I'm Pam Newman.

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A little bit of advice for The Internet: Get Over It

It’s okay to be wrong.

I’ve been Tumblring and Tweeting and Livejournaling and Diarlyanding since before some of you were born (maybe? I hope you’re not that young). I have definitely blogged some shit and been very vocal while simultaneously being NEW DORITOS FLAVOR: X-TREMELY WRONG about that same shit.

Xtreme wrongness in itself is okay. Sure, my pride might have taken a little bruising when I realized I was being LOUD and wrong at the same time, but you know how I got over it? I learned how to be understanding of other points of view. 

To grasp how this works, you must first understand that your opinion is not the only opinion. Something, something opinions. Something, something assholes, right? Well, there is an entire world of people on the internet who are not your friends, family, neighbors or people you grew up with. Lots of different people with lots of different life experiences exist on the internet in various circles. That’s a part of what makes the internet quite so splendid!

Generally, in a community like Tumblr, you live in this comfortable, self-selecting world where everyone is in your fandom, votes the way you vote, and has similar ideas about how life works. That’s what makes it so beautiful. But! There are people who can, and will, reblog your shit and say something that either counters what you say, chides your opinion, or just flat out proves you wrong. And you know, something something assholes, something something are everywhere.

There are 3 ways to deal with confrontational people on The Internets.

  1. Disregard their point of view, and find some interesting way to tell them to fuck the fuck off
  2. Recognize their point of view, google a bit about it, and respectfully agree or disagree
  3. Ignore them completely/unfollow them/pretend it didn’t happen/not feeding trolls

I mean, it’s your blog. Do what you want. But my advice is to not do #1, strive to do #2, and if the person is a real cock-booger, use #3. Number 3 is what has always worked best for me.

If it’s someone who I respect/follow/or otherwise, or a stranger that came at me in a respectful way, of course I’m going to want to google some shit up, or follow links they’ve provided which show I’m the dingleberry in this situation. 

Then, this is the hard part.

Being humble and saying, “Oh, I was wrong.” You don’t even really have to say those exact words. Just acknowledge that you got some new information. Shit, you don’t even have to blog about it. Simply processing that through your heart or spirit or whatever is enough. Arguments don’t have to continue for days on end, there just aren’t enough gifs.

To paraphrase Rumi: Let it in, love it and let it go.

You can process what happened, learn from it, let it go and get back to posting screencaps of your favorite tv show.

I repeat, it’s okay to be wrong.

If a HUGE group of rational people are showing you real facts that present why you are wrong, you’re probably wrong. If the issue at hand is a little less concrete, and is about something like privilege, and people with less privilege than you are telling you you’re wrong… Get off of the internet. Take a breath and think about things for a while. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to understand their point of view.

Process how you might possibly be wrong, along with the reasons why you think you’re right.

I’m just saying, a LOT of people often are WRONG on the internet… and that’s perfectly okay. But the first step to it actually being okay, is that the people who are wrong have to accept it, process their wrongness and move on.

Let it go.