The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Check Yourself

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who act self righteous when, in reality, they are just as guilty as anyone.

Let me explain.

There is a Facebook thread involving someone I have known for over 30 years. She repeated a joke that was told to her about MJ. People who don't know this person would think "Damn, it's a little too soon for that." But, knowing this person as I do, she meant no ill will or anything like that. But some of her "so called" friends are treating her like a social pariah. In fact, one person claimed that being a friend means holding a friend accountable when they mess up.

Well, first of all, as I said, if you really "knew" this person, you would know she doesn't have a malicious bone in her body. She was just repeating what she heard. Secondly, these are the same self righteous people who will most likely be laughing at the same jokes at the water cooler on Monday. (I also know the people making the comments and they are quite self righteous, so no comments about my being judgmental, K?) Finally, it seems to me that if a person is a "real friend" they would not call them out on a public forum like Facebook. A real friend would say something privately, via email or a Wall to Wall note. The only person who is getting anything from a public smack down is the person giving the smack down.

People need to stop with the self righteous behavior. We are human. We screw up. We suffer from "foot in mouth" syndrome. But, I would hope that my friends would be compassionate and private when putting me in check instead making a person feel like persona non gratis.


Anonymous said...

besides all of that, people are going to react differently to a death like this. Realistically, none of us knew MJ personally, so our senses of grief and loss are more about our connection to his music and to him as a symbol or icon. And that's different for everybody.

I know I've had a really different response from a lot of my FB friends because of the association between MJ and pedophilia. I know he was acquitted but still. My first reaction was a sense of relief, first for his victims and second for his kids. I know that sounds twisted but it's true. It has everything to do with my personal history. And my FB reactions reflected that.

Meanwhile, other friends of mine have had a really different take on it because his music was so formative for them. I don't grudge them their reaction. But I'm also not mad at those of my friends who responded with crass jokes. Everybody has their reaction and their way.

Given that we're all reacting to the death of someone we don't know and probably have never even met, it seems reasonable to allow some latitude. Which is to say nothing of the fact that, if it were genuinely offensive and a case of foot in mouth a true friend would say something gentle in private, not take part in a public smackdown. I mean, really. For shame.

Seeking Solace said...

Well said, Anastasia. Well said.

rented life said...

If the two of you heard the joke my husband and his co-workers made...well it puts the others to shame. :)

MissDazey said...

I admire you standing up for your friend. I think one of the things about the Internet in general, and social networking in particular, that is can get very impersonal. I am both old and a private person. I have developed some wonderful one on one friendships via the Internet.

Some people don't seem to realize or care what they post and that those posts are read by real live people.

I can remember when Elvis died. My very best friend was a huge Elvis fan, she reacted just like people are today about MJ. It is sad to lose someone we are fans of, they are part of our lives. My husband mourned Frank Sinatra.