The distant relation who I was gently pushing whenever he posted silly things – like being anti-safe space (I asked him – nicely – to explain what he thought the terrible real-world consequences of safe spaces are and he… didn’t), or pro-not actually charging college rapists (he stopped answering me when I cited the FBI’s 8% false rape claim number and linked him to that essay on rape by Film Crit Hulk), or refusing to acknowledge racism as a major factor in the US presidential election (that one ended with me assuring him that I know he isn’t racist – I know no such thing, of course, and generally people who pearl clutch at racism accusations are, at the very least, extremely uneducated on race issues but I thought he might listen to my point if I said it) – is currently taking to Facebook only to write vicious rants about customer service problems. So, first of all, that was a sentence. Also, what am I supposed to do with vicious customer service rants?
Thankfully, the opportunity to needle a complete stranger over social media arose just yesterday when my precious grandmother shared a pro-Obama meme. So. I’m writing a blog post about. It.
First take a moment to admire the lazy way I blacked out “sensitive” information. I don’t even use my real name on Facebook but I am making a very unattractive face in my profile picture. So. You’re welcome.
My grandparents have a joint Facebook account, so obviously this Trump fan assumed it was my grandfather who posted it. But anyway. My reply is there at the bottom.
I do want to take a moment to try to understand what this person was getting at. I replied as though they were saying that Obama DID have scandals, assaults, and frequently mocked people with disabilities, but I suppose they meant that all of those accusations against Trump are false. Which is equally ridiculous. You can dislike Obama all you want, but maybe not because a) you are sure he did things that there’s no evidence he did, or b) you think all the negative press about Trump is fake. Think better thoughts.
Afterwards my dad and grandmother talked on the phone and as it turns out, they don’t know who this person is, even though they’re a Facebook friend and have the same last name. And then my grandmother replied to my comment, “Thank you. I am proud of you.” Which is both silly and precious. Because of all the things she could be proud of me for (there are SO MANY obviously), this is probably not the best one. But don’t think I’m belittling her by calling her precious. When she was my age, she had immigrated to a different country where she didn’t speak the language, dealt with the various hostilities involved in that, and she also had two terrible children, the first and most difficult of which was my father. And through it all she remains, to this day, impossible to say “No” to.
Anyway. She’s formidable. But unschooled in the art of dealing with callousness of people who think that because you’re not face-to-face, you can say whatever you like without consequence to someone else. And that is the story of the time I got to do something interesting on Facebook. I’m glad it ended there and didn’t escalate into 5000 word replies as it generally does.
Hey! If you have eons of time and are bored, let me know what you think about the usefulness of arguing with silly people on Facebook and other social media. I know the consensus seems to be that it accomplishes nothing. But. Still. Tell me.