I’m SO done!

For a few years I had a great job working in a second hand store in charge of the book department. This gave me wonderful opportunities to see and experience authors I might never have found otherwise. Several of the authors that are now favorites were found during this time: The Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward, The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher AND Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

In contemplating this particular post, I did some digging. Here are some interesting bits I came up with:

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Now, in that two year stretch I followed many people and had a few follow me. I never expected to have more than 100 or so people following me, so my current number is a bit humbling. Some of the people that have chosen to follow me humble me even further as, they are people I greatly respect both as human beings and artists (in several areas of creativity).

I remember how exciting those early days were for the series on social media. The thrill that someone as knowledgeable and well respected as RD Moore would be at the helm. That they were going to have Diana participating and giving suggestions. The very idea of seeing such a beloved story come to life and all the discussion that went into it. There were some negative comments early on about casting – understandable as these were long beloved characters that people wanted to see done right. And they most definitely were. The negative comments died down fairly quickly and everyone on Twitter just seemed to enjoy the process.

I remember voting early on. We had a united front to get our show out there so it could be seen. Introducing it through voting to people who had never heard of it. Being told over and over what a great fandom we had. How the Outlander fans were appalled by the nastiness and in-fighting going on in other fandoms. Well look at us now.

So here is my statement: so-done-step-2

To the anti’s….honest….Sam and Caitriona are grown people that can defend themselves or not as they wish. Defending the fandom and its integrity is great, but several have stooped to the same abhorrent methods the shippers used and became just as much of a problem.

Shippers – I am SO SO SO done defending your ‘right to fan as you wish’ because you just won’t. You won’t quietly fan/ship and leave the rest of us alone to fan as WE wish. You started this war by attacking people that dared to disagree with you and it has not stopped. There is proof and all know it. I’m sick of the ‘we are victims’ – and ‘how is it ok to hate us?!” WAAAAAAAAA I never directly attacked shippers but I’m done being nice. You want to ship? FINE go bloody do it elsewhere and leave the rest of the fans who don’t happen to agree with you, are tired of constantly seeing your crap about it and sick of being attacked for views that don’t match yours, alone. You keep attacking and being nasty….all I can say is karma can be a real bitch…expect it to come back and bite you in the ass. It’s too bad all shippers are being painted with the same brush now –  but then, they haven’t done anything to deal with the problem either.

Honestly, we can never get rid of the fringe – just like in politics. The real problem children will be there; ignoring them won’t make them go away it just gives them more room to maneuver and get a stronger hold and longer reach.

So my second statement is to the rest of the fandom.

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For all the people who just said ‘ignore them, they will stop eventually’, that didn’t stand up for people being attacked, that didn’t work on ways to fix these problems, that know some of these ‘problem children’ and have done nothing, that went blissfully on ignoring the problems because it didn’t directly affect you. I’m disappointed. This fandom as done some truly wonderful, awesome things over the last few years – can we continue to do that with all the infighting? Shippers vs the world….Jamie fans that are rude to those that like Frank….hateful things said to actors because of the characters they play….most of all, attacking each other over a diffence of opinion. I don’t mean honest exchange and discussion, I mean nasty names and comments if one person doesn’t agree with another. We always said voting in those polls we would never be a toxic fandom like we were seeing there…and here we are.

Is the whole fandom doing the bad stuff? Of course not – but enough that it has been well noticed and documented outside the fandom. I have tried to speak out here on this blog (not very effectively it seems) and be nice while doing it. I’ve tried to be a voice of reason in tweets, but people have to be willing to listen to the other side. So…I’m done trying. The few of us trying just aren’t going to cut it – the majority of the fandom would need to get involved to make changes and, at this point, I just don’t see it happening.

My online presence won’t really change much. I still plan to enjoy the show, interact with individuals and follow people or not as my own sense dictates. I’ll still vote when I can (though not nearly as often) and promote the great things that come along. I will 100% support the cast and crew of this show – but I’m done getting involved with the politics. I’ve tried. If you look back at this blog I’ve spoken out over and over and over again about the negative things that have gone on. I had one person I thought of as a friend dump me, unfollow me and ‘slap’ me verbally for ‘just stirring up trouble so people would notice me’. Few listen, few read the blog (compared to the size of the fandom) and if I’m not making a positive change with all I have written, what is the point?

