Not Just a Cyber-Human

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Richard Armitage (RA) in Real Life! But is he real in Cyber-life?

Richard Armitage’s foray into the blogging world has ignited a virtual firestorm of posts in the blogosphere. I’ve read some really interesting ones. For example, Nowhere in ParticularRAGuyltyPleasureRAFrenzy. Here is my humble contribution to the conflagration.

First I will summarize what I think Richard Armitage said here in his post on The Cybersmile Foundation blog.  Cybersmile says Armitage’s post is “an exclusive insight into thoughts on social media use in our ever-digital society”. So, it is Richard’s thoughts on social media use. I think his thoughts as expressed in his post are not particularly easy to follow, more stream of consciousness, but I also think the overall message is clear:

Be aware that someone, a human being, is reading what you wrote online. He, whom we often call “RA” online, is actually a real person. All of us who participate in social media, whether from Texas or China  or wherever, are human. We like different music, art, speak different languages, eat different food, have different levels of education. So how does one communicate freely without making others feel bad? “Watch the destination of our words”. That is, no matter what your background, we are all human.

In other words, I think he is saying – Look, I am an actor, I want to use social media like other people, but the level of negative comments made about me and towards my fans by others is disturbing and unnecessary. It makes me think about how horrible it was in my younger days when I felt like people were laughing behind my back. I don’t want to feel like that when I’m using social media. I want it to be a comfortable place for everyone to be able to have fun and share.  While some people are just deliberately being disruptive and antagonistic for fun (block and mute) there are some who don’t realize that what they are writing is being read by others and they need to be careful in what they say and how they say it. It’s not always what you say, it’s often how you say it. (Use the dictionary!)

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Sorry, Mr. Armitage, if this is not what you meant! But anyway, it’s what I got out of it, and I think it’s very wise and a good message for all of us.

I myself would go a step further. I think some people enjoy criticizing a little too much. It’s not really necessary to point out someone’s flaws or mistakes online. It’s hurtful to the person it’s directed at and what’s the point, really? And I say this as someone who has done it myself, so mea culpa. There is always room for alternate view points and correcting someone’s errors. I have made errors here and on Twitter, and when they were pointed out to me I was grateful and corrected them. But to be sarcastic and accusing is never necessary.

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Which brings me to why the heck do we get so crazy about things in the fandom? Wow. I am a really nice person in real life and I get along with just about everyone, but here, I feel like I’ve alienated people and there are factions, and I’ve been mean and people have been mean to me and I’ve blocked people and they’ve blocked me. I mean, why? Over what, really? Just the other day a post got me so angry I wanted to smack the person in the head. That is really not like me at all. I don’t know why I’ve given one person so much power that she has prevented me (in my head) from feeling comfortable blogging because I’m afraid of her. Yes, Richard Armitage, there are others of us who also felt that people were talking and laughing about them behind our backs when we were kids. It’s a really bad feeling. I know it well.

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I hope that Richard Armitage continues to share his journey with us online and isn’t discouraged by the negativity that, despite his best efforts to control, I’m sure will continue. I am so happy that he showed he cared and that he is concerned. I love the fact that he tweets and I look forward to his tweets anxiously.

Mr. Armitage, in case you are reading this, you are a unique, lovely, funny guy and you bring joy to many people by sharing your life with us through acting and, yes, through social media. Please don’t stop. 

Love who you are.

 

 

 

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About NYCPAT

From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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39 Responses to Not Just a Cyber-Human

  1. nellindreams says:

    Thank you! I agree wholeheartedly with your view on RA’s intention and the hope he won’t quit social media …

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing! I have included your post’s link in a comment on my own blog post about Mr. Armitage’s article.
    P.S. You’re a lovely lady, as well!

  3. Nimue says:

    Thanks for this blogpost! Well said! I’m really appalled by all this uproar. One could think Richard had committed an unforgivable crime! Why the need to over-analyse everthing, