Back in the 90s (who ever thought we’d have to say “back in the 90s?”) Radiohead had a hit song called Karma Police. I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation of the lyrics. “Phew, for a minute there I lost myself.” The song rushed through my head today as I was contemplating the online world as it exists currently. There are things that are just getting under my skin every day, like that sensation of nails across a blackboard, and I just have to discuss these things with you. I want to know if these things drive you batty as well. I want to know if I’m suffering alone or if misery loves to be social as much as Charlie Sheen does.
So here is my list of scenarios that make me feel, to quote Mugatu from Zoolander, like I’m taking crazy pills.
1. “Hi, I’m all about not fighting online. Excuse me, I need to fight with this person.” I have seen a pretty good number of online tiffs during my brief tenure online. Almost everyone that I have seen get involved in these fights has written a treatise or tweeted madly about how icky it is to fight online. It’s so stupid. It’s so rude. It makes you look like you might smell bad. Then they go back to fighting again. Some of the people I’ve seen online who have the WORST manners in the world are the ones evangelizing the lost art of good manners. Um, do you read what you are writing or tweeting? One of your personalities is out of control. I’m not sure which one.
2. “Hi, you are so low that you’d have to look up to see an ant. Why are you offended? I’m just trying to help!” OK, this drives me absolutely batty. Maybe you’ve experienced this one yourself. Someone comes by your blog or your Facebook page or your whatever, and they completely rip it and/or you to shreds, right? Then, if you try to say, “Wow, um, hey, thanks for that, dude,” they say, “Well, there’s no reason to be hurt. I was just trying to help.” Mmk. When I think of helping, I think of people like Mother Theresa or Albert Schweitzer. I’m pretty sure Mother Theresa didn’t go around telling the poverty-stricken people of the world that they’d really blown it, right? Sooo, if you can’t live with the fact that you’re a troll or a bully, then push your censor button. If you are really trying to help, then constructive criticism is the preferred mode of communication. At least, that’s my opinion.
3. “Hi, my opinion, which heretofore will be known as 100% fact, is the only one that is correct. If you disagree, you probably fell on your head as an infant.” I tried to cover this in more nice fashion the other day, but let’s face the facts here, people. It is impossible to know everything. I know, it stinks. It would be awesome if we could say unequivocally, “Nope, this is the way it is.” It’s very difficult to find a scenario in which that can be said truthfully, and I’ve yet to see an online scenario that bears out that one idea is perfect. This means that if you think any of the following:
- All agencies are doo-doo heads
- All marketers are ignorami (how do you make ignoramus plural, anyway?)
- The way that you do things is the only right way
You may need to open your mind a tidbit and explore other concepts and options. It could be unbelievably healthy for you, in fact.
4. “Hi, you are such a debbie downer, and that takes away from the opportunity I have to tell you about how I stubbed my toe.” If you are going to tell people that they are too…whatever…then I highly advise that you do not jump into fill the spot you just kicked that person out of. If you bite someone for being too negative, it’s probably a good idea to wait at least a couple of days before writing that post about how much the world stinks. If you attack someone for being too egotistical, it’s probably a good idea to wait a month or so before you write a post about why you’re really the greatest person ever. If you complain about a certain thing someone does, it may be advisable not to commence doing that very thing a few minutes later.
See, if we had online Karma police, all of these things could be ticketed offenses. And if you got too many tickets, I don’t know…maybe you’d have to write public apologies to everyone you offended with your crazy behavior or something.
Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe these things just drive me crazy.
What do you think?