Rush to use social media can end with bowl of crow
Sometimes you can’t just say “oops” and wave your mistakes away.
Sometimes the embarrassment from those mistakes lingers even after you make your apologies.
I learned this lesson (not for the first time, but hopefully it’s the last) on Memorial Day weekend and am only making it public because the people I offended did not deserve my wrath.
Especially when it was meted out in public, in an admittedly cowardly fashion, from the comfort of my home on a social media site.
Without going too deeply into the details of my overreaction, I received information that I did not like about a situation where I live, Lawco Lake.
This information bothered me so much that I vented my frustration on Facebook and angered people on my friend list who read only my side of the story and immediately took up arms to help.
Showing their hearts, many people commented on my post and sent me private messages willing to assist in the cause that had me so fired up.
At the time, I had all the information I needed to jump up and down and scream “foul.”
But the next day, I received a phone call that provided information contradictory to everything my know-it-all mind possessed only twelve hours prior.
If you’ve ever watched the Flintstones, as the other side of the story fell into my ears I began to rapidly shrink, as Fred always did when he realized he had acted like a heel.
The Facebook post was deleted and an apology took its place. Phone calls that I should have made prior to my rant to gather information were replaced by phone calls to apologize to the people I had so wrongly accused of malfeasance.
Sunday at church, I discussed what I did with a few of the members. Their advice, of course, was to apologize to everyone I had offended.
I’ve done that, but I feel that since I made my accusations in public, they deserve an apology in public.
I know better than to post anything in public before I check the facts.
I also know better than to act in haste based upon the emotion of anger.
In this case, I fumbled on both counts.
I have a bowl of crow sitting next to me as I write this. It’s been my only meal for the past week.
And I deserve to eat every bite.
To the board members of Lawco Lake, and to everyone who innocently jumped into my Facebook rant last weekend with only the best of intentions, I sincerely apologize for my impulsiveness and willful ignorance.
None of you deserved it.
Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.