I don't like getting my virtual ass-kicked, really, I don't. So I'd like everyone to please promise you will make me stop ...
I wrote this on BlogHer in response to Mr Stratten's comment to my first post:
Almost nothing elicits more passion in a person than a cause they believe in, whether it be political, human rights, disease or disability awareness, race or sexual-orientation equality, the list goes on.
If it's important to you, you will be passionate about it. This is a good thing! It drives us to act, it helps us stand up when the odds are against us, it inspires others to do the same.
The problem with passion is that it's emotion-based. Emotions come from your heart, your gut, your soul, they are amazing and powerful. But they are not always nor often, rational, reasonable, logical, diligent, sensible, nor careful. As an adult I've always known this. Unfortunately, putting that knowledge to good use is where I seem to fail, as many of us often do, when it come to this.
This failure to be careful with my passion for something I believe in very strongly led to an unexpected and now unfortunate interaction with someone this last week. That "someone" happens to be Scott Stratten of "Unmarketing" fame, and you may have seen my last post about what happened, http://www.blogher.com/why-i-took-scott-stratten-unmarketing-regarding-communication-shutdown-campaign-autism-awareness .
As I acknowledged in several of my responses (both here and on my blog), I believe or at least, believed, that the initial Twitter altercation was simply a matter of miscommunication between the two of us. A couple of people who know him made comments and I was glad to see their perspective. I have even been in touch with the Communication Shutdown campaign people themselves, who acknowledged and even embraced the opposing views to their effort, and they are going to be posting pieces from many of us who spoke out that day, including one from me. They wanted posts about our kids, or those we love that are affected, either positive or challenging, to let people see what we need them to see. I think this is wonderful and I was happy to send them one of my posts. At least they were able to see and accept that there was a different point of view that was equally important.
I have said all along, that I never had an issue with Scott's participation in the campaign, nor did I have a problem with the motivation of the campaign itself. I did have an issue with his response to me, however.
Over the course of the last week I have responded to comments about this in several places. I had many people ask if he'd posted about the campaign yet - I kept a close eye on his Twitter feed and blog and it wasn't happening. He's a very busy guy and I realize he's on a book tour right now. I didn't REALLY expect him to get something up right away, but, given that it was following up the campaign, it seemed likely that it would go up fairly soon so that the whole thing would not just be a distant memory for people. But that's where my passion for this interferes with my judgement. I would have posted something right away. But that's me. I WANTED him to post something quickly, I was actually really looking forward to seeing it. So, the days went by with nothing and since I was being asked, I decided to post a comment to let people know there was no post from him yet. Problem was, I also editorialized it. This I shouldn't have done. A simple post stating there was nothing up yet would have been factual and to the point, people could have drawn their own conclusions.
Here, copied directly from the comments, is his response:
"Not surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised." (<-- quoting me)
It's this type of attitude and tone is why people don't support causes in the first place.
Do you think I participated in the Communication Shutdown because it was good for my ego? Some kind of hobby for me?
I participated because I wanted to show my support. Where, as someone who tweets up to 100's of times a day totally takes that away and gives his entire platform to the cause, the only tweets (4) that were sent out were message by the organization to go and support it. I've never done that before for anything. I live on Twitter, it's my support system, it's my friends, it's a lot of my life. And everything that day went to support Autism. The conversations on Twitter before and after also created interest.
So instead of picking on people who don't do anything, you come at me because you don't agree with the way I went to support this great cause.
And then you "update" your post on here with the flippant remark of "not surprised"?
How dare you insult my integrity, not because I have a bunch of followers, but because I am a human being that wanted to unconditionally support a cause that affects my family and friends and I didn't write a blog post quick enough to your liking???
It's actually written in draft form, awaiting posting, but I wanted to get input from others as well.
Like I said earlier on Twitter, you are judging me. And all it does is make me and others not want to support the cause in fear of judgment.
I may not even put the post up. Not because I don't believe in supporting the cause, but I don't want to have to deal with reactions like yours, I rather spend the time helping others who accept the support, in whatever way people want to give it.
Let me just say a couple of things. First, yes, I was wrong to include the "not surprised... " comment. I know that. And for what it's worth, I apologize for jumping to the wrong conclusion.
But "picking on someone... " and "you are judging me" ? No. This is where I draw the line at my part in the break down here. Sending him a tweet of an article that outlined the autistic community's feelings about the campaign and ASKING him politely to just read it, was not picking on him. Telling him how we felt about the campaign was not picking on him nor judging him, it was simply informing him. If he'd read my post, or any of my responses to comments, he would have seen me saying over and over that I did not have a problem with his participation. He was defensive and angry from the get go and that's clear from this comment as well. What I did judge was his response to me. He could have thanked me for the article link and I would have been happy with that and gone on my way. He could have ignored me. He could have ASKED me if I was really unhappy that he was participating, to which I would have responded, no, of course not, it's more the method of the campaign that is at issue, just wanted you to see the different view and maybe even mention it? But what happened instead was a fight. And apparently, it's still a fight. Because Mr Stratten is not willing to even acknowledge that there was a reason for what I did in the first place. He is so focused on thinking that I was flaming him or attacking him, and taking this so personally, which almost makes me cry because that is SO far from what was happening and absolutely not what was intended. Now he's not going to put the post up? Because I tried to offer a different viewpoint for him to consider? Because HE judged ME for being passionate about my son? I understand that Mr Stratten feels strongly about this. What I don't understand is how he can miss the point entirely.
I will post a link to the Communication Shutdown campaign site when they have our posts up. They didn't miss the point, and it was their campaign. Also, the comment on my first post written by a friend of his, Jennifer Kushell, is intelligent, compassionate, well written, and was much appreciated, thank you Jennifer.