Yeah, yeah. I can hear you think: finally this weirdo is going to do something about it. Nope. Not today. Besides, I’m by far not weird enough. There are people much much worse.
I’m talking more about those readers that come to read my posts, apparently enjoy them, then share them on some social media platform, only to completely misinterpret and even misrepresent them. There’s several occasions where this has happened. Take this one: I recently wrote something about sexual harassment, and how it sickens me to my core that my wife and I have to raise a daughter in a world like this. A very personal post, but also a sensitive subject, at least I think. Of all possible posts, this one post was retweeted by a person I don’t know, with a description of how cute the pictures were, and another comment about how they loved it… There were no pictures, and even if there would be, you have probably completely missed the point. There was no lovely story there. Just sadness. The inappropriateness of the share bothered me. I deleted the original tweet, and blocked the person, who was probably a bot anyway. Situations like this make me wonder whether I should even share on social media in the first place…
It also happens (again, rarely) that people comment the weirdest shit on my posts in the comments section. Seriously, these are real people, and some are just nuts. There’s also the bots that try to sell me penis enlargement or viagra, or both. To be frank, these I just find funny. They’re also not the weirdos I’m talking about. I’m talking about the special kind of weirdo that turns everything into politics, a sign from Jesus himself, or that believes that everything written anywhere is the reason for covid. Luckily, I can moderate my own comments section, and guess what, I silence the weirdos.
This is a bit harder to do with social media weirdos.
It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens. And every time it does, I get a horrible feeling in my stomach.
Maybe I’m overthinking, and I should be happy with any kind of attention or sharing on social media, but I can’t. In my line of work, it’s always a bit silly if people cite your work completely out of context. It happens, though. For example, I’m still not fully sure why a paper on sugars in the diets of parasitic wasps should be cited by papers or book chapters on criminology. It was purposely selected several times, but still seems to me to be a bit out of place. Nonetheless, hey, it’s another citation, and somehow boosts the personal metric, for whatever that’s worth.
It feels different with my blog. It’s more personal. This is my space, and while I can distance myself from my work, I cannot distance myself from, well, myself.
Do you get real weirdos misinterpreting you, and how do you deal with them? Am I the real weirdo?