I had an interesting encounter on Twitter this morning, that could surely be used as a case study for alienating people who should be your allies.
Let me preface this by saying that @jimmiebjr is one of my oldest and dearest Twitter friends. In fact, he registered for Twitter the same day as I and was probably one of my first follows. He was unfailingly helpful to me as a new blogger, and still is a source of support and encouragement. So when this turned up in my timeline, you can imagine that I was a little put out.
Okay, I’ve never seen you before and not only do you show up in my timeline, insulting a friend, but you toss in some minor vulgarity to boot. And here’s where it all goes…weird. Mute? Huh? Until April? This apparently means “block,” but not before shooting off a couple of self-righteous DMs. Whoa! Way to overreact! And call names! And condescend! Tell me this. Am I crazy, or did he not involve me by including me in an @ reply? And really, what was the point of including me, other than to try and make Jimmie look bad in front of his friends? How childish is that? Honestly, I don’t even know what their debate was all about. I was just objecting to him insinuating himself into my consciousness by insulting a friend. Talk about being an a**hole…Pot! Meet! Kettle!
Here’s a tip for Mr. Crabbypants. If you don’t want people to respond to you, don’t include them in your @ replies. And if they do reply, don’t quote Scripture to them to try to shame them for participating in a conversation into which you invited them. I believe this is all covered in Social Media 98: Remedial Twitter. Oh, and another thing. Blocking people for having the temerity to point out your own rudeness? Not the best way to maximize your network.
Zefram Cochrane would be turning over in his grave. You know, if he were born yet. So the next time you approach someone for the first time, how about a simple “Live long and prosper.” You’ll be better for it.
(Of course Mr. Crabbypants will never see this post because – hey! – he blocked me. And he’ll continue to wonder why people accuse him of being condescending.)
Update: It appears that Mr. Crabbypants’ awkward use of social media puts him in good company. In fact, Chapstick gets it so wrong, they actually make him look good. I hope they’re not actually, you know, paying anyone good money to update their Facebook for them.