Monday, November 9, 2009

Do As I Say...

Last week I talked about having common sense when posting things on the internet and reminded everyone that nothing is private -- that it can be seen by anyone and everyone. On Sunday that point was brought home for me.

On Friday I wrote about a US airman who was killed in Ciudad Juarez, and Sunday afternoon a friend of that person commented on that post. Despite my efforts to choose my words carefully, I still managed to upset this person.

*waits while you read the comment, if you so choose*

Now, I could get defensive and huff and puff that this person doesn't know me and clearly hasn't read my other posts, but what happened proves my point exactly. Even though I take care to present myself in a way that would never require an apology on my part, that very thing happened. If you google the incident, that blog post shows up. People who normally would never stumble across my blog -- like the airman's friends and family -- are introduced to me via that post. It's not their responsibility to skim through old posts to get a better understanding of where I'm coming from, it's my responsibility to make sure I'm clear the first time around.

I apologized in my comments and I meant it. Of course I'm not glad anyone died. Perhaps I've grown too cynical since moving here, but that doesn't mean I feel anything other than sadness when innocent victims are killed.

10 comments:

Gary Hooyenga said...

Your only mistake is quoteing the name of the individual which could have been xxxx out.

A lessen learned about better lead in your later comment in the blog about wrong place worng time might have not stirred an emotional pot.

Robin said...

Gary, where were you when I was opening my big, stupid mouth, huh?

The wrong time wrong place didn't seem bad to me. Yet, we've established what I know. Oops. There's the APA at the door coming to revoke my license. Gotta go!

Melanie Avila said...

When I wrote that post I knew I might stir something up and I hoped I did, just not in this way. If no one talks about what happened it makes it easier to ignore. Yeah, I regret upsetting that person, but not including the killed man's name.

Robin, you do too much good for them to come knocking at your door.

Erica said...

You live you learn, right? We all know you Mel. Don't worry about what one person says. We are all saddened when something like that happens. And I pray for all the soldiers and their families every night, but that's separate than my political views.

I guess when you put your opinion out there, that's what can happen.
Your every day readers know what kind of person you are, and we like her just as she is ;)

Just wanted to put my two cents in.

Natasha Fondren said...

What can you do? I had something like that happen just last week, when, on Facebook, my blog post only showed up as the title, "It's Not Normal" and a picture of two women with their baby.

That wasn't my post, but that was the first impression I gave some people, who were upset and didn't even bother to click through my post and realize that wasn't what I was saying. What can you do?

Tamika: said...

I can't wait to read through your posts tonight. My MC has a brief stint in Juarez Mexico working in a mission effort.

This is far from my scope of expertise.

I'm so thankful I stumbled across your blog.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, I'm not worried about what he said, I just didn't want it to look like I was afraid/embarrassed/whatever to respond. I have friends who have served and others who still do and I worry about them every day, along with the rest of our soldiers.

Natasha, that's really too bad because that post was one of your best. What pisses me off the most is when people accuse without taking the time to get the facts straight (in that case, to read your actual post).

Hi Tamika, welcome! I don't have a lot on Ciudad Juarez, but there are some posts in March 2008 from when we traveled there.

Nadine said...

Misunderstandings happen so easily, and as I've said to you, I often put my foot in my mouth - even with the best of intentions.

Janna Qualman said...

That moment has helped us all. Thanks, Melanie.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, I think there's also a big difference between people who have good intentions and those who don't care how they affect other people.

Thanks Janna.