Posted by Ilana Angel
Twitter is an interesting thing. In theory it’s quite remarkable, but in actuality it might be the meanest form of social media in the world. The amount of hate that is shared on Twitter is mind boggling and you cannot spend any time on there and not wonder how it has become so mean, and why the people at Twitter don’t try to do something about it.
My Twitter account is @ilanaangel. I tweet pretty regularly. I share my blog in addition to random things. I don’t tell people what I had for dinner or my every movement throughout the day, but I do share things and it’s fun. The people who follow me read my blogs and it’s nice that they are curious about my opinions and my life. I’m curious about them also.
There are a lot of great people on Twitter and I don’t want to give the impression that it’s full of just mean people, but in my experience, many are mean. I find that the ones I am most comfortable with are those who use their real names. There is an honesty there that feels safe. They are not afraid to admit this is me, this is my opinion, and I own it.
Some use fun names, but use their real pictures. I like those people too. A cute name is fun, but adding their real pictures again shows a level of maturity that is not about pretending to be something you’re not. Important to note that if you tweet with a cute name, and no real picture, it does not mean I think you are mean. In fact, it could be that you are smart.
There is something brilliant about using a fake name and a fake picture. You can be invisible which allows you to say whatever you want with no accountability. That is where Twitter gets ugly. People are horrific to each other and it is upsetting when you watch an attack happen. Twitter is like going on safari and watching a brutal animal killing in the wild.
I have been attacked on Twitter and it is an emotionally draining experience. By writing my personal opinion, which did not match others, I was sent death threats, have had a certain lady from wall street use my picture as her own, and a fellow blogger encourage her readers to attack me by using a fake account. It is cowardly when people hide on Twitter.
I have had my faith questioned, my employer has been contacted and asked to fire me, sexually horrific things have been written about my child and me. My safety, reputation, and livelihood have all been compromised by people on Twitter who are not honest enough to show or share their face or name. The saddest part about this is that Twitter does not seem to care
When you contact Twitter about someone stealing your picture, or sending threatening tweets, they advise you to block that person so they cannot see you. That’s lame, offers no comfort, and we are forced to seek help by law enforcement. I appreciate that there are millions of people on Twitter but they see the IP addresses and they have the power to help.
If they have the ability to allow people from around the world to instantly connect in 140 characters or less, can they not control the same IP address having dozens of accounts, all of which are hurtful to others? That Twitter turns a blind eye to the bullying, and dangerous behavior of some of their users, says a lot about the world we live in. Namely that people don’t care.
There is no accountability at Twitter. There are inherently kind people who use Twitter as a tool to connect and stay connected, and others who spend their time using Twitter to hurt people that they don’t know, just because their opinions do not match. For every wonderful person on Twitter, there are two who are unable to behave with any level of decency.
I have blocked many people on Twitter and while it made me angry in the beginning, I now actually get a kick out of blocking crazy people. If anyone says something mean spirited, or if they follow and engage with those who are trying to hurt me, I block them. It makes for a better Twitter experience to be sure, but I know there is garbage continuing to happen.
To those who follow me on Twitter know that I appreciate it. If I have blocked you please understand that it’s not personal, it’s just personal. To the people who operate Twitter, it’s time for you to do the right thing and put your power to good use. To those who attack me, my family, and those who support me, I’ll take you seriously when you admit who you are.
To clarify, this blog was not written to bash Twitter. I like Twitter and truly enjoy myself on there. Some would argue I myself have been mean by calling a politician or two douchelords, or a certain talentless reality family fame whores, but there is a difference between snarky and sarcasm and cyber bullying and threats. Twitter should know the difference.
It’s also important to note that I’m not just talking about me and my account. I have seen people that I follow be ripped to pieces. You never know when you’ll see an attack, and it’s impossible to avoid, because the reasons they happen are so random. a difference in opinion on the most mundane of topics can send someone into a frenzy and it’s all over.
I’m not going to quit Twitter. Especially now that I’m finally getting the hang of it! I will do my thing, be grateful for those who have an interest in my work, engage those who make it fun, and block those that try to suck the joy out if it for me. At the end of the day it’s only Twitter so who even cares about what people say or think about you there?
Well, I do. I am a tough girl and I can shake it off pretty easily, but for a homemaker in middle America who is attacked because she shared her opinion, it’s shocking, scary, and embarrassing. Twitter needs to take a look at what is happening because their great idea has a dark side. Until they figure that out we’ll tweet carefully and keep the faith.
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January 4, 2012 | 12:17 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
The New Year marks my return to dating. After a bit of a break I’m ready to jump back in. By a break of course I mean one bad date too many put me over the edge. I was either going to get another cat and never date, or walk away, regroup, and try again with a fresh perspective
I reactivated my JDate profile this week and after one minute I wanted to shoot myself because the second I clicked “activate”, I immediately returned to my first class seat on a train ride through hell. It was as if I had never even left and I immediately regretted getting back onboard.
There were messages from the same people, men I dated years ago, Israelis who want a green card, men who are separated but still living with their wives, convicted felons, and the man who was married to my friend until she dumped him for cheating.
JDate is almost too much for any sane person to handle, but here I am, wondering what time the animal shelter opens and trying to figure out why the man who made me flutter never called. None of which matters because I am back on the train and we have left the station.
