Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am an anarchist, an Antichrist, an acolyte, an accidental

Not now, Jesus!

I love this stupid game.

So...apropos likely of a lot, I've been thinking of muting, and chat-blocking in general. In some places (Twitter springs instantly to mind), I have no issue blocking people. In Runes of Magic, I have a dedicated program; all it does it sit in the background, detect gold spammers, and remove them from my view. That's literally the only reason I have it; so I don't have to manually do it myself.

Yet there are other places where I have a tremendous difficulty blocking people. Several of my journals have been open to the public--regardless of whether what I'm talking about is actually safe, or desirable, for public view from any standpoint--because I have odd issues about journals at times.

Even in Second Life, it takes a great deal for me to mute someone. I never do it without serious thought; I never do it if there's a chance, even one single thread of a chance, of any form of social interaction past that point--even barely civil, icy contempt.

But a great many people aren't me, and even I am loosening my standards, these days.

Take for example Bewkie Effingham. Bewkie is one of a scant few thorns in my side, a person I would be overjoyed to discover that she'd forgotten how to log in of a morning, and never managed to regain the trick of it. I'm sure someone, somewhere, must care for her, would miss her if she left, but...no one comes to mind.

She is nearly single-handedly responsible for both the firing of a friend who worked for Absinthe and Arsenic, and the fact that we no longer attend their events. Even though she doesn't work there now, there's enough pain and suffering on my side that I have problems even just dropping by that club for any reason.

And we have argued publicly. Oh, have we argued publicly. And in group chats of the Lucky Kitties, where I was an officer before the group changed back to single-owner status. She came within inches of being banned from the group three times, by the way, and that I don't do lightly, either.

But the owner of the group sat me down, and essentially said, Look. I like you. I like her. Mute her.

And I had to ask her why. And she was honest with me. It was because she liked us both and she wanted the fighting to stop.

So for once, I didn't angst over it, I didn't spend hours poring over the ethics, I didn't wonder if it would be the right thing to do...

I just did it. One click. No more Bewkie.

But with that one click, no more fighting. No more upset in the LKC. And sure, I don't hear what she has to say, but on the other hand, what I don't hear, I don't want to bash her for. What I don't hear I don't have to take exception to. What I don't hear...makes things more peaceful.

It does make me wonder, then and now. Reevaluate my past position that muting was only a last-ditch, last-resort move, when nothing else had worked; that muting was only for when I couldn't take any more, it was stab them or leave world, that I was shuddering in pain, unable to bear any word from them, my head and my heart turned away and closed off to anything they could say or do...

It makes me wonder something else, too. Why do I let things go so far? Why do I wait until I literally can't stand it before acting? Why can't I just mute, or block, or ban...and have done with it?

It's not a question with an easy answer. But it's one I want to spend the time to think out. Because maybe muting isn't so bad.

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