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March 13, 2015

Democrats: We're Like All About Grabbing Guns Now And We Need You to Know That About Us

Full speed ahead.

Congressional Democrats are pressuring the Obama administration to move ahead "swiftly" with a proposal that would ban a form of armor-piercing ammunition. In a draft letter first obtained by The Hill, Democrats are urging the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use his "existing authority" to keep "dangerous ammunition out of our communities."

Sorry to be gone for so long. I'm actually having an argument on Twitter, which is an important argument, and one that sort of must be had on Twitter.

Here's the argument, basically:

You have probably noticed that it is now routine for people to immediately go on social media and announce where they are, where they're eating, and who they're with.

I don't know which sort of person each of you are -- the people who do this reflexively, or the people who dread the people who do it reflexively.

But what I've been arguing is that the people who do this reflexively should stop doing it reflexively, and actually extend the courtesy of asking permission of other people instead of assuming that everyone is a gung-ho to live a Madonna-style "nothing actually happens unless it happens in public, for spectators" existence.

A lot of temperamental conservatives are Old Souls, and I'm one of them, in this regard (and a lot of others). When I'm out with people in private, personal situations, I expect the Rules of Private, Personal Situations to be in effect.

I do not expect to be reported on to Twitter as if I'm the world's lamest celebrity being reported on by an even lamer paparazzi.

It's different in Public situations, like going to a blog party where you just know everyone will be tweet, tweet, tweeting away. Which is why I no longer go to such things.

But if I'm having a dinner or drink with someone, and it's a small group, and I see someone reaching for their damn phone to Inform Their Followers about me? Well, I can't control what you do, but I can control whether or not I'm ever going to see you privately again. And if I have influence over the Invites, you can expect down-twinkles from me if your name is proposed.

The "norm" has been established, by people who never asked anyone else, that We're All Really Cool With This Ridiculous, Invasive, Narcissistic World in Which Nothing We Do Really Counts Unless It's On Twitter. Because people like me (and others of the This Is Weird party) are generally quiet, we have not formally lodged our objection to this norm loudly in the past.

Well, I'm lodging it now. This is weird and I don't want to be a part of it. If you like doing this, by all means, follow your bliss, as regards yourself, or other people who like Being Seen On Twitter.

But don't assume everyone you're with wants to be part of the Social Media "Scene," with with private statements and movements broadcast to thousands (and possibly millions).

Try asking. If you ask, and get permission, fire away! But a great many of people will surprise you and say, "Actually, I've long objected to your doing that, and I'm glad you're finally asking me how I actually feel about that habit."

And then you can leave them off the Social Media Scenster list.

We're in a strange time where we are grappling to find the rules of new technologies and new social dilemmas.

However, I think this dilemma has largely been "solved" by one side of the argument deciding that "Everyone must want to be a Twitter Star, and if they don't, why they're just sticks in the mud!!!," without those on the other side raising their voices loudly enough to object.

Well, I'm objecting. I'm tired of having to tell people I don't have the Gossip Girl fantasy and don't want to pretend to be a Society Type whose social comings and goings must be documented.

So please: In the future, ask first. I think the people who are just putting all this crap on to Twitter and FaceBook will actually be very surprised at how many quiet people, who usually don't make a fuss, are actually bothered by this and would like very much to be counted out.

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posted by Ace at 06:06 PM

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