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In Which Very Few Of Us Are Family

January 5th, 2009 3 comments

I get blast emails from someone that starts them off “Dear Family”.  It makes me cringe because if I walked into the middle of that “family” I’m a part of, they’d look at me and say “what the fuck is he doing here?”

Have you ever watched a group of people dancing to We Are Family?  They don’t frequently make eye contact with their other family members.  Once the song is over they go back to being strangers.

The latest social media wrinkle comes in the form of someone simply trying to do a good deed in the online community.  She set in motion a chain that ended with the cops showing up on the doorstep of  another twitter she didn’t know…because she thought the woman was serious about “smothering” her child.

(I’m going to leave out the links because both of them are probably getting hammered…hit-wise, that is.)

Let me quote from the woman’s defense

I hope you will eventually cool off and realize that a lot of people you don’t know were very concerned for your welfare and the welfare of your children, and be glad that people out there care about you. I am truly glad that you’re all okay, and I hope you continue to be so.

Just on a practical level, if you don’t know me what basis do you have to make a call on what constitutes my “welfare”?  You don’t know my house.  You don’t know my living situation.  Maybe I’ve got an au pair in the next room.  Maybe I’m a crack addict.  Maybe I’m a crack addict with an au pair.

Paraphrasing her statement – “We’re all one great big family looking out for one another and someday you’ll stop being stupid and realize that.”

The whole statement reeks of condescension and self importance, as do many of the comments about “I don’t think it’s funny to talk about killing children”.  B-but I thought we were family and we agreed on everything.  Oh.  I get it.  We’re supposed to agree on your idea of family because it’s a much better vision of the way that you think the world should work.

Another great statement –

While it is certainly a shitty way to end the night, better to report any possible issues than to remain apathetic and risk a child being abused.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess he’s never lived in a poor section of town.  I’ve nearly gotten my ass kicked several times trying to stop a child from getting hurt.  And those were live people that I could physically see harming their kids, not some cyber-mom blowing off steam.  How many instances of reporting would it take for this to fall to the bottom of a cop’s priority list?

This woman claims she tried to contact the mother before setting the wheels in motion…but she didn’t write back. (!)  I guess that makes this whole thing the mother’s fault because she wasn’t sitting in front of her computer monitoring Twitter. [/sarcasm]

The fact is that “online comminities” are too fluid to be called that.  They are hotels.  They are clubs.  Sure, some folks stick around for the long haul, but many just stop in for a drink and some light conversation on the way to somewhere else.  The trouble comes when they honestly believe they have a crystal clear vision of surroundings they’re unfamiliar with.

A final point before I shuffle off this mortal…headache that I have: Parkinson’s disease makes you shake to the point where you can appear drunk.  This woman would have called the police on someone with Parkinson’s and then patted herself on the back as they hauled him away.  And thanked Jesus for the wisdom he instilled in her at birth.