My online life since the beginning of time, otherwise known as the 1990’s, has revolved around people who are smarter than me. People who rival genius status, and people who actually are in Mensa or were and dropped out. (Supposedly even high IQ’s are subject to childish temper-tantrums, just watch “Big Bang Theory”)
As fun, we like to poke at each other when one of us has made a slip of the (tongue) finger in our online posts. For instance, the blatantly bad use of English grammar or an obvious misspelling will get you teased. We’re often not all that nice about it, and its meant more as a roast and not to be taken as an act of cruelty. Just your normal shaming others for fun. 🙂
(If you notice, this practice has done very little for my grammar, but I digress.)
Then comes Facebook. Initially my Facebook was just these lifelong online friends that are scattered across the globe, then old RL friends showed up, then family, then people I haven’t seen or heard from since I was 16 yrs old or younger. Being curious about how these people turned out, I of course “friended” them.
My most recent additions to Facebook are two girls from very early periods in my life.
One of the girls I was never really friends with, and avoided because she annoyed the crap out of me… you know those clingy happy people who if you befriend them they won’t ever stop calling you until you actually break their heart… but I added her anyway as I now understand her better than I did back then. (As I graduated HS, I learned that her life had been one episode of abuse after another. This came out because her brother, a guy I actually had a crush on, committed suicide. She had found the body.) She was my age, but had been held back multiple times.
The other girl and I used to be good friends until she moved away. Even as a child, I knew she wasn’t smart, but most childhood activities don’t usually require rocket science so it wasn’t a big factor. She was nice, sweet, and fun. Her greatest asset was that she liked me. I was kinda a social pariah in my small town; so I had a limited friends selection. Thinking back, I think she was my only female friend I ever could trust in that town.
This girl has horrid English writing skills. She constantly drops the articles before words, and her sentences are on equal level with the “Spot the Dog” childrens books. She has never put on airs or tried to pretend that she was smarter than she was, and I knew even back then that she knew she wasn’t smart and it was a sore spot with her.
This morning though, one of her Facebook status updates finally showed on my feed and for an instant I forgot all these things about her. I simply saw phenomenally bad grammar, and chuckled as I formed a silly poking-fun response in my head.
Just as I clicked the button to add a comment, and started to type, I remembered who I was talking to, and what my comment would mean to her.
I almost did a very bad thing.