I wasn’t even going to post today, but Life really has a way of changing and connecting things, and now I write about VANITY. As my “V” post for the A-to-Z Challenge, I meant to post my writeup on the Belgian stage performer Veerle Casteleyn, if I could just find it (I really do want to introduce her to you through that article so will post one of these days). Veerle is the actress-dancer who played Jemima in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s CATS The Musical.
Life had other plans, though. Due to something else I need not elaborate, I just Googled one of my older online aliases. Lo and behold! At the top of the first page result was a link to an archived discussion, not really a debate, as they called it, since everyone else other than myself hated me. WikiPedia hated me. You see, WikiPedia and I go way back.
This was back when WikiPedia was just starting and encouraging people to be its first volunteer non-professional editors (you know how it works, right?). I thought it would be neat to be an editor so I joined them. How, I don’t remember. Anyway, as it was still starting and basically testing grounds through trial and error, guidelines weren’t all that clear and people were still sort of trying to get the feel of it.
Me, being excited and being a CATS fan, not to mention, still trying to grasp the whole notion of writing for the Internet when I was not at all net-savvy, I decided to contribute. The thing was I did some things wrong that led to others misinterpreting my intentions as a means for self-promotion because I linked to my blog posts. Vain, they said about me. They decided to do a debate on whether to delete my contributions or not. I admit I was stupid, going into something I did not fully understand. What I could not comprehend was how nasty people could be in judging others and saying bad things about them. But then again, this was way before Facebook and Twitter. The comments paled in comparison, though, to what people post nowadays.
The funny-in-a-not-so-ha-ha-way thing was I wondered if they didn’t realize I could read them when they should have known I was an editor like themselves. Couldn’t they just simply cite a rule that said linking to personal blogs was not allowed? They could have politely asked me to edit or to delete what needed to be deleted. The comments thread went this way:
*Delete: vanity. The author then created three separate articles on misspellings of the screen name, each linking to the first ”and to the others”.
* Delete. Aargh. Why do people think this is relevant to the rest of the world?
* It isn’t. Delete all.
*”’Delete”’! No doubt about it.
*Delete it- definitely. Pointless and boring
*”’Comment”’: the original poster of this page keeps blanking it – could this qualify as a speedy? [Ed. I don’t even know what that means! What do “blanking” and “speedy” mean here???]
**Comment: Yes, if it’s the author doing it. With IP’s, it’s hard to be sure.
***Comment: it’s the author Charlizegraciedylan, [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Little_Dove_Feather&action=history]
Of all the things I hate, it’s when people make assumptions on my character when they don’t even know me. So I decided to make things easier for them and posted this:
In the archive, there doesn’t seem to be any more response to that for reasons I am not aware of and don’t really care about. This information about my personal experience had been a secret I kept until now. I kept it as such because of its embarrassing nature. To actually have this kind of history is embarrassing. But if there’s one thing history teaches us is to learn from our mistakes.
This post is not against WikiPedia itself, but is meant to serve as a reminder to me, and maybe to you as well, especially in this Internet age. Advice to self:
(1) THINK before you leap. That means to always be careful. Think twice, thrice, even many times, about what I am going to say, share or do online and how.
(2) BE AWARE. Think of whom I share information to. The more I share in public, the more chance for trolls and unfriendly people to target me, ’cause that’s how they get their fix, to degrade others so they can feel better about themselves. In this case, I tried not to mind but because some action was needed to be decided by them, I made things easier. But generally, I just give trolls and nasty people no mind.
(3) KNOW. Make sure I fully understand the rules, regulations and what are expected of me, even if I get nothing in return for the effort.
(4) DO NOT BE VAIN. I was not that vain that I had to keep linking to my own blog — to gain traffic was not the purpose. It just was not well-thought out. But my crime of vanity was committed when I decided to join the team of editors because it somehow added something to my ego. I got my comeuppance early.
It’s never easy to share embarrassing stuff about yourself. But if that helps to improve one’s self, I’m all about sharing. We improve only when we learn from mistakes.
WHEW!!! Four letters to go! I jumped from “T” to “V” because my “U” post was published on time. Anyhoo, props to the people behind…