in central Mexico. Last year when I broke my toes (Twice. Don’t ask. Suffice to say I’m an idiot.) and was housebound for months folks I’ve never met, but were my “friends” were very kind. To this day on tours folks ask how my foot is!
Frequently I purchase and mail local crafts featured in my posts to social media pals around the world just because they liked it. I’m amazed how many times it has landed in their mailboxes on their birthdays. How cool is that?
But when social media goes astray it goes wickedly astray in ways I never could see coming.
For example, on Corpus Christi last week, during a procession I was in a baby crawled out to me. I joked that I wish it was religious fervor but both he and I knew the lad was simply obsessed with my clown sized feet that tapped. When I had to walk away I got a great smile from him.
A woman commented how horrible it was this baby was neglected, since he was crawling on the ground, and did I report him to Child Services? This is a comment I fly away from knowing the big advantage to babies is they hide nothing. This baby was obviously clean, well fed, dressed appropriately for the weather and quite happy and self-assured. Who calls protective services on that? Yes, he crawled over to me but as I recall, my babies were very fond of said crawling.
I hesitate to post animal pictures as they often go wildly astray. If I post a dog on tour sampling a cookie from my ever present pile in my bag I’m asked why I didn’t take the pooch home to feed him forever. The notion that dog had a collar, was obviously well fed and belonged to someone other than me is missed.
But birds are worse. Even when a bird is in the background of an image, I’m accused of abuse for not letting the bird free from his cage. The notion of, again, not my pet, not necessarily best for the bird that would soon be a kitty appetizer, the act is illegal or that I’m a guest in Mexican culture is ignored.
Once in a piece on local foreigner-run charities that steal donations an elderly, not so well, man wrote that the thefts were obviously my fault as I’ve the silly last name, Toone, calling me Looney Tunes. This was from a man named Dick enabling me to reply “Since you missed the point of the article are you mentally in first grade? As that was the last time I got called Looney Tunes, dick.”
The most bizarre response ever was this week with an image of one of my beloved Mexican Maria dolls whose eyes looked just like Daria, of MTV fame. If you were a teen at the turn of the century, or raising a teen, Daria’s askew look is iconic as she weathered growing up in the midwest as a teen with her best pal, Jane Lane, and younger sister, Quinn.
An older gentleman who frequently provides intriguing insight on my posts and a man I don’t know got into a discussion of Daria’s inherent sex appeal. It was decided they’d rather do her pal, Jane, but Quinn was the ultimate goal to copulate with until “she cried”.
I was horrified! Granted, all these gals are under aged cartoon characters but I don’t think that makes it any better for real-life men to lust over in a public forum. Since it wasn’t a site I managed I immediately asked the help desk to remove my post and comments. I don’t want anyone thinking a single father that raised three kids not so secretly condoned sex with minors, even it they aren’t real.
So, so creepy.
With hindsight, would I do social media again? Of course, as the vast majority of the time social media comments, like people in general, are fun, light hearted and extremely gracious. Sure, it can go astray and you can’t control that, you can only control you reaction to it. Most often with social media’s unkind postings it is best to walk away and let other readers remedy the situation. Unless it involves cartoon sex with minor, then get that stuff off the internet pronto!
Again, so, so creepy.