I’ve actually explored this topic before. My launch as SwirlingFire was literally a baptism by fire.
I’d not learnt to use my voice. I’d become a passive mute when it mattered. When I started to speak it was a lava flow of frustration, hurt, anger, sadness, self realisation, unknown grief and too many memories of trauma returning too fast to process. No safe place to figure things out. I was intermittently “involved” with a man in the real world. Unfortunately, encouraging me to talk to find my weaknesses and insecurities to use the information to create fresh emotional and mental injury for his own dark ego. Non consensual d/s. That has harmed me far more than anything else. I would, if I were forced to choose, opt for another violent physical assault than to endure false unsafe sanctuary of a MindWizard. It’s seriously clouded my view of the kink community. Which ironically is mostly via Social media contact. I try to attend a monthly local munch when work permits. A very supportive group of people they are too.
Self silenced for decades – I won’t bore you all with the reasons why again. Some reasons are in my early posts. I think it’s interesting to revisit the prompt from a newer perspective. Whilst my views have changed as a whole, for those I’ve previously crossed timelines with they’re the people that have given me pause for thought and a yard stick of how I must evolve for the better.
Those thoughts of others and my Self now neatly correspond with my current Psychology course work.
Social Cues .
How we are perceived, how we think we are and the reality somewhere teetering in the balance whilst we pride ourselves on ‘not being like that!’ ?
I’m doing my best to improve myself and Self as a whole. It’s a lot harder than one would think. I see so many people miraculously have an online epiphany. So often, when chatting, it’s only a change of timeline vocabulary. The behaviour and actions have not changed. It’s a tricky knife edge trying to learn from ‘real’ people than a general website for BDSM and d/s. Although one brilliant one with a real life D/s partnership @SoutherSirsPl and @kaylaLords and their site @lovingbdsm very supportive and great advice when Swirly first landed.
Expressing myself on social media has caused me to step away more than engage nowadays.
So many questions I would dearly want to ask but not being able to – firstly for not correctly phrasing a real interest and understanding of other’s sexual experimental / lifestyles and not being intentionally inappropriate / nosey. Secondly when I’ve asked in the past I’ve been obviously fobbed off with a text book cold response and then subtweeted. That felt embarrassing, hurtful and unnecessary. Counterclaiming what a wonderful person they are to guide & offer advice. The knowledge of being gossiped about without redress is frustrating. I’ve lost respect for those people. It’s how we learn. By example?
The kink community prides itself on acceptance and being welcoming. It says it offers guidance support education and understanding. This is only true if one agrees with their way being the right way – to ask questions or incorrectly phrase and pose another view is considered as offensive and earns a soft block and then childish playground bully behaviour.
If we don’t openly encourage newbies to reach out for help in times of distress does that make us complicit in their abuse ??
Everyone wants to know who – I think time will finally expose offenders. Those abused that have the support network can ‘out’ those monsters. I’m already ostracised from many circles. 50% responsible for my own poor expression. On this point I have learnt to take pride in some of my silences. (‘My Editor’ is extremely patient and supportive to steer me away from old habits.)
I’m not against people expressing themselves any way they wish. In words or pictures. If one posts something on an open account and don’t wish to further discuss it then politely decline.
Although it’s free speech etc, posting certain topics and images, should IMO have a TW/CW. Before I was writing I found triggers and distress at unusual irregular things that caused memory flashbacks. The weirdest of haunting reminders that could not have been pre-warned. To be fair to those I consider ‘responsible/caring bloggers’ I didn’t know those triggers existed either. For triggers to be a source of entertainment for followers to laugh and joke about others pain speaks volumes.
It’s not always easy to know when to apply CW. I try where possible. It is a tricky call. I do it because I’m considerate of others and not because I consider myself too cool to ignore the burden of someone’s fresh suffering.
It’s a personal responsibility for those that follow in our footsteps ? Social media exposes us to the unsavoury characteristics of people we’d never have in our social circles in real life. Online we can only form our opinions by the cavalier responses we see ? Each to their own I guess ? Whomever we’re pretending to be online is not necessarily the real character behind the screen name. Opposites to what we see and read runs in both directions
We think we’re a certain personality. The written word is up for interpretation. Often not the way intended.
I’ve now learnt to be more mindful of my phrasing. IRL, with the facial expressions, to reinforce timbre and my giggling – I’m considered very quick witted, funny, dry humoured, sarcastic, kindly teasing and good company & it’s rarely misinterpreted. I know my audience. If I’m displeased with someone. They will know. First hand. There is never a grey area in that respect. There is no room for misinterpretation. On social media, passive aggressive ways are more frequently engaged and possibly subconsciously favoured. I’ve been subconsciously guilty of this. I’m aware now. Keyboard warriors – those brave little soldiers never accepting accountability, responsibility or damage to another as operating from a position of partial anonymity then distancing from words that are vicious weapons leaving lasting invisible scars of a good public kicking.
In reality, on social media, it’s quite the opposite. Womansplaining is rife to the point of nastiness. In my experience. I’m now quite hesitant to engage with some people.
I could cite many examples, however it would be inappropriate to reveal @ names and screen shot private comments
We learn by asking questions. I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve accepted my part and I’ve apologised when and where possible. It’s not made a difference where others still maintain their initial low opinions of me
It has, however, changed me. If we don’t learn from the classroom that is social media then should we allow ourselves to use it. ??
Always being the self righteous belligerent person is not considered evolving growth, it leaves one appearing as though they’re a grumpy obstinate selfish old git.
There are a lot of sick people in the world. Many unaware.
Where I’ve learnt my lesson I try my best to remember not to respond in certain ways.
Social media leads some to take everything as truth/factual/definitive. It’s never that black and white. Everything is subjective and, with permission, up for friendly educational debate. It’s worth asking a few questions, it’s how we learn.
Some people are extremely sensitive to phrases that don’t resonate for them or reflect their own experiences and take offence when it’s not even about them.
Despite all the negative experiences I’ve been subjected to in the past due to others #gaslighting, plus those I’ve encountered as “SwirlingFire” – for the most part there are very distinctive groups of those that are genuine and those that are free to be whomever they choose to portray. I’m working hard on myself to let go of past betrayals and online hurt and not let those people sap my energy. It’s very difficult to unlearn tried and well tested self protection strategies.
Despite all the imbalances to date (IRL & social media) I’m working hard to be more discerning with whom I engage in real conversation. Not everyone on social media is how they really are in other settings. Many are fooled by online public personas. I’ve now realised that time is the best Mistress of proof.
I am now learning everything about being an adult, adult relationships and adult conversations. It’s much harder than I anticipated.
l’m very curious to learn how to navigate through any potential new friendships which by nature may one day become real life in the flesh friendships, meeting up and socialising. In addition, one day finding someone that may, in time, become physical, genuine and romantically loving and sexual. I won’t hold my breath for that. I’m attempting to be realistically hopeful for a happier future.
Social Media can be the warmest of welcoming bedfellows when one is isolated and lonely – the trick is to balance the good and genuine people against the strutting peacocks and learn to recognise the two whilst keeping part of yourself private.
@Swirlingfire, 26 January 2019
Written for the #WickedWednesday meme of “Social Media”. Why not go check out the other posts by clicking on the button.