I was thinking the other day about how folks talk to each other. Often times there is a threshold where civility is thrown out the window and the gloves come off. They’re rolling around in the gutter and pulling hair. It’s not fun to watch and even less fun to be dragged into.
I learned as a parent to pick my battles. It isn’t worth arguing over the small stuff. You want to wear a bucket on your head feel free but you aren’t running into traffic. I apply picking my battles to grownups too.
I belong to a group on Ravelry that is one I really enjoy. There is a constant stream of free pattern links being offered. I consider these fiber folk to be some of the most kind and generous on Ravelry. I can’t tell you how many fabulous designers I’ve discovered through this group and how many lovely patterns I’ve gotten for free, more than could be knit in a lifetime.
There is one drawback to this group: their political thread. I believe in discourse. I believe we are each allowed our own opinion. I believe we are allowed to disagree. I believe we are allowed to change our beliefs as we move through life. This thread is maddening to read as someone who believes that the exchange of data and facts is how one discusses a topic they disagree on. Often the discussion turns to attacking the source of someone’s information or even to the person themself. It is always sprinkled with comments of “I have them on ignore so I can’t see what they said.” I chose not to participate for the same reason I didn’t tell H to take the bucket off her head: it wasn’t worth the battle.
Ravelry is a social media puddle compared to the ocean that is Twitter. But both have had a thumb on the scale of balance for years. Free speech was banned on Ravelry before it was banned on the big social media platforms. Now that Elon Musk has bought Twitter there has been rumblings that Twitter will change. It seems there is concern that the thumb will be removed from the scale allowing more voices to be heard, more reach given to those who were silenced.
I believe in free speech. It is a cornerstone of my country. I want everyone to have the right to express their opinion. I want those who I disagree with to be able to say things I disagree with. This is a battle I choose to fight.