The other day, I witnessed something on Facebook that really ticked me off (Big surprise, huh?). This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, which is sad.
An inspirational word picture was shared via a timeline. In it, there was a grammatical error. Being a quote, I wasn’t sure if the error was intentional or not. However, the message was quite nice and motivational. Then I read one of the comments.
Along with several likes, and “thank you for posting” comments, one “Grammar Nazi” felt it was his duty to point out the error. In this curmudgeon’s mind, the so-called error invalidated the entire word picture and it was his duty to point out such things.
I had seen the Grammar Nazi at work before, on other posts. Each time, I lost a little more respect for this individual.
Some folks see Facebook as a public forum, where anything goes on any post, photo, link, etc. In many ways it is. In one way it definitely isn’t — an individual’s timeline.
To receive access to someone’s timeline posts, you must either be their friend, or a friend of a friend. Yes, I know you can follow certain people, but the protocol is basically an agreed-upon relationship — thin as it may be. They even call themselves “Facebook friends.”
In other relationships, friends don’t constantly point out each other’s shortcomings (or they shouldn’t). However, some feel they have a right to constantly correct other’s grammar, point of view, personal choices, etc., in front of everyone via posts and comments. Doesn’t sound very “friend like” does it?
The waters are muddied a bit with public groups and posts from “non human” Facebookers (i.e. media outlets, political groups, etc.). These are truly public forums and all bets are off.
[Tweet “When it comes to people’s timelines, we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.”]
We should be able to receive the message without picking apart the messenger. We should be able to be polite.
Moving forward, I may just have to unfriend, and/or block these curmudgeons. We have enough finger-pointers in the world. I don’t need to see them on my timeline.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
— Abraham Lincoln