As I looked around at the faces of what are probably lovely people in their real lives, I had to wonder why they are on the hell train with me? Why do people date? It may seem like a silly question, but its not because the answer explains not only why they date, but also how they date.
I date because I want to share my life with someone. I do not want to spend the rest of my really blessed life alone. My son has one foot out the door to college, and when he goes I will be alone, so I want a partner. I want to have a man in my life whose opinion I value and trust.
Many define love differently and so to clarify, love to me is trust. I want to trust someone enough that I can share my thoughts, desires, opinions, values and dreams with him. I want him to be a man my child can respect, and I want to admire him and be proud of the human being he is.
How a man looks is not as important as how he feels. I don’t want to date a man who is the equivalent of a really great pair of high heeled shoes. Gorgeous to look at, coveted by others, and useless after 5 minutes. I want a reliable pair of sneakers that fit perfectly.
Four different men contacted me, and each of them is dating for different reasons. I know this because when we started talking I asked them why they were dating? They all answered openly and freely. Of the four I spoke with, can you guess which one I am going to go out with?
#1. Mr. Companionship
This man is looking for a woman to tell him he has value as a man. He is recently divorced, his wife paid no attention to him, they slept in separate rooms, he is lonely, just purchased a Harley, and bought a new wardrobe. He is handsome, smart, entertaining, and having a midlife crisis.
#2. Mr. Sex
This man has no interest in anything other than sex. He feeds on the insecurities of women to make himself feel important and sexy. He will walk around naked, completely unaware that he does not look good naked. He is trying to recapture the life he lost when he married at 20.
#3. Mr. Marriage
In an attempt to make a women not fixate on his height, or that he is 50 and never married, he not only says he wants to get married, but shares he wants it quickly and is ready to buy a ring. He has not had a date in months, and the thought of a relationship makes him nauseous.
#4. Mr. Dare
This guy is clearly too young for me, but lets me know he thinks I have beautiful eyes and his friend dared him to write because I was way out of his league. Really? He is trolling cougars and wants to go for coffee because the sheer volume of his dating makes dinner too expensive.
Who am I going out with? Are you high? I’m not going out with any of these men. While these men would make for fabulously entertaining blogs, it’s never going to happen. I want to date someone who dates for the same reason as me, and I am certain that man exists.
I’d like to date a man with a family, or lots of friends, so my home is full of life and laughter on Shabbat. A man who people respect and ask his opinion, who teaches me things and broadens my view of the world. I want to be in a relationship that has no fear.
Fear is paralyzing and I want to be free. I want my heart flutter to flutter when i see him. When we are sitting on the couch I want to hold hands. I want a man who will challenge me. I want to learn, not fight, and have an intimate connection that is not just sexual.
Some may think they are silly things, but they matter to me. I don’t care how much money a man has, or what kind of car he drives but I do care that he makes me feel that I matter. I want my son to see me in a healrhy and loving relationship that is fun and respectful.
JDate has been a dud but I will keep trying. By keep trying of course I mean even the bad dates have value as I can offer you a front row seat on the hell train. Good things come to those who wait so I am waiting. Waiting for my Beshert, and hopeful he comes soon.
It would speed things up if JDate could add new categories to its selection process. Divorced, Single, Never Married, Separated, Sex Only, Midlife Crisis, On a Dare, Companionship, Desperate.. In the end I suppose it would not help as they would lie about that too.
I am going to find the man I am looking for and while it may not be on JDate, my time there will make finding him much sweeter. A prolonged ride through hell teaches patience, provides hope, reminds us why is more important than who, and that when all else fails, just keep the faith.
January 2, 2012 | 1:04 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
This February will mark 10 years since my father passed and I can hardly believe it. I loved my father very much and losing him was the greatest sorrow my heart has ever known. He was only 63 years old when he died. My father had cancer and I went to see him as often as I could. He died on a Friday, and I had a flight to go with my son to see him the very next day.
When I got to see him he looked at peace. As horrible as it was, he was out of pain. Cancer is a violent killer and seeing my dad in his coffin, seemingly asleep, was a blessing. I kissed him, told him I loved him, and tried to memorize every line of his face. Before we left his side, my sister asked for a lock of his hair.
I have had a lock of my dad’s hair in a heart shaped locket ever since. It was on a necklace, which broke long ago, but I keep it with me always. In my wallet, or a pocket, but no matter where I’ve been, for the past ten years, it has gone with me. I even held it during my son’s Bar Mitzvah. It brings be great peace.
It may no longer be shiny, but it holds my greatest treasure. Last week I found myself looking at the locket and not sure why I never replaced the necklace. It made me sad. It was tarnished and scratched so the outside did not match what was on the inside. It was time to make it beautiful again so I took it to my friend Sig.
Sig took my sad looking heart pendant and made it beautiful. She gave it a necklace that I have not taken off since Saturday. I sleep with it, shower with it, and have worn it with a little black dress and pajamas. I love it so much that I won’t take it off. Sig took my treasure and turned it into a piece of art that makes my heart sing.
You can see Sig’s designs at DesignBySig, and follow her on Twitter @designbysig. To Sig, thank you. We have been friends for 14 years and experienced a lot together, and I have never loved you more for making something so beautiful. As February approaches I will be sad, but the locket will bring me peace so I am able to keep the faith.