I’m using lists to look at Twitter mostly now rather than going through my main timeline. I’m going to miss posts. Missing all the political stuff is fine with me. It doesn’t seem like I’m following many compared to the ‘stars’ …. But even the number I have can keep me on social media far too long. I have a life away from social media and Outlander. Other shows to watch, other books to read (and write) and other actors to follow and support.

Studying the fandom has been fascinating to me. It really IS a microcosm of the larger population. The fringe left and right stirring up trouble, lying and misconstruing/twisting things to support their own agenda. The far (not fringe) left and right getting whipped up by what the fringe says and expanding the problems/issues rather than looking for a way to make things better and then all the middle people that wish the rest would get some sense so things could actually get done.

As always….comments are more than welcome – be respectful, be coherent and sign your name. I won’t support some lame ass that is too chicken to put their name on their own opinion.

I think my next post will be about Frank. (Rubbing hands gleefully).

“FAN” as you wish – let me do the same

I’ve done several posts about things I see both good and bad in the Outlander Clandom. I have to assume – since I have zero experience in other fandoms – that these are not isolated issues, but things that are constants because people are people. I’ve also made the comment before that fandoms seem to be a microcosm of the world in general and it has been a very interesting study.

My social media presence has been purposely limited for the last few weeks because I simply got tired of all the election issues. (Also, I tend to inhabit Twitter more than anything else for reference.) What makes me both sad and angry about the election isn’t the candidates (they both SUCK) but how everyday people are treating each other. We all have our histories, experiences and beliefs shaping each decision we make; meaning we will often disagree about topics that are of particular importance to us. Discussing ideas and philosophies to gain a better, broader understanding of any topic is a good thing – but it seems far too often people go at these situations with closed minds and personal attacks.

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The same thing is going on within the Outlander fandom. The conclusion I have come to is that the vast majority of the ‘Clandom’ are good people that just want to enjoy the show, discuss it, see what the cast & crew are up to and have a unifying topic to share and have fun with on social media. Unfortunately a few very vocal, nasty, invasive people that tend to attack rather than discuss fill the entire fandom with strife.

I had planned to do a post like this a while back, life got in the way. Here is where it started. I was seeing comments on Twitter and FB about how Season 2 was an ‘epic failure’ and ‘almost everyone’ really didn’t like it. While I had seen some comments about very specific things people were unhappy with, overall I thought the season had gone well and felt that was the overall opinion. So I did a little survey on Twitter. Here is the result:

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I was disappointed that so few responded, but I think it’s probably a pretty accurate representation. I would put out the supposition that NO ONE likes every single moment of Outlander-Season 2 (or any other TV show they watch), but overall felt it was great television. I fall into that category.

If there are things you don’t like about the show, this season specifically, a direction….whatever…that is perfectly ok. DISCUSS it. Explain why you don’t like it. LISTEN to why other people DID like to get a different perspective. Verbally attacking/abusing another person for their opinion/thoughts/ideas is just wrong. I get really angry with people that say nasty things about Ron Moore and his direction for the show. He sees it with different eyes from long time book readers – he is not out to ruin a favorite story. Ron is damn good at his job….he makes good TELEVISION. His vision comes from a very different place and it will not match yours, or mine or anyone else’s. If you truly hate what he is doing, stop watching – just like you would with any other show.

Now what got me busy on this post again today (and I admit several things have given me big pause as I’ve been writing making me re-think and further ponder) was this tweet:

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So….the fandom lost a supporter, someone that just wanted to enjoy the process without all the drama. That is a sad thing. I took this person’s ID off the tweet so they wouldn’t be hassled about it.

I’m sure there are some (if they even see this because they have me blocked…oh wait…blocking ME doesn’t keep them from seeing what I post, just keeps me from seeing what they post) that will be saying, “But we have the right to express ourselves and fan as we want to! You can’t drive us away!”…..Ok….but that works both ways. Take the shipping war as an example (since all know about it). If you want to ship, fine – but don’t attack people that don’t agree with you or insist that you are better/truer fans than anyone else. Same goes for the non-shippers. No attacking, name calling or running to WS or Sam trying to get people in trouble.  I happen to disagree with ‘shipping’ real people that have stated they are NOT a couple; I have laid out my reasoning in at least two previous posts: Why I Hate RL “shipping” and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic. However, while I don’t like the practice, I don’t attack the people shipping. If someone feels I have actually attacked an individual, please show me and let me know so I can apologize as that is never, ever my intention.

