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November 5, 2021 – The Thirty-Ninth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Have you ever been just so busy that nothing of any real consequence happens in your life? I mean life is full of life and there is good news and there is bad news, but you’ve been moving so quickly from thing to thing that nothing has really stopped you in your tracks and grabbed your attention. That was my week. Until Thursday. And I got a message that shook me to my core.
Again, I am embarrassed to write yet ANOTHER blog about social media – it’s my third in a row – but I mastering over here people. And in order to master something you have to completely submerge yourself. So I was on Instagram today, probably posting something to my story, when a warning message popped up – from Instagram. This social media platform of which I have blasted for not taking care of its younger users by policing itself. It wasn’t a good message.
They weren’t letting me know that I had beaten their algorithm. And no, they hadn’t drawn my name in a raffle for free instagram “how-to” lessons. This message was a straight up slap across the face. “Your Comment Was Removed.” Stun. Let me read it again. Yep, still says that a comment of mine has been removed.
My heart rate started to increase. I got flush. What had I said? I reached hard into my brain. I’ve been engaging a lot so did I slip up somewhere and type some wordy-durd I wasn’t supposed to? Did I unknowingly offend someone? Just the mere fact that Instagram had taken a comment of mine down made me feel terribly naughty. Here I was again, trying to be a good girl, a people pleaser, and I was mortified that someone wouldn’t be pleased with me.
It reminded me of a thing that happened to me in first grade. It was near the end of a perfectly good school day and we were all kind of wild. I decided it was a good idea to twirl in circles swinging my purse around me along with me. I remember eyes closed, in my own world, just twirling and swinging that purse. Until my purse struck something. I opened my eyes and realized that I had hit my first grade teacher, Mrs. Ralls, upside the head with my purse. Mortified. Mortified and absolutely terrified at the trouble that was to come.
I hid from my parents all night and feigned illness the next day in order not to face the inevitable suspension or, gulp, expulsion. When my mom begged to know what was wrong, I sobbed uncontrollably all the beans were spilled. She was sympathetic, but insisted I call to apologize. There was no convincing me that Mrs. Ralls would hate me forever. But, God love her, she was quick to assure that terrified llittle girl that she knew it was an accident and that it was okay. And that I was okay.
I had this same feeling as I read this message from Instagram. I read through how my removed comment could have be taken down due to broken guidelines on hate speech or symbols. Hate speech? I can be dumb, but I’m not stupid. So now I”m suspicious and clicked the button to reveal what comment was removed, holding my breath until it opened.
“lesleylmcshane I miss dancing with my girlfriends too! Been thinking about having a girls dance party – no boys allowed!” That was it. Wait, that’s it?? That was the removed comment. At first I tried to read it several different ways to see if it could be taken out of context. No, that didn’t lead to anything. The “Request a Review” button appeared at the bottom. I debated. Should I do that? Will it flag me in some way? Does it matter if I do or do not? If these things happen, do they accumulate until they finally just shut down your account, which they certainly are threatening to do?
I finally figured that there was nothing offensive in my comment, so yes, I must request a review. When I mention it to Mike later he asks if I requested a review. He seems familiar. It happens all the time he says. Really? It’s never happened to me, but then I remember that once I was clicking on something someone has commented and it asked me if I wanted to report them. It would have been easy to press the wrong button and send the Insta po-po after them.
I felt much better after this realization. But it didn’t change the fact that I was mortified when I thought I may have done something wrong or had broken the rules, even though I knew I never would have done or said anything to intentionally hurt anyone. I have really been working on my people pleasing tendencies, but it is in these situations that I see that I still have a lot of work to do.
So don’t test me. I will crumble. Every time.