From time to time, people who i have never actually met or conversed with on any subject will send me friend or follow requests on social media platforms.
While on one level this is flattering, on another level I worry slightly.You see, you’re not going to be friending a happy-go-lucky, sunshine, buttercups and rainbows guy who is unfailingly nice to all and sundry regardless of what day of the week it is, or what has been happening in the great wide world.
I am a thoughtful, slightly intense person who is highly engaged with the world around me. I have an inquiring and challenging mind. People who know me discovered this a long time ago.
I can also appear to be a pain in the ass from time to time. I have moods. I don’t suddenly become an unhinged psycho, but I can get slightly waspish from time to time, usually as a result of being confronted by one or more people who are talking or acting nonsensically. Usually, if I sense that I am tired, or not in a good place, I take a timeout.
Here’s what that means for your interactions with me.
1. I challenge anything that looks like an assertion with no evidence
2. I have a very sensitive bullshit detector
3. I have limited tolerance for sarcasm, and no tolerance whatsoever for any communication that looks like an attempt at bullying or threatening.
4. I do not engage in tone trolling, I don’t have much respect for it as a basis for argument or discussion.
5. If you want me to respect your arguments, have good ones
6. Don’t argue in memes or slogans. Use your own voice, not somebody else’s.
7. Don’t use juvenile ad hominems or insults if you want me to take you at all seriously. If you keep doing it, I will call you on it. As my Dad used to say, good manners cost nothing, and it’s actually not difficult to be pleasant.
8. Humor and cat pictures are good things. We can never have enough of either.
9. You cannot a la carte me. I cannot and will not engage in self-censorship to fit other people’s ideas or preconceptions about what I should be talking or writing about online. You don’t get the cat pictures without the pithy commentary.
10. I do fact-check both myself and others, and i do admit to error. Not very often, but it happens.