Somebody Catches The Mud

She got sucked down, into the vortex of cyber drama…

I texted an ex-friend, because I was drunk and I missed her; and because I was drunk, I forgot why we broke up (I Drunk Dialed In A Text Box); and in my drunken text, I referred to one of her friends as pond scum. Then, the next day my ex-friend, showed her friend, my text.

And then I received a text from my ex-friend’s friend, the one I called pond scum. I wish I could post the text, but it was so long, it took nine iPhone screen captures just to save it.

So this middle-aged woman, the friend of my ex-friend, someone that I barely know, texted me, and called me a shallow, proud, cheater; a friendless, morally devoid, characterless, person; a bad mother; she also said I was like my mother (?), and she told me I was engulfed in drama. She uhmm, definitely missed the irony on that last point there.

Then she went on. And on. In circles. And eventually ended her rambling text by threatening me. Three times.

And her text made me think. Not about her threats, because I felt like her threats were as empty as her words. Although, Hubs thought the text was so threatening, he insisted I save it, just in case… Which kind of unnerved me, because Hubs is super rational.

But I also wondered if this friend of my ex-friend, would have said all of those cruel things to me, simply because I called her pond scum, if she had been face to face with me? My guess is, probably not.

Now, would I have called my ex-friend’s friend pond scum to her face? Probably. Because I was drunk, and my judgement was impaired. And I don’t like her, or pond scum. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I don’t drink often enough to know how conjure up manners while I’m in an inebriated state. And I’m working on that.

That said, I know I should have never called my ex-friend’s friend pond scum behind her back; so I replied to the ugly text as soon as I received it; I ignored all of the cruel comments and threats, and simply apologized for calling her pond scum. Drunk or not, I’m not a mean person. I’m not a cyber-bully or an online badass, and I won’t knowingly be responsible for someone’s pain.

And to be perfectly clear, I wasn’t bothered by what my ex-friend’s friend wrote in her text to me. I have a lot of friends, heathy and thriving kids, a rock solid marriage, and a God who will judge my morals and character. I firmly believe he who is without sin shall cast the first stone… John 8:7 And I haven’t met him yet…

What bothers me is it seems like nowadays we hide behind technology, and bully people, via a computer, or a phone, with an instant post about our negative feelings, or a Tweet about our negative opinion, regardless of whom it may hurt. So, are we just a meaner society now, because of social media? Are we looking at everyone’s shiny Facebook lives and growing green with envy? Or were we always mean? Do we just feel more entitled to our feelings now? Or are we desensitized, and thereby more tolerant of this bullish behavior?

I tend to think maybe we just got lazy and we we police ourselves less because we forget there is another person, a real human being with feelings, on the other side of the cyber mud we sling. Because when we send the mud through technology, we are alone, with thoughts and our computer, or our phone, or our tablet, and we don’t see the hurtful results immediately, first hand. Sadly, we aren’t around when the muddy person has to clean up our mess. Technology takes the compassion out of mudslinging, it removes the human factor; it makes it too easy to be cruel.

And what are we teaching our children through out Tweets and our Facebook posts?

I’m guilty of cyber slinging mud too. In my forty-six years I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, shallow comments and bad choices. And I’m certainly not proud of any of it; but I caught myself, and I stopped. And I strive to be a better person every single day. After all, aren’t we defined by how we learn from, and fix our mistakes; then move forward, hopefully as better people?

Looking back, I should have called my ex-friend, and told her I missed her. Actually looking back, I should have stayed away from my damn phone and never contacted her. Ever. My ex-friend was an ex-friend for a reason. But I hid behind technology, because I was afraid my ex-friend wouldn’t take my call, or she would hang up on me. Or worse, she would make fun of me behind my back, like she had done in the past.

…and so she crawled back out, dusted herself off, practiced better drunk manners and learned her lesson -not to drink and text ex-friends, and then moved forward. A forever happier gal.

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