Voting is another area of contention. Some people love to vote on these polls. Some don’t. Some really can’t for a wide variety of reasons. ALL these things are valid. Not voting does not make you less of a fan. Those that vote need to ask politely for votes – and let people decide for themselves. Give fans the information to be able to vote quickly and easily, find fun motivation in memes or comments and let people make up their own damn minds! Would it be easier to win some of these competitions with more fingers working? Sure! Some people don’t like the process or the time it eats up from other things or have computer access issues or many other things and so not voting is a perfectly valid choice and they are still a fan. Everyone has the right to ‘fan’ as they choose – but not cram what they feel is right down anyone else’s throat.

Am I doing that here? I suppose it could be viewed that way. The difference is I’m not brow-beating a specific individual or a few people with it. I’m not personally attacking anyone, calling anyone nasty names, belittling them, or trying to get them in trouble with anyone – I’m stating my position. Like it or not – that is on your head. Discuss your views with me – I’d love that!

My suggestion for people struggling with nastiness in the Outlander fandom is to limit who you follow, be willing to unfollow people that just don’t mesh with you and use the mute option if it really gets to a place you can’t deal with it. Don’t give up something you enjoy because other people need to mature a bit. Speak out if you feel up for that – but against the action/practice not people. Expect to take some hits if you do. Totally up to you how you handle all this.

The one thing I have asked for many, many times in my blogs that I will continue to ask for is this:

Courtesy

 

Feeding My Addiction

I haven’t written anything here for a long time.

Part of that, to be honest, is laziness. I didn’t want to put out the effort of working on something other people might read. Not that I haven’t been writing – just not writing for public consumption. I am a writer – I write; it’s a compulsive exercise to get things out of my head.

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The other part: I didn’t much see a point. I mean….most of the people that ‘read’ my posts tend to agree with me and see things the same way I do. The people that disagree with me, that I would like to present different ideas to don’t tend to read me and have me blocked where they can on social media. So what was the point of writing if it wasn’t having any real positive effect on the world? Hopefully I don’t cause negative affects but I suppose that is always a possibility.

There are some truly fantastic blogs out there about Outlander and I follow several of them. Recaps of each episode are numerous and most of those people write that sort of thing much better than I do. When I first worked on this blog, it was my choice not to do that. I wanted to write about things I saw in the fandom that were good or bad; things that bugged me or made me happy; things that – to me – could be potential problems. Some people really like what I’ve written, others not so much.

My thing has never been to point out/name specific people. I highlight behavior and actions. At that point “if the shoe fits”…….people pretty much let everyone know where/how they stand on something by their comments. Dialog and discussion is good. Understanding other perspectives helps people develop and grow – my only request is that things be done in a constructive manner, no personal attacks and don’t just argue to argue.

So with that in mind, I want to start writing here again. Spout off about whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. It might be about Outlander – it might not. (Outlander is an awesome set of books a great TV show, but it is NOT the be-all / end-all of my world. Nor is Sam Heughan nice as he is.) I have other interests. Other actors and shows I follow and enjoy. I read LOTS of other authors. I live on a sailboat which is great but has its own challenges. You just never know what I might opine about until you look.

Fair warning: I am not a big proponent of being “politically correct”. I will likely say things that will offend some people. Not that offending anyone is ever my intention, but I speak plainly and have my own standards that don’t always jive with the current politically correct climate. Let me know if I’ve offended, I’ll try to explain better or understand your POV. Attack me, I’ll ignore you.

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This has been my introduction to the rest of my blogging…follow or not, I plan to write anyway. I hope I can have some positive impact on at least a few people.

CHEERS!

SM – Love to Hate It

First of all – a note to all my followers on Twitter. Thank you. I’m humbled. I never expected to HAVE followers at all so this is pretty cool. I appreciate you – I truly do. What I want to do here is explain my ‘take’ on Social Media and how I deal with it. If I haven’t followed you back, this blog should explain why. I’m not trying to be snooty or anything – just keep my sanity! LOL

Second – in this blog I am talking about ME. How I feel about SM, my thoughts and ideas. You don’t have to agree with me and I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. I am giving my opinion about what I see on social media. If you take it personally – that is your problem not mine.  Many of you probably won’t care about any of this – that’s ok. This is just my perspective on SM, take what you can use and leave the rest.

 

For any that have been around my blog, you know my mantra. Here it is again because it is what I try to live by. I screw up, get angry, post things I shouldn’t – but mostly, this is what I believe and work to consistently practice.

Courtesy

 

I mainly inhabit Twitter. I have found it the easiest for me to deal with. I like that you have to be short and concise. However, that does make it easy to misinterpret things – so I’m working at not doing snap responses.

When I first got on Facebook I had the horrible experience of it taking me 4 hours just to set up my basic account – and I’ve never quite recovered from that. I am on it and participate in several groups….but it isn’t my favorite.

Tumbler I actively avoid – 99% of what people have wanted me to look at has been some vile rant and I just don’t need that sort of thing. Instagram, I’ve never joined or really figured out – same with Reddit. Nothing wrong with the platforms, but I spend too much time on SM as it is and don’t need other platforms to add to that.

What I chose early on with Twitter was to be very selective with who I followed. I didn’t fall into the whole ‘you follow me I’ll follow you’ idea. That’s is fine if you want to do that – I just chose not to. Two reasons for this: It’s not really honest to just follow someone for the sake of following them – you should follow them because you really want to and feel it will add to your experience. The other is simply time. I can already – easily – sit with my coffee for a couple of hours in the morning catching up with Twitter/Facebook/Email. If I had MORE on my TL….yikes. I’m not as disciplined as I need to be to walk away from it and get back to writing! Working on that. Also, I already see a lot of the OL stuff multiple times due to who I follow, I don’t need even more. I have picked up though that – not everyone follows everyone so RT’s and such ARE important. Some of my follows may NOT see something unless I RT so – I do.

 

I follow accounts for a specific purpose. Some people I have followed I have later unfollowed. Their politics or style of Tweeting just wasn’t a good fit for me. Not to say anything bad about the other person or account – it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If someone interacts with me and I get interested I follow. I have some celebs I follow and *GASP* they are NOT all Outlander related.  I try to avoid too much political stuff on my feed. I have very strong beliefs and get passionate about defending it – but I don’t want to do that so much on Twitter. Politics can so easily ruin an otherwise very cordial relationship and that isn’t how I want my SM interaction to be.

 

I’m learning to block people. I’ve done that very little, but a few have just been so negative about something I simply didn’t want to see it or have to deal with them. I get on Twitter to have a bit of fun and pick up information. I had one person that I hugely respect and like a LOT that I muted. She just was all gung-ho promoting a show I don’t really care for/know about and it gotten so about every 3rd tweet on my TL was about that and I got tired of it. I can keep track of what she is up to over on FB so it’s all good. Nothing against her or the show – it’s popular and that’s fine – I just didn’t want that to be the majority of my TL.

My other challenge is that I live on a boat. This is awesome and cool for the most part – BUT – I don’t have access to Wi-Fi in this port. (If you want to learn more about the boat – here is our website for that www.gratefulaire.com ). That means my internet connection is through my phone using it as a wireless hotspot. It’s not very reliable as we have hills all around us so sometimes the signal is crap – and it can get VERY expensive if I don’t watch data usage. I can’t watch all the great video clips and live stream stuff (like the interview Sam & Cait just did)  I have to collect links and URL’s and wait till I can get into town (when the other half isn’t working and I have transport) to Wi-Fi.

I need to work on my own time management skills and be willing to shut SM down and ‘miss’ some information or interactions to focus on more important things. This is especially true when stuff is going happening on SM and particularly within the fandom I don’t care for. I’ve already written a blog about that so won’t get into it again (see Pages section). I picked up another gem the other day (Thanks Wildcat!!) – I’m finding it very helpful. Repeating this to myself has likely saved me a lot of grief in the last 24 hours because I have deleted comments I started.

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Everyone has an opinion – I’ve never denied that. I just really wish some people would learn to use their words better; not feel the need to demean themselves and others by cussing every other word through a comment and be purposely mean, snotty and vulgar to people just to – it seems – start a social media shit storm. I love discussion and getting other POV’s – everyone has different experiences and history so gets a different perspective on things. I learn by trying to understand another’s POV – but attacking and abusive attitude is not productive in any way.

 

So there it is. Probably boring but it’s just a little piece of me to share. Honestly – there are some days I disconnect on purpose and, while I miss the interaction with my internet ‘friends’ I get a lot more  done and don’t tend to be so stressed. Love to hate it.