Life out on the Street: Auto-Drama Label

Admittedly, a lot of arguments and fights between SecondLife residents are over things that are not the most critical subjects in the world or on the grid. At the same time, because people so often see disagreements unnecessarily exaggerated, it seems like most will label any controversial issues as “drama”. I presume is has to do with the same mental shortcut as labeling mistaken chat and questions as “spam”.

Easy, digestible point: sometimes people have valid reasons to be upset.

Normally, we would hope that two (supposedly) 18+ users would privately handle matters together in a mature, productive fashion. However, from personal experience, doing the right thing yourself doesn’t mean that the other person won’t be an asshat. Age and money do not forcibly shift someone to act professionally.

Depending on the person and situation, the matter might be dropped if not resolved. At other times, people may feel the need to get things off their chest. At this point, we hope (again), that they keep it amongst friends or refrain from names and name-calling. Further, if it’s an ethical issue (which includes social right and business protocol), most people appreciate being informed. By example, when there is a confirmed content-thief or is griefing an area. Likewise in real life, people tell others if someone is acting racist or a business’s customer service is inefficient.

Sometimes disagreements in real life do make the news. Trials, protests and neighborhood disputes do make the 6’oclock alongside the weather and sports reports. Granted, just like in SL, sometimes we wish some stories had stayed in the back room. (I remember a story about a missing pet squirrel being on the front page of the local section of my local paper one year.)

But there are valid reports about disagreements.

Along with the “drama” being blogged, plurked, flickred, wicker-basketed, and so on, people are blogging, etc. about the drama being blogged, etc. And most of it is the same message of “it’s drama, get over it.”

Now, as I stated earlier, a lot of it is pretty much baloney. And though we ate a lot of baloney as kids, many adults only have it occasionally for lunch. But sometimes the filling in the sandwich is ham, turkey or chicken (maybe some beef or pulled pork, but I’m getting off on a tangent). Though it is still encased in some manner by a bread product and possibly garnished, it’s still a different meat filling than baloney. And what it exactly is can be important. Some people have allergies that prevent them from eating certain things, while others have spiritual values that advise them to only eat something (such as fish on Fridays for the observing Catholic, if I remember correctly).

At this point, I’ve probably made you hungry and questioning why I’m talking about food when the subject is supposed to be drama.

The general category of disagreements is the general category of meat fillings, and a type of disagreement is drama as a type of meat filling is baloney. But not all disagreements are drama, just as not all meat fillings are baloney. Granted, because they both tend to be cheap and easy to get, you’re going to see more drama and baloney. However, some disagreements, like those about ethics and morals, are like beef and fish- some people really care about them, as it affects how they live.

There are preferred places and ways to eat and talk about sandwiches, just as there are to share and discuss disagreements. Looking at a subject that I am concerned about and active in, there has been some food fighting rather than culinary discussion about the Pink Shirt Day and Yes campaign. I admit I wiped some mustard on some people’s shirt, and I’m sorry. When I feel passionately about a subject, I can be very spiteful and act poorly; I doubt I’m the only one.

That being said, the issue of people valuing “critique” over a social awareness subject – in this case, anti-bullying – is a valid subject for people to be upset about. Think about the work Ghandi was doing for India’s independence and how we would react if the British parliament had just made fun of him for his poor clothes. I suspect a lot of us would have a big problem about that.

Yes, it is a staple of maturity to move beyond trivial matters. At the same time, we have to be able to recognize what is trivial and what is a problem. So, the next time someone calls “drama”, look at it for yourself and make your own decision. You may find something important to you.

~ by Terry Toland on March 14, 2009.

One Response to “Life out on the Street: Auto-Drama Label”

  1. […] Originally posted on Lifestyles of the Broke and Notorious […]

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