A Few Bad Apples - Entry for November 08, 2007
Being in a chat room exposes one to many people. The majority of chatters congregate in the same room because they share like interests and enjoy the same topics of conversation. I like to believe that most of us go there to relax, share stimulating ideas, share music, talk on voice chat, and yes, to laugh and share the minutiae of one's day.
I am a veteran chatter. I say this because I have been chatting since I was 16. I have made good friends with the people I converse with. These friendships sometimes extend into my day-to-day existence via phone calls, text messages, and the rare meeting. In fact, one of the first posts I ever wrote on Yahoo 360 (with my now dead 360 account) focused on the fact that I considered the friends I made in chat to be just as valid as the friendships I held with people I can see every day. In retrospect, I did not have true friends until I started working, so my chat friends were my only friends for a long time.
Yet, there are those who come into a chat room to harass, wreak havoc, and cause discomfort to the chatters. It is a form of entertainment for them. I have never understood this type of person. They are not interested in creating friendships or sharing ideas. Their sole entertainment in a chat room is calling people bad names, interrupting conversations, and spreading lies and rumors. They are equivalent to school-yard bullies.
Yesterday, I got upset in Professors' Chat. For the past few weeks, there is a chatter who delights in calling me silly, stupid, and a bitch. He also makes comments about my divorce, that he feels sorry for my ex-husband who must have left me because I was a bad wife. He started these insults because he felt that I talked too much about my children. I talk about my children because they are a vital part of my life, but it is not all I talk about, and frankly, many chatters mention their children. This chatter does not insult the other parents, so I feel like he is picking me out for this treatment for no reason.
The people that know me well understand that he doesn't know what he is talking about, but for some reason, it galls me. His comments make me upset, defensive, and angry. Yesterday, I was so upset, I resorted to petty retorts about him being a bad husband for spending so much time chatting.
The truth of the matter is, I do care about what my friends think about me. I care that they respect me, and I in turn respect those who are worthy of it. I am a good person. While I am also an imperfect person, I treat people with kindness and will help anyone who needs it and if it is within my power to help. I was a faithful wife and a good wife. I tried very hard to make my marriage work. I am a good mother and adore my children. I try hard to be a good friend. I am not always successful. So when this chatter insults me, there is a fear that someone will believe him.
I realize it is not healthy to get upset over this person. I have ignored him, and will continue to ignore him in the future. I just wish people like him would find something more fulfilling in their life to do than to make others unhappy.