I am no stranger to newsgroups, blogging and debating. It is also true that I love a good scrap. However, I am confident enough in myself to admit when I am wrong.
The game of life as it plays out on the Internet is very public. Once you press send your words are out there for good. They are in the public domain for everyone to see.
Over the years I have been assailed and criticized by partisans of all stripes for my opinions. The real nasty stuff normally comes in the form of a comment or an anonymous e-mail.
A long time ago when I worked for Roger Grimes he offered me some advice. When you are angry and feel you need to respond, write your feelings on paper, sleep on it and review your thoughts the next day.
That advice has served me well, but occasionally one gets away. I never bang back an angry e-mail without sitting on it for “cooling off period” – particularly when I pissed off with something. Twitter on the other hand, is too in the moment. One-liners, snappy comebacks and the like just fly out. Further complicating matters is the direct message function. Have you ever responded to a public comment on Twitter thinking you were in a direct conversation?
I did today, and frankly, I feel horrible about it.
The 140, character, rapid response, parallel Twitterverse can overwhelm you. Messages can flow in the wrong order, you might feel that the brunt of a flipped response. There is still no excuse to be an ass.
Twitter should not be a brutal, winner take all forum. It should be a place where like minded people gather to share information and people connect through common interests. No one in their right mind follows-you, or conversely friends, you to be abused.
My mom always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I think that should be the golden rule in the Twitterverse.
It is a rule that I broke today with an impulsive quick flick of the keys in what even in direct chat mode would have been inappropriate.
I don’t need to be smarter, faster or more aggressive. I really don’t need to be nasty, rude or call people that I respect names. I would not do that in person. It is really unnecessary and rude.
So I offer an apology, as I did on Twitter.
Buck up, 0wn Up and apologize when you foul up.
How is that for a chill pill!