Online Communities

I’ve been online since the mid-1990’s and back then, the term ‘social media’ wasn’t even a neuron firing off in someone’s head. Back then I got online and met people through chat boards, such as I’ve been with that group from there since then through two other platforms (Yahoo! Groups and now Facebook) and on Facebook I’ve found friends with similar interests and also reconnected with some old friends from my pre-internet days.

In private groups I’ve been able to vent to like-minded people, and those times gave me a feeling that I wasn’t all alone in the world. In those groups, I was never judged and found lacking. In those groups, I never felt like I was never good enough no matter what I did or didn’t do in my life. I wasn’t judged or given obnoxious amounts of ‘feedback’ (a word I now consider a synonym for ‘bullshit’). Also, these groups were a way of escaping my shitty life and talking about things that were fun and goofy.

Yet time and time again some asshole (or two or three or more) comes along and shits all over this sense of community. From Facebook letting their site being overrun by racist bots and Russian trolls (and fuck Mark and Sheryl Zuckerberg all to Hell for letting that happen despite knowing what was being done), to Twitter being bought out by a billionaire who wants to suck Vladimir Putin’s dick and kiss the asses of the Chinese government- it’s like each time something gets good someone has to come along and shit all over it.

When Elon-the-Shithead bought Twitter I knew it was going to go downhill fast. I think he’ll go bankrupt as the site turns into a cesspool of hate and shit-bag trolls. And that made me have this thought:

Maybe we ought to burn the motherfucker down and be done with it.

I don’t mean literally burn something down for all the idiots reading this. I mean this metaphorically (look up the word ‘metaphor’ if you don’t understand what I’m talking about here). I mean, let it become a hollowed-out husk and then when all the shit-heads move on to the next piece of real-estate they want to shit on, rebuild what they left behind into something better.

Every single day, more and more people are saying ‘Enough’. Along with ‘’no’, and ‘fuck this shit’, and ‘fuck you’, too. They’re establishing boundaries to put it in a more polite way and that’s a good thing. From ‘quiet quitting’, to ‘working your wage’, or going independent, people are just saying ‘enough’. People are free to cut and run but you can’t do that forever. Sooner or later, you have to take a stand and fight.

My father was fond of an old saying: don’t let the bastards you get you down. He also used to say there was always an asshole in every crowd, and not to let the assholes of this world ruin things for you. He was right (as always) and this is why I’m standing and fighting. It’s why I let it rip here with all my colorful profanity and sayings that I learned how to formulate from my late father. I’m out of fucks to give and if it makes me a lonely old bitch with only a dog and cat for company, then so be it.

People have asked if the assholes on the internet are like that in real life: uptight, judgmental, racist, etc. And my answer: yes. Online interaction makes people think they can be assholes in private and hide that in real life though most people have removed those masks these days and put on red MAGA hats instead. That’s fine because at least we can see them clearly now. It’s these uptight judgmental pricks that bought into right-wing bots and Russian trolls and QAnon conspiracy theories hook, line, and sinker. Sadly, lives have been lost because of their shit-spewing and believing in lies over the truth.

So what do the rest of us do?

Stand and fight. Be the people we are, and always want to be. And don’t take shit for doing the right thing, believing in the good of this world, and not hating other people simply because they’re different from us.

To all my online friends over the years:

Thank you for all your kindness, generosity, and acceptance. Thank you for being the great people you all are. Please know I won’t leave our online community, nor will I ever forsake you. And know that I will stand up to uptight judgmental shitheads for you, too.

My online community is just like the real-life world I live in: it’s worth fighting for, and worth saving. And maybe it will burn down but like the Phoenix, we can rise from the ashes and start over.

Author: Michele

Writer by day, Uber driver by night. Single mom to two fur-kids (a dog and a cat).

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