We had an incident on our Facebook community page just yesterday, regarding naming and shaming. The whole mess got really ugly, before the Admins got there to remove the post. I only know about it, because it involved someone I know, who was extremely upset by the whole incident and was reaching out to me to try and help her with her responses because she was so emotional and didn’t want to respond from that hurt and angry emotion that she was feeling. She needed someone from the outside to help her find words that would be a little more level-headed. I was her ‘go to’.
She had bumped another car in a parking lot – a small scratch on their door – but instead of writing a note or sticking around, she left. Her state of mind at the time was extremely fragile, and so when it happened, she panicked. So she was guilty of the infraction reported in our group, telling the person to come forward ‘or else’. The report was posted two hours after the incident, by a witness, who had photo’s which they also posted. When she saw it, she had calmed down quite a bit and offered an apology, admitted to the infraction, and then asked the owner of the vehicle to private message her so that she could give them her number etc.
What followed was just ‘personal junk’. Things from her past, trying to discredit her as a person – it got ugly. Because the initial report was posted by her ex. It suddenly escalated way beyond the incident, and became a true one-sided mud-slinging match, minus the girl in a bikini. It wasn’t pleasant, at all. Eventually, Admin seemed to ‘be there’, and the entire thing was removed. Admin DID get her contact details, and the infraction is being handled. But not before ‘the world’ could see, comment and form a biased opinion. Fortunately, there was a small upside, in that someone suddenly thought to ask how the reporter knew so much personal stuff, and he was exposed as the ex. Thankfully, some people quickly changed their opinions, and all was not lost.
And it got me to thinking of the events of the past few days.
I have been under such a personal attack and had my integrity and whole being questioned. I had discussed with someone that I would not attempt a defense simply because it would be a waste of time. Those who truly know me, wouldn’t entertain the ‘other side of the story’. Those who do? I shouldn’t worry about them anyway. In the words of Rachel Hollis, and I think I shared the picture in a blog post a few days back, ‘Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.’
But I was told to visit the page in question this morning. And it contained even more personal stuff- – personal email from me — and people who follow me had actually liked the post. I guess I pretty much know what they think of me now, don’t I?
According to the latest post, the earlier ‘revealings and rants’ have been removed – that’s in italics because that’s what I think of them. I am not quoting anyone else.
I DO, however, feel that I need to say the following, and I am going to attempt to say it in a dignified and calm manner – and I will not be revealing anything ‘personal’ that was said to me…
So if you are reading this far, and are expecting a tit for tat, then I am afraid that you will be disappointed. I don’t believe in slandering and attacking someone for the whole world to see.
The other reason for me saying what I am about to say is that you may have found yourself on either side of this personally, and perhaps somehow this helps.
Please also see my other post.
According to the 2017 census for South Africa, there are 56.72 million people living here. I don’t live here alone. (How awesome would it be if I had a whole country to myself?)
And even though our country is largely behind the times in a lot of things, I personally know at least 45 of those people blog. I am also not under any illusion that we’re the only 46 bloggers in this country.
Now if I happen to mention your blog, for whatever reason, you need to know that you may suddenly get other visitors from my country. Please do not falsely accuse me of being the only person in South Africa who visits your page, and then go on to accuse me of stalking you. That’s a rather serious allegation to make. And if you’re genuinely that concerned, then block me – even if I am not a telemarketer.
It is not cool, when someone has a blog name that doesn’t give their real name (nopassingfancy) to plaster their real name, AND email address, across your blog. You clearly understand that this is not cool, when you blot out your own before doing so. I am not, and will never be, okay with this. And the people who like it, and agree with it, need to re-evaluate how they would feel if their identity was used in this way.
I am a loving, caring, open person – I feel things and I feel them strongly. When you reach out to me, and show me respect, love, kindness, encouragement? Naturally, because of who I am, I will ‘love you’, and show you the same. I will always respectfully agree to disagree, and never throw my knowledge of the Bible in your face. I fully understand hurt that is caused by Christians, and I am not going to judge you or use God against you.
I am flawed though.
And when you attack me (that is the word I use for it) by accusing me of purposely posting a blog post to deliberately hurt you, when we’re supposed to be friends – and through that accusation begin to question my beliefs and character, judging my understanding and knowledge of the Bible (which sort of means questioning my relationship with God, I guess)? Then unfortunately, my feelings towards you will change. I will pull back, and question ‘what we’ve shared’. I will question your character in my mind, and quite possibly choose to remove myself from that friendship.
I still respect you enough to not draw attention to what I feel is ‘your ugly’.
And here’s the other thing : you cannot choose to target someone and share personal things that they have said and done, unless you are prepared to provide the ENTIRE truth. Some of my actions may have seemed like infractions, but here’s the thing – I can’t defend them, because to do so would be to reveal personal things that were shared with me, and told to me…
And that’s not how I roll. Sorry. Not Sorry.
And when you remove all the other blatantly slanderous posts, and rewrite your blog post to really reflect untruths and completely change the entire story so that you really do seem like a victim of complete unfair treatment… you also need to be aware that some people already saw what was going on, and you’re confusing them.
If you don’t like me, then remove me from your life – don’t dwell and post ten posts regarding me by actually naming and shaming me. And yes, I used the word ‘dwell’. Its definition is ‘’think, speak, or write at length about (a particular subject, especially one that is a source of unhappiness, anxiety, or dissatisfaction’’. You can use ‘mull over/muse on/brood about’, or whatever you choose. Dwell is a word I like. It’s what I say I am doing when I am focusing on something that is making me unhappy/negative. It’s personal.
In dealing with situations and in response to things we don’t like, I also think we need to be careful about what we say about people, and how we characterize them. Especially when it may be so far from the truth that a telescope wouldn’t even be able to see it. There was a word you used, when you warned, ‘WORDPRESS BEWARE’!
You told ‘everyone who wanted to read through your numerous tags’ that I am evil.
The definition is telling people that I am profoundly immoral and wicked.
Thing is, that wicked could also mean sinful. And if you simply meant that – that I am sinful – then I hate to break it to you, but we’re ALL sinners.
It’s okay to dislike someone. And it’s even okay to dislike them without having a reason.
But you shouldn’t try and degrade, humiliate or disrespect them, just because you can.
Yes, my character and integrity have been called into question. Yes, my side of it may not be entirely clean. Even this blog post may not have been a correct response, even though I really felt like I needed to write it. SO…
I apologise for anything I have said or done that may be construed as harmful or hurtful. To anyone.
Rant over! Let’s move on!
And here’s hoping you all have a wonderful weekend ❤