Monday, October 15, 2012

Online Dealbreakers

I can count the number of people I've unfollowed on one hand: the once benign parent-blogger who became my city's defacto tea party spokesperson, the guy who invoked the "reverse racism" trope, the friend of someone purported to be my "online nemesis," and that girl who posted ten-too-many Nicki Minaj gifs. Frankly, that's enough. That I at one time friended any of these people makes me question my judgement. (Okay, the Nicki Minaj superfan I probably could have dealt with, but Tumblr doesn't have a mute button.)

But if I had to write a formal list of online dealbreakers, I could just cut and paste this one  -- with a few caveats.

This may come as a shock to anyone who knows me, but I don't really mind parents posting pictures of their kids (okay, maybe not their kids' poop). I've seen this pop up on many a childless persons list of dealbreakers, but given that most women my age have kids -- often younger kids --  it's inevitable. As much as it pains me to say this, get over yourselves childfree people.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism -- anything showing your privilege (read: showing your ass) -- one strike and you're out. Not sorry 'bout that. Another one of my longstanding pet peeves is the needless picking at grammar and spelling. If it offends your delicate literary sensibilities to see "you're" in place of "your," or "it's" instead of "its," find a job as a copyeditor. Not everyone has the same education or background as you, or might not be native speakers of English (my dad's family isn't). I understand the need to write as cleanly as possible if you want your words to reach and audience, but someone's Facebook page is hardly prize-winning material. A slip up here and there is understandable. This is one of the subtle ways classism creeps into the progressive blogosphere.

I could drop some platitude about respecting everyone, but that would make me a hypocrite: some things don't merit respect. (See racism, et al.) If you act like an ass, you can't be my friend, online or off.  (And ease up on the Nicki gis -- 'kay?)


  1. Hi,i hope this isn't a response to me from my last comment. I'm kinda-sorta new to your blog and don't think there was anything problematic to my post.

  2. No, there wasn't anything wrong with your comment. I just don't always get around to answering every one. I read them all, I swear.