Seriously, there are people who are alive solely because of the actual distance between myself and their face. OK, maybe that was a bit harsh, but certainly friendships have been saved because I can’t get in my car and show up at someone’s house to tell them EXACTLY how I feel. Today was a bad day and I swear, I felt like I was getting it from every side.
The internet is a wonderful invention. It allows us to learn about topics we wouldn’t have access to the past. We can meet people we never would have the opportunity to if we had to rely on a casual meeting or being the same area code. Through the internet we have expanded social networks in ways generations before us never dreamed. But as is always the case, with good also comes the bad. Today my internet friends, was a bad day in the interwebs.
I am part of a group on the internet that prides itself on working together for the greater good, not only for ourselves, but for the lives of many animals we help via rescue awareness and education. The platform we use is great, we have grown our group many times over in the past year, but the suggestion was made to expand to other platforms to expand awareness, especially with a fundraising opportunity we are working on to benefit our rescue of choice. As an admin of the group I know the “rules” and any big decisions about the group are discussed and voted on. Last week I brought this suggestion to the table, yes, I took the extra step of securing an account name closely tied to the existing group, but nothing more before the discussion. With minimal questions, I got a ‘thumbs up’, which I took to mean agreement, silly me. One admin was MIA so yes, she was not part of this, but I proceed with what I thought was buy-in from the others.
All seems happy on the internet, members from one platform were connecting on the new platform, everyone seemed excited and I was monitoring to make sure no internet drama (aka trolls) invaded our new space, as that is a big deal with the original group. This morning I was smacked with accusations that I had gone behind the backs of my fellow admin, being compared to a horrid drama queen former admin that we had to ban from the group. Nothing I said seemed to matter, I accepted responsibility for the new platform, so no additional work be put on them. I did tell them, up front and again today, I was accepting the help of a group member who was a content expert in the new platform, but we could change passwords to restrict access if/when we felt we needed to. I also left it open if it became too much drama or negatively affected the original group, I would shut it down. I was made to feel I had hurt something I put a lot of heart and work into and felt attacked by people I truly feel are friends. Finally a truce of sorts was reached, I had fucked up, but it was done and it was on me to make sure it didn’t go south.
Here is the thing about the internet, be careful where and what you type. After the dust settled, one of the others mistakenly commented in a group chat that “she” (i.e. ME) had run to the person who offered help and told them they were mad. Of course I did, I was being honest and making sure this person knew that the others weren’t happy and we needed to proceed less aggressively as to make them feel comfortable with the this new phase. I’m not sure what hurt most, the original attacks and name calling or knowing my friends were talking behind my back among themselves and telling others an altered version of the facts to make them look better. We are all women of a certain age, well past high school and the petty cliques and name calling.
So now, something I was proud of has turned ugly and more than anything I just want a do-over. We don’t get do-overs in life, so the best I can hope for is the new platform is a huge success and my misdeeds will one day be forgiven. Wish me luck internet…I need it!