One of the other projects I was working on recently has come to a close. It's called the Luscious Legacy Project, run by Sue Ann Gleason, founder of the blog Chocolate for Breakfast, whom I have mentioned before. It was good for me to take part in this event, and I was very happy to be involved with a supportive and kind group. I went into the program expecting to work on my writing skills. While that did occur, most of us also uncovered a lot of emotions and memories through the process. While at times it was challenging, it also ended up being a healing and enjoyable experience. I am happy to report that this was one of the best things I could have done for myself, and it's a lot cheaper than therapy!
In the last few months, I was hit pretty hard with a bout of depression. When I get like this, I tend to sit back and think, maybe a little too deeply, about the ways of the world. The darkness seems to be lifting. Lately, though, I'm in shock at how cruel, messed up and strange people can be. This is especially true when it comes to how people behave online. It seems the more we remove the human element, the more people feel justified in the horrible things they do and say. More and more, I feel the need to step away from the computer screen, just to get a dose of normalcy. Of course people are not always nice in real life, and, as I pointed out above, people can be full of kindness online too. Still, I find comfort in dealing with people face to face. It's upsetting and very strange to me how some people thrive on callous and underhanded online behavior: stalking, starting rumors, writing cruel comments, calling people names and more. Don't they have better things to do?
A friend of mine and I got to talking about a recent incident involving a chocolate shop that quickly presented a personal matter online in a blog post that was not exactly fact checked. In the post, the author called out another company, claiming this big corporation was trying to step on the little one when, in fact, the big company was merely following standard procedure in protecting its business.
I admit that I was looking at the situation from an emotional standpoint. I also assumed that the little company may have misinterpreted and misrepresented what the larger company was doing, because it didn't make sense to me that this larger company would suddenly threaten and lash out at a shop that carries its chocolate. Anyone not following the story closely was bound to jump to some inaccurate conclusions and immediately take the side of the small company. It was all right there in an open letter, after all. This did not sit well with me. I knew there was more to the story.
My friend looked at the situation as something businesses simply do. It's a shady but effective way to get attention and support, because nobody will pay much attention to any retraction or corrections down the road. This is exactly what happened. A retraction was was presented in a blog post the very next day. "Oopsie, I made a mistake!" People will focus on and remember the first claim, even if it's proven wrong later. So a big buzz was created, and nobody really responded to the correction and admission of the oops moment. Success.
The unfortunate thing is that many people responded with a lot of hatred toward the larger company the day the first open letter was posted. The owner of the big company posted a thoughtful and kind response on facebook, explaining what was really going on, but this didn't stop people. Most of the comments on the facebook post were atrocious, even though it was clear that the small shop owner had misrepresented what was happening. People should be ashamed, but they aren't. Any how many of them do you think apologized after the correction? I can't imagine how messed up the people who toss out such hurtful and cruel comments must be. I don't even want to know.
My choice is to support the larger company by continuing to buy their products as I always have. I had already stopped being a customer of the smaller one for various reasons, but I really hate to see this kind of thing happen.
On to better things.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts. If all goes well, I will be presenting some audio segments that deal with eating disorders, recovery, women's issues, running and training in the next few weeks.