Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weird People on Facebook - have any crazy stories like this?

Just don't push me. Don't.
This is a weird social web vignette from my life. I had an odd thing happen to me yesterday. There is that op-ed to do re the Goldman Sachs 12 vet who resigned via the NY Times. I read it, and it all seems to swirl around Greg Smith finally realizing that the GS culture wasn't what he thought it was. He calls them out and walks away. Okay, I can appreciate that for what it is, that's a significant decision for him and, yeah, I don't think he'll be welcome in any Wall Street firm again...ever.

But I'm cynical about it. It's not like he's publicly given away the fortune he's made or made any announcement about it going in trust to benefit a charity or create a foundation.  He's not announced that he's moving into fundraising or other nonprofit work. It won't be a first-class, hotel suites and bottle-service lifestyle for him anymore, but at 33, he can probably live the rest of his life at a level of comfort that most only dream of. For me, it's just a current event that isn't that significant, and I surely don't see it causing an awakening of conscious on Wall Street, in the financial sector at large or Washington, D.C. anytime soon.

Well, this one woman I barely know disagreed with me and by barely, I mean barely. I met her during the scholarship application review process for my alma mater last year.  One morning we evaluated applications and the next weekend we interviewed candidates.  That's it.  That's all.  No lunch before or after.  No getting together over a cup of coffee.  Nothing.  At best, she is an acquaintance.  Since I have nice but essentially superficial bonds online with other fellow alums I've met doing this, I figured this one would be the same.  We'd exchange comments here and there but all would be fine. 

I guess she worked on Wall Street for a couple of years, so she felt entitled to keep coming at me yesterday on Facebook after I posted a couple of articles that reacted to this banker's op-ed resignation.

In her reply to the first article from The Daily Beast, I could tell she disagreed. Okay, but it's my page and my opinion. Move along if you don't agree or have your say and then move along.  Either way, have you say but keep it civil. I found another article that complied parodies of his resignation. I guess, for her, it was on. For me, it was like, "huh?"

About four replies in, I said something like "lets just agree to disagree".  Most people then just leave it, but nope. She kept coming at me and a few replies later she does the "how would you solve this problem?" move. My reply was essentially to call her out for the false choice tactic.  You can't win, so instead you ask the person you're disagreeing with to find a solution for world peace or something else crazy. That's also called a bait and switch. Give me a break, we disagree and now you're trying to corner me with a question so complex that I'm doomed to fail? I disagree with you so now I have the burden of solving the moral crisis on Wall Street? GTFOHWTBS. I also said she was being "insanely aggressive" and ended my reply by saying this was the end of the conversation.

Like seriously. I had my reasons beyond it simply being a useless debate. While this was going on, even though it was late in the evening, I was working. The discussion was not only going nowhere, it was also distracting. Her keeping it going was just irritating.  Any new replies from her after that I just deleted and added again: "END OF DISCUSSION".

"END OF DISCUSSION" in bold I think, is pretty clear. She then tried to flip it by implying that me cutting her off was insanely aggressive. Nope. It was done and I was sick of her coming back with the same opinion over and over. I didn't take that bait either. Again, I just deleted any further attempts to keep the discussion going.  She then moved it to my wall by asking me would my opinion change if I knew the guy personally? The answer? No.  I'd probably ask him to come with me on a trip to NOLA or something because, clearly, he's got both the time and the money, but nope.  However, again, I side-stepped the debate and just deleted the question.

I then finished my work and went to sleep.  I did consider doing the unfriending move, but I figured she'd come to her senses or sober up, and would realize fighting with a virtual stranger over Facebook maybe isn't the most productive use of anyone's time.  I woke to see that she'd not sobered up and instead had done me a favor and unfriended me.  Thank God for small favors!

It was just...weird. It was like she was on this mission to just make me stay engaged in this debate until I changed my mind. For me, it's a minor issue. It's a bit of news that's interesting. It's cocktail chatter. I'll bring it up over the weekend when I'm out with people and that's about it. For her, clearly, it is more. I was just odd having someone I barely know nipping at me.

Me calling her out as "insanely aggressive" seemed to put her over. But who does that? I see things that people post on their walls that I don't agree with.  If I feel strongly enough, I'll say something and usually that's it.   I also realize that my opinion isn't the only valid opinion out there, but, most important, debates on Facebook are just a waste of time. 

Say what you have to say and then keep it moving. This isn't debate club and it certainly isn't moot court. I guess it just shocked her that I was like "okay, enough" and I was serious because I deleted anything else she had to say. I'd had enough. Have a child if you want to harangue someone, but leave me out of it.

It struck me as a weird intersection of female entitlement with and certainly a fair level of disrespect and condescension on her part, and just not knowing when to shut up or, at least, let the other person walk away.

Another odd story from the very weird social web.

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