I am not one for a Twitter war.
While those that know me will tell you I am not one to shy away from having an opinion, I really am a time, place and purpose kinda gal.
I see plenty of stuff on Twitter I abhor and disagree with but often don’t comment because its not my battle to fight. Recently, I witnessed a woman being abused- horrid tweet after horrid tweet- simply because of her religion. Her family and morals were persistently and personally attacked with the 140 cruel characters available to them and it still, possibly naively, startles me that people would go out of their way to be so venomous to those they don’t know.
Needless to say, this woman didn’t need me to fight her fight. Others did for her though, and it became an endless barrage of abuse on both ends and this is often why I try to avoid this form of confrontation.
You see, these trolls don’t give a shit what we say to them. We can stoop to their level and abuse them back but they’ll only embrace it and get on with what they do best: abuse and attack people. The internet is the perfect forum for being able to be the best nasty cretin you can possibly be- and no one can punch you in the face for it.
So yesterday there was a great big discussion on Twitter about Mamamia starting to pay contributors. I am really torn about this topic because circumstantially, I am a late bloomer of a writer. While I studied Media at Uni, I never practised a career in the industry due to various reasons and now I find myself in my early thirties writing here, on my blog, for free, and submitting my work elsewhere, for free.
The argument as to why people write for free is that you get paid in exposure. This is somewhat true, as writing for Motherpedia for me has definitely led to a few new followers on Twitter and readers of my blog. And besides, I like the editor and she compensates me in other ways where she can, so I do it with pleasure.
But writing does take time, for everyone. And this is where I will say that time is money. The time I spend writing I take away from my other work that pays me and away from the kids I am raising. When you blog for your own site, its yours. Its self promotion, so you do it for you and for where it could possibly take you.
But alas, this is another discussion altogether so I will go back to what inspired me to write this post.
It all started when a few twits (I use the word twit to describe a twitter user, not as an insult) were disagreeing about whether unpaid work was worth the exposure they received in compensation. One Lovely twit went on to say that her unpaid contributions landed her a fantastic editors position in the media that she would otherwise have not gotten. Other twits responded with “quality content costs” to which Lovely twit replied something to the effect of “Are you questioning my content” and then it started. Lovely twit was accused of being insecure followed by laughter and “wheezes” at her suggestion that because she had worked for a large online publication she knew how write.
Then a friend of Lovely twit piped up to defend her and I while I agreed with her, my reply and contribution was simply that “this conversation got catty with *insecure* and *wheezes*”
Because it did. It was a harmless discussion in which people, social media contributors with their own opinion expressed their differing views. It did not need to get personal and that’s what makes Twitter at times, shit.
And that’s when I was called a Bint.
If someone can tell me if in fact Bint is a word I would be most grateful. But as Twitter and now Tumblr spellcheck fail to recognise it then I will argue it is not. Google tells me it means, in slang, something to the effect of me being a bitch or whore and coming from someone that does not know me, well, that’s just lovely.
But I don’t care. Because judging by her timeline, and further abusive tweets directed at us (those that dare chose to disagree with her) the Bint- caller just loves being sour and I am cool with that because every day, while I am not a perfect person, I do not insult people for fun. I use twitter as a forum to express myself, read the news and have discussions and debates and I guess we have to accept it can be ugly sometimes.
So now, the Bint is off to do some washing!