Craft For The Soul Pip-Life

These Things Don’t Go Together

August 12, 2015

Online behaviour can be confusing, right? I’ve written about it before here (and many other times too!) Guess what? I’m going to write about it again. Shazam! Let’s go…

Sometimes we (and by we I mean some of us) get all weird and think the internet is a big monster, right? And other people are SUPER annoying? And only our little online gang ‘gets’ who we are? We might even approach our online communications as a bit of a battle, steeling ourselves for the crap that is to come?

It’s possible that we might even feel a bit bonkers/insecure when it comes to dealing with other humans online?

Here’s some things I’ve been noticing about this stuff lately.  I am sure you know this stuff already, but it’s good to get a reminder, right?!

(I’d love to know what you think, re this, too!)

Just because people are saying something online that affects you, it doesn’t mean they are talking to you or about you.

Sometimes it feels like that, right? The thing that’s being said feels like it’s being aimed squarely at you (maybe you are feeling that RIGHT NOW!) Usually it isn’t and it’s much better for your health and happiness to assume it’s NOT about you. Then you can just scoot right by the thing that’s being said (or share your own opinion in a non-defensive, smart person way!)

Just because you have a different opinion to another person, it doesn’t mean you are now adversaries.

Of course people have different opinions, but that’s not an indicator of who is (and isn’t) on your team. What it is, is an opportunity to consider life though someone else’s lens. To test the framework behind your own ideas out. You don’t have to concur. But you can confer.

Just because you have a different opinion to another person, it doesn’t mean you’re having a smack down.

Life is all about individuals making sense of the world – alone and with others. Questioning or disagreeing is part of trying to work out our place. It’s an opportunity to tap into how others feel and confirm how we feel (or change our thinking!) These discussions are not about winning, shaming, pile-ing on or changing someone else’s mind. They’re just about talking stuff through, learning to express yourself with clarity and listening to how stuff feels for the other humans.

Just because someone is friends with someone you don’t like, it doesn’t mean they have formed a gang against you.

The internet hey? It’s so big. It has all of the people. Sometimes we imagine there are little armies of people marching together for their various interests and ideas. In reality it’s more of a schmozzle and what people are looking for are connections rather than a gang. Give people a chance and don’t assume that those who hang together also hang shit together. If that makes sense. They are almost certainly not hanging shit on you. (And just say they were? Meh. They’re not your people. Maybe some day they will be. Maybe not.)

I think behaviour can so easily be misunderstood, especially when we’re seeking to be understood ourselves. The patchy communication we have online lends itself to exaggerated/false interpretations of people’s intentions. And those exaggerations/falsehoods can be distorted further when people seize on the drama of them and give them further momentum.

(Some) people become quite disassociated from and simplistic about how the other humans behave, not letting the truth get in the way of a good story. That sucks.

Just because someone thinks you are a certain person due to your online profile, it doesn’t mean you have to be that perceived person.

It’s not your job to be the person you (supposedly, apparently, allegedly) appear to be online. It’s just your job to be you. Don’t worry about measuring up. Worry about how you feel about you, because that’s what matters most. It doesn’t hurt to endeavour to be yourself online, either, if it’s at all possible.

This is a weird problem to have, right? It would be helpful if we didn’t make assumptions about what people might be like when we meet them (after knowing them online.) We could even give people more room to move and be themselves, allowing for the quirks and contradictions that make us human?


I guess, to summarise, most people are trying their best to communicate healthily and happily online, but are possibly messing it up a lot of the time. I think that we’re all learning, still, about how the online world works.

Maybe we could just ease up a bit on one another when we do mess up or disagree? And we could also try a little harder to listen to others (even if we think their view is bollocks!)

I’m going to try to do those things, anyway. I can’t promise success, but I’m giving it my best shot. You can TOTALLY ignore me if you want. Thanks for reading!

(Also – you must watch this (related) video. It came up when I checked in on my Feedly stream after I started writing this {thanks Swiss Miss} and it’s so great!)

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  • Reply Terrence Meling September 3, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    If you guessed this one is not like the others, Then you’re absolutely. Three of these things belong together Three of these things are kind of the same Can you guess which one of these doesn’t belong here?

  • Reply Delphine August 18, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Your post put a huge smile on my face. You made me realize that not everyone is mature, eventually. I think I will keep the good parts of being a child at heart ( like , reread Matilda for the hundreth time, and have a fondness for sprinkles and confetti) , and , thanks to you, I won’t try to understand when people get offended for little things. It’s a huge relief!

  • Reply Kimberly August 15, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    Ahhh Pip – how’d ya get so wise! Thanks so much for this.

  • Reply Pia August 14, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    If I’m honest – I’m still surprised and disappointed when it comes to most online commentary.

    It’s like being one of the artists or philosophers who survived the Black Plague and then had to see The Church subjugate all of Europe with fear and hatred during the Dark Ages.

    I banned TV from my life 3 years ago (something I have never regretted**), and I’m pretty good at filtering what I see on the Net. Some nasty shit still gets through and that’s when I just shake my head.

    Thanks for the video PIP – it was bloody awesome and I’m going to share it on my FB feed.
    It’s so utterly “en pointe”.

    ** Except the footy and the tennis – damn I miss them!

  • Reply Candice August 13, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Irrespective of actual age, we all teenagers when it comes to using social media/the internet. By this, I don’t mean that we are infantile (though that can sometimes be the case) rather I mean that the media we use to communicate online is still in a teenage phase. I try to remember this when I engage online and firmly hope that as digital communication becomes more normalised our community will master this ‘new way of communicating’ and apply the same reasoning to it as they do in the rest of their interaction.

  • Reply Libby August 12, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    “Gloriously disputatious” – love it! I also have to agree with Carolyn, I think it all comes back to the ‘why’ or as I find myself saying a lot ‘to what end?’. My 12 y.o. has some peers that tell him he’s disrespecting them when he doesn’t agree with them, I’m trying to teach him that it’s quite fine to agree to disagree – I’m definitely going to show him the video. Thanks Pip.

  • Reply Reannon @shewhorambles August 12, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    i love that you are always so sensible about this sort of stuff Pip. I can go a bit loco about online stuff & have to give myself a good talking to so I start thinking normal again. Posts like this are very helpful for people like me 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn August 12, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    I loved this video, Pip. I think the point about being empathetic is so important. We need to think about ‘why’ somebody is taking a particular stance, what motivated it, and then have a discussion about the issue. It seems to me that in society, not just social media, we have created an environment where discussions have simply turned into shouting matches. People appear to have a stance on an issue and then keep pushing that view. They don’t take the time to ponder WHY others may have an opposing view. You may not end up agreeing with the other side but that doesn’t mean you can’t listen with at least a partly open mind. With the keyboard so close at hand it’s easy to be swept into a culture of ‘reacting’ to what we read online. It would be much more beneficial to create a culture of considered response.

  • Reply Kate August 12, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    Great video and post. I see this in my kids, they think everything is offensive, racist, sexist an attack on them or some minority group. I know they are young teens and have much worldliness to learn and experience but some days it just does my head in. Not everything is about them, or me for that matter. Reminds me of the parenting motto I lived by when they were younger….pick your battles.

  • Reply Veggie Mama August 12, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    The internet has all the people who are probably not pointing their avocado at you!

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