Monday, 11 April 2016

Saying stupid stuff on the Internet

Recently I've had a couple of Twitter booboos.

The first one was not too bad, I thought someone was critiqueing someone else in a sarcastic way and tried to join is as I like this person and respect their work. They were being serious. I felt like an utter tool. Luckily this person is as kind and generous as they are a good scholar and was very magnanimous about my idiocy. I resolved not to go on Twitter in the early morning when extremely tired after a night of battling Silvia.

The second time, I had no such excuse. I'd been at work here at NUIG all day, my brain was fully in gear. But I just saw a single retweet and went off like a rocket, soaring into an interpretative universe all my own. It was an RT of someone live tweeting a paper on Roman breast pumps and (having been tortured by the damn things myself) I was instantly going off into a world of experiential archaeology, the significance of being able to effectively relieve your own engorgement pain (it is as bad as it sounds folks), the need for such relief if elite Roman women were giving their babies to wet nurses etc etc. Except that the objects in question weren't breast pumps at all, and that was the whole point of the paper. DOH!

I normally try to be quite careful about what I post online: after all, it's a reflection of me and I like to think that I'm as kind and thoughtful a human being on t'Internet as I try to be in life. When it's clear you've been an idiot, however, how can you respond?

In both cases, I've responded with apologies and corrections, tried to make myself the butt of the joke. I don't know if this is the right response. I'm still worried about both situations, about future possible idiocies. Maybe this is my David Clarke social media moment, Lucy's online archaeology's loss of innocence?

Anyway, let me know if you've got good ways to a) avoid being a fool online b) minimise the effects of that foolishness. Oh, and if you've seen me be an idiot online, tell me please.

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