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Anonymous messages in Plurk

Since I joined Plurk, the anonymous messages have always been a source of amusement to me. An anonymous message is a message sent with the whisper command of Plurk that instead of showing the person who wrote the message, says Anonymous.

I say that it is a source of amusement to me because it's interesting to see how people reply when an "anon" is published. ("Anon" is the short way of saying anonymous message in Plurk.)

I can see legitimate uses for these messages. Surveys where we want a honest opinion would be one. Whether we like it or not, Plurk, just as any other social media website, works a little like high school. You don't say what you really think unless you are ready to be ostracized, no matter the promises people tell you. You need a mask. And in anons, that mask cracks open, showing the inner us. That's why a survey, for example, is a legit use of anons. People say what they really think about things, and I've seen cases of surveys that were useful thanks to this.

In my book, expressing a controversial opinion while hoping for a debate, is another legitimate use of anons. Sadly, we're living times where it's not the government, but the people, who are exerting censorship over others, and some opinions are better kept private even if you don't share them or, if you want to discuss them, you do that... in an anon.

The problem is that things tend to derail quickly in those kind of anons. Some people don't seem ready to discuss opinions even under the veil of anonymity, which makes their narrowness more interesting, more authentic. It makes me wonder who they are.

We can also find anons just to skin someone alive. What can I say, I'm not a fan of pitchforks and I'm not a fan of seeing someone insulting another under a mask. Do as others do, and insult face to face, so the insulted person knows what to do with you. Fist fight, don't backstab. (Now it's when someone takes this out of context, doesn't understand the metaphor, and says "and she says to be against violence?")

Are anon writers intrinsically cowards?

I don't think that's true in all cases. When it's a case of insulting someone else, or throwing shade, insinuations... Yes, I think that person is a coward. Just like the one in the office that throws a rumor and next we know is that someone else's reputation is ruined. Cowards.

But when we're in cases like the surveys or trying to make a debate from a controversial opinion, I don't think the person is being a coward. Rather, I'd say, cautious. If you've never seen Twitter on fire, you should, so you know what I'm talking about. Jokes have cost people their jobs, and in Plurk, an inopportune, or worse, misunderstood comment, can also turn into a shitstorm against you and your store, if you have one. People love their witch hunts and boycotts. It's always easier to hurt the small ones while they feel they're saving the world.

There's another side of anons that piques my curiosity. The typical responses from people when an anon gets nasty, and when someone needs help.

When anons get nasty, the most interesting things I see happening are:

  • The promotion of said anon by making public how offended you feel. At times I have the feeling that one does this to avoid that others think "they've said nothing, perhaps this person supports all the nasty?" (My feelings on this go to "no" and indeed, in my own case, it's rare I say anything. Silence only means silence. Minds can't be read, so you can't know why my silence unless you ask me.) The anon would die fast if people didn't make public their outrage about it, but like the song says... people are people.
  • The hunting down of the person who wrote the anon via how many friends in common. I've always found this amusing and I've collaborated by lying, saying that it was in my TL too, or not. I have the feeling that I'm not the only one who does this. What can I say? I don't like witch hunts!
  • The "delete me from your timeline" response. This is my favorite. Do you really think that someone who wrote something to provoke is going to remove you only because you ask? They won't, and they will continue pushing your buttons. Get to know better the people in your timeline, or don't read anons.

There are other anons, more worrying. Someone needing help, perhaps depressed, perhaps feeling suicidal, or perhaps just wanting to call attention. In any case, I see that when an anon like this happens, a lot of people jump saying to private message them, telling them who they are.

Honestly? I'm not sure that anything but convincing the person to seek professional help is going to do any good in here. Most of the times, I have the impression of reading a bunch of nosy people that want to know the juicy details but won't listen, except to tell them their own histories (as if the person needing help wanted to know.) Probably I'm wrong here, but that's the impression I get when I see a lot of people jumping with "PP me, I'm this person". I don't doubt of their good intention, but since we're not doctors, we shouldn't play doctor when someone comes with something worrying.

Now you may wonder, do I write anons?

I've written a few, when there are memes, and I've gotten so bored of people only being able to relate me to cheese that I don't do those memes anymore. However, this is the question you must ask yourself, always: Why should you believe my answer?

Maybe I'm one of those nasty coward people that writes anons to stir the pot and make everyone jump. Maybe I don't have time in my life for anons, not even for reading them. Maybe I'm somewhere in between. Only when you get to know me, you will know the answer.

The thing I know is, when an anon reaches to the point of bothering me, I close it.

Have a great day :-)
Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 23/07/2017 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments

I fell off my high horse

A long time ago I wrote a post expressing my disgust about people making fun of how others dress. I wrote it from an emotional place, since I had been the target of such jokes, and at the time, they did hurt. So basically, based on a personal experience, I implied that it was wrong making fun of how others dress or look, no matter RL or SL.

With time, an annoying thought started to knock on the door of my mind. While my intention in writing that was against cruelty and violence (specially, violence for dressing different), I was asking to take a measure I never thought I would fall to ask for. I was asking to set boundaries on humor, on what jokes are acceptable and what jokes are not. That's why I feel that the "FUCK YOU" that Josie replied to me about that post was the best possible answer I could get, and I'm not kidding here. It made me think about what I had said, and suddenly I saw I was riding a horse, a high horse. No, no, no, no. I don't want to be the kind of person that knows better than the rest. So I called myself a jerk and jumped off the horse. Clumsy as I am, more than jumping off was a falling off, but anyway, the horse and I parted ways.

I know that this opinion is quite unpopular in our days, but I think that we should not set boundaries to humor.

Why?

I think that setting boundaries to humor means that we know better than the others, that we know it is humor, but maybe the rest of the people aren't that smart and don't notice, so we should protect them from jokes that are potentially offensive to them, in case they think that what the joke says is what they should think and do in reality, instead of taking it the way it is: a joke.

Now, humor is fantasy. Humor cannot be taken seriously. That's why it's called "humor"! So we have to learn to distinguish fantasy from reality. I know that some jokes are delicate and I would never dare telling them in front of some people. The sad of this is that I censor myself. But I guess, there's always a time and a moment. Cracking a joke about death might not be the best thing to do at a funeral (although my family did and everyone laughed, and I swear it wasn't me who said the joke).

It's like saying that we have to protect people from fantasy books, in case those that aren't as smart as us, the poor souls, believe in dragons and all the magical creatures that show up in those books.

It sounds ridiculous, right?

It sounds equally ridiculous with humor. People are smarter than we think and we should never underestimate their ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. So let them crack a joke. Let them laugh.


I think that I can express better, now, what's the exact issue I have with. When humor is used as an excuse to hurt someone. When the intention is hurting. Intention is hard to prove, but with time, it becomes clear. However, jokes about someone wearing something you deem ridiculous, I don't think they're done with the intent of hurting that person, just expressing the normal surprise and "my eyes" moment that we all have gone through at least once in our life. Oh come on, don't tell me now that you've never felt that surprise and that "my eyes" moment because I don't believe it. All of us are used to certain clothes as normal, and all of us go "wait what?" when we see something unusual the first time. Getting used to see it as normal is what makes us grow, but that first surprise? We all go through it. Unless you're not a human. Or you've seen things that 99.999999% of humankind hasn't seen yet. In that case, I want to know which club you use to go. You know. For Science.

The issue I have with using humor as an excuse to hurt someone is the same situation as when someone says "I'm just being sincere" and they use it as an excuse to insult everyone at sight.

But just because someone is an ass and uses humor or another excuse to hurt others, we shouldn't put the blame on humor: we should put the blame in the person that uses the excuse to hurt others. And leave the rest of the world live with their humor, because the world is a huge place, and every person has a different sense of humor than the next one.

So if you see a noob doing something funny and want to show it, go for it. I'm sorry. I didn't want to imply that this was unacceptable. I was coming from an emotional place and what happens when you come from emotional places? You open your big mouth and you fuck up. And I'm sorry for that.

Josie, thank you for that loud and clear "FUCK YOU", because those can tell a lot in a given moment if you can read them, and for sure it made me think a lot.
Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 18/07/2017 at 08:00:00 - 0 Comments

Oh.Em.Ge.

I.Finally.Did.It.

No, I'm not going to write separating each word with a point, but I think I can't hide that I'm pretty excited about this. I has a blog! I has a new store website! And I did it all by myself!

The site isn't finished, nor all features are still complete. It's always a compromise: either you go live when you have absolutely every feature you can think of, polished to the point of shining (that is, never), or you decide when it's acceptable enough to go live, and you'll continue working on it from that point. I've decided the second, and here I am!

I confess, I missed writing during this time. I didn't feel like writing on a blog that had been reported by someone who apparently didn't like me. I requested a review, they told me that they saw no reason why the blog could have been reported, but they didn't remove the warning screen anyway, and that affects to search engines. You know I write tutorials that are useful not to me, but to the community, and if they don't show up in the search engines, it's the community that this person is hurting, not me.

So I took this as an opportunity. The opportunity of making a better store website that gives me more work opportunities in the future, and to have a safe space where I can write as I please and warn beforehand in specific posts to those immature enough as to read feeling offense thoughts from someone (me) that likes to wonder about why people do what they do.

It has delayed a lot in time, I know. I started designing the website in December 2015 and I deliver it now. Honestly, I didn't expect that all the things that happened to me, happened. My oldest grandmother died. I got sick. And again. And again. I sprained my foot. And got sick. My hard drive died while making a backup (the irony). A relative died. Several apparatus at home died. A cat we were trying to adopt, died. Then Autumn comes and I get sick. And again. And again. And yet another relative dies. And a close friend. And my oldest cat. And my mother had surgery. And all of this is just "the big picture". Many details have been left, and I've made this list only to show how life can make you go slow in the project you want live the most, because you have events and a store, you work for another person too (Dutchie), and you have to deliver no matter all those circumstances. The website was for the moments when I could breathe.

And now I can breathe. So much. I can write again!

Expect me soon, and have a great day :-)


Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 15/07/2017 at 10:00:00 - 3 Comments
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