No matter what I say on the Internet, I can always delete it. If I delete quickly, no one will ever even know that I was in a bad mood, or hated someone’s facebook rant, or was trying to give our cats away online. (By the way, I have two elderly cats for free. Email me for details.)
I’m actually a bit of a reluctant and somewhat insecure writer/tweeter/status filler on social media. When I am on Twitter or facebook I skim quickly, only occaissionally stopping so people know I’m alive. I avoid political statements from either party because like Ghandi said, “I don’t think politics on social media will ever change the world.” What catches my attention as I’m scrolling is the opportunity to make a joke or wisecrack.
Friend status: Enjoyed our birthday celebration at Chuck E. Cheese.
My comment: I never eat at a place that has overgrown rats running between the dining tables.
My daughters and their friends told me awhile back that looking at people’s comments and making wisecracks was called “trolling.” Sigh. Since I’ve been labeled a troll, I’m now to wisecrack less — or, more precisely, try not to get caught at it. This is why I like the internet, because I can quickly make the wisecrack knowing what I would have said and then take it down ten seconds later before anyone sees it. Now that I’ve been labeled a troll I probably delete more wisecracks than I even write. So if you ever think you see a status or a comment and it disappears before you can read it, it was probably me. I am the ever reluctant troll.
The new blog runs the same way, both for proofreading and for comments I decide to reword later. For example, a recent blog was titled “Why I started writing a blog and I grew up in Pakistan.” Just last night I changed the title to “Why I started writing a blog and I grew up in Paris.” I made the change because if I travel to some countries it looks better to say I grew up in Paris.
I’m always in a hurry when I write and when I speak. Like a little kid at a party, I feel as though if I don’t release it quick I’ll never get another chance. So I spew a lot of things that I never should have said in the first place, and I’m often sorry for it.
Editing online is great. It’s nice to be able retract the things I’ve said and wish I hadn’t or to proofread my errors after they’ve already been read by someone in Constanshinoble. It’s even better if I took a moment to think before I even said it in the first place.
Calvin G. Roso © December 2013