The Daily Banter‘s CEO Ben Cohen nearly knocked the desk between us completely over as he contorted his body and craned his neck to see what I was typing. He must have seen the devilish smirk on my face.
“Be nice! Seriously!” he warned.
Deciding I would count to 10, swallow my pride, and be the smiling, “customer is always right” social media representative I’m paid to be, I deleted my words mid-thought.
But let me, on behalf of all the other social media “specialists” out there who have felt this feeling, admit something to a person that by their own account will most likely read this:
I hate you.
(in an internet, completely impersonal kind of way…)
I can’t call you out because you’re a “loyal reader,” and I can’t go into specifics because the internet/our readership is smart enough to deduce things like this out for themselves, but I promise you that this feeling is real.
And I know I’m not the first at Banter to have to apologize to someone for offending them and I won’t be the last, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like doing it.
But it’s important that I do.
To go into the vaguest of details, last week, The Daily Banter superstar Bob Cesca tweeted out to his followers that they should follow us, tagging the tweet with the requisite “#FF.”
One of his digital minions tweeted back at him that they already were and that we were great, or something along those lines. With a wave of giddiness because people like us, people actually like us, I clicked on their profile, only to see that they were not, in fact, following us on Twitter. And since we at The Daily Banter are all about calling people out, that’s what I did, tweeting the fact of their unfollowing out to the world and calling them, rightfully, a liar.
Now here’s where it all goes to hell…
Some Luddites people with lives don’t know that “follow” doesn’t mean follow anymore; it means “ya know, like, Twitter follow.” So while I was correct that they didn’t “Twitter follow” us, they were also correct, through ignorance of the more-applicable definition, because they kept up to date with our website.
And I could have said something right there and prevented all this, but I didn’t.
They got offended, because that’s what the internet does these days, and I, much like Chez in his great piece “The Year of Our Outrage,” got mad that someone had gotten irrationally and unwarrantedly mad in the first place. So I egged them on, they got more mad, and eventually Ben had to step in and put me in Twitter time-out.
And while I could go on about how anyone “demanding an apology” deserves a slap in their self-righteous face, this is about something bigger.
“Apologies are opportunities to admit your own mistakes.” – Community
Look user whose identity I have to keep anonymous, I need to tell you something…
I hate you, I’m still right (or at least more right), but I’m sorry.
I enjoyed the thrill of being right and let a moment become a situation.
I knew the mistake you had made — it was an innocent one that I am sort of embarrassed about having the knowledge not to make myself — but I smelled blood. I chose not to be the problem solver; I could be right, and nothing was better than that.
So I’m sorry.
And while I know this only really affects one person, it’s not often you see an unforced, genuine apology, so I figured I’d wash my conscience clean by airing some dirty laundry.
Seriously though, follow us on Twitter.