Friday, January 25, 2013

Results Not Typical

We see this in small print on assorted things (most commonly weight loss promotions). It's how companies protect themselves from lawsuits when things don't quite work out the way you hope/expect.

That is what life is all about, results are not typical. There is no such thing as typical. We are not science experiments conducted in controlled environment. We are people with emotions, thoughts and pasts. What works for one person, may not work for another.

Common sense right?

Why then do people find it necessary to attack someone who had a 'similar' experience but got a different result or even had the same result but felt different about it? We see it all the time in comments on Facebook posts or in blogs or op-ed pieces from News Papers.

I'm not talking about comments that disagree with the poster, but ones that attack the poster. Here is a simple example (and nonsensical)

I painted the table red. It looks amazing. I'm so happy I did it.


  • Wow, love it. Wish I had thought of that.
  • To each his own. I would have probably picked blue.
    • WTF? Blue sucks! You have to be pretty messed up to paint something blue.
    • I agree. I had a red table once and it was in the room when my boyfriend broke up with me. Red is horrible. 
  • Cute.
  • How dare you paint that table! The original wood looked so much better. You totally ruined it. I hope you rot in hell.
  • Ignore what other people said, if you like red, keep it.

You get the idea. This is a totally nonsense situation but we've all seen it. Differences of opinions are great. We don't all like the same things, we shouldn't have to. We are not clones, we are people. And even if we were clones, the second we split apart and had unique interactions, our reactions to the same situation could be different.

There is something about the internet that seems to make it okay for adults to bully other people. And that is what it is, bullying. This is not something you would do in person. Yes, posting something on the internet opens it up for public scrutiny. So if you have an opinion that is different and want to share your opinion, do it. But there is no reason to attack another person for an opinion different from yours. It's the opinion you have a difference with, not the person. I've seen some amazing writers pull their blogs because of attacks.

Most recently, I found some disturbing attacks in a series on adoption in Huffington Post called Portrait of an Adoption . The posts are by people with good and bad experiences on all sides of the complexity that is adoption, but most of all they are honest stories written from the heart. This is the third time the series has come up. It's very clear there are many stories to tell.

Adoption itself can be a very emotional issue. Different people may have different feelings on the same aspect of it. And that is fine, good, to be expected. And I think it's good that people share if they had different results in a situation that was similar. I don't think it's good, appropriate or in anyway useful to attack someone, call names etc just because they took a different path or had a different outcome. And that has happened. Some of these people have opened their hearts to share their stories and been attacked by comments. It got so bad that they have had to put comment validation in. I hate that. Comment moderation does stop the attacks but it also deters people from commenting at all. I loved reading some of the comments on the earlier stories where others opened up and shared, even if their outcomes were different from the story. There are less of those now.

So people grow up. There is so much in the media now about kids and teens bullying and how bad it is, how to stop it. Well, one way is to lead by example. Don't be a cyber bully.

Feel free to comment. This is just how I feel. Results not typical.


wanda roberts laquidara said...

I love your blog and feel so much the same way. People sit behind a computer screen to comment things that they simply wouldn't be saying in any other venue. As though the internet means that human decency is no longer required.

K J and the kids said...

screw you !

:) ha ha ha
Here's to a healthy and happy comment section !