I only have a handful of "friends" and more acquaintances than I can count. It's not that I am disliked by any means, or that I dislike others; it's because I have learned over the years to choose the people that I call "friends" very carefully. Even then, I have been fooled from time to time.
I still share myself with people who I am acquainted with, and even strangers. However, as a general rule, I only choose to share my personal life, my treasured possessions, and home with those that I consider as friends and family.
I'm not one to join groups and organizations of any sort, even though despite ourselves, I love people. One of the problems is cliques. I just can't deal with it. Not much gets my dander up faster. You think that once you get out of High School and become "mature", that we move past all of that craziness, but we don't. Either it is us that is creating, or we somehow find ourselves caught up in the middle of others who choose to create it. Sometimes, for some, it appears to get worse as they get older.
This is how I see organizations:
There are those that join the organization because they are looking for what the organization can give them for free, for nothing of value in return. Do as little as I can, act like I'm doing something, and take, take, take.
Some are just lonely, and just want someone to talk to, and someone to listen to them. To validate that yes, I am still alive, and I'm not totally and completely alone in this world.
Then there are those little groups of people that thrive on drama, that band together in cliques to talk, gossip, and put down some other group that has banded together and visa versa. And sometimes there is one or two that try to stay neutral and they kind of wonder between the two groups, not really being neutral at all, because they are talking about the other group when they are with this group, and then run to the other side and do the same thing. Toss in a few "he said", "she saids". Throw in a few misrepresentations and a lot of exaggeration, and before long there is an all out war going on.
Now these groups want the rest of the organization to be on their side, and want their opinions to be validated, and their feelings to be stroked, so each side sets out to get the rest of the people in the organization to be on their side. So they start broadcasting all the injustices that the other group has done, and start gathering their evidence to present to the world and then start talking, and talking and talking and talking about it.
Some of these people appear to go bed thinking about it, and wake up in the morning thinking about it. "What can I say or do to get back at them now". "What kind of clever way can I find to make fun of them? Or I will show them; I'll show I am more popular, intelligent, and mature than they are, and I'll get more comments on my article about them than they did. I'll even hang a banner in front of my house to dare them to come by and throw eggs at me. They didn't hurt my feelings, I just opened this article, got all my buddies to drop by and discuss it all day long, and tomorrow I'll do it again. I'll open up yet another article and write about it some more, because people stopped reading the last one. It's the principle of the thing. I don't care, but... "Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I don't care about the points...but how was it they work?
Then there are those that happen to get caught up in the crossfire unaware because, after all, these two groups get bored with hurting each other all the time. So they go out in search of starting some more drama elsewhere.
Then there are those in the organization that have self appointed themselves as the "Organization Police, Judge and Jury." They have taken it upon themselves to go over the "Terms of Service" with a fine tooth comb, you know the one you use to extract lice out of your hair, and spend their days scouring the organization for people who just might have violated those terms, according to their interpretation. "They must be hung I tell you! And I have appointed myself to do it!" They say to themselves, pointing their finger first one place and then the other. And what better place to start; than to run to those groups that are bickering amongst themselves, because they, after all, have gossiping and blaming down to a science and art form. Oh! I just had an epiphany. Apparently, that's the art they are here to be appreciated for! Yes people, you are getting the attention of some of the other people in the organization, whether they like it or not, and no matter how hard they try to ignore you and mind their own business.
Some of the people here, just want to share something they feel about things that interest them; hobby or otherwise, or display their art, whether it's a song, or photography, family photos, or paintings, a book they wrote or read, etc...and maybe someone will appreciate it. Maybe they can show some support for others that are doing the same. What a novel idea is that?
I consider the articles, pictures, videos that I display on Gather (or anywhere else) to be my own. It is displayed, tended and cared for in "my space". My little Gather home within this community, so to speak. It's there for me to display, and share my home and it's furnishings to anyone that I choose.
But just like out in the real world, I can choose to show it, and talk about it to only my friends, or I can let the teacher hang it up on the wall for all to see. But also, just like out in the real world; if I don't like what you say to me, I have the right to stick my hand up and say NO, you will not talk to me like that, and disrespect me, in my space...my home. GET OUT and take your comments with you, and don't bother coming back again, because if you do, I will slam my door in your face.
If I am in the mood to debate with you, I will. If I feel like ignoring you, I will. If I feel like throwing you out, I will do that to, but I am under no obligation to put up with you, and defend my opinion, or myself, if I don't want to. Gather supplied me with locks on my door.
This is a free country.
So all you people out there that don't like what I am saying, or may say in the future, you are more than welcome to slam the door in my face when I come visiting your home, if you so choose. You can run out and get pissed off, and run to your home, or to your buddies home, and open a new article, and fill it with pictures of my house and the door I slammed on you, if you choose. You can even throw eggs (stars) at my house if you want to. If I get tired of asking my friends to come over and help me clean up, I have the right to throw up a privacy fence by dismantling them, if that is my desire. I have the right to sweep your nasty, vindictive comments out the back door for the maggots to chew on. If I want to.
"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."
Just my thoughts...
See you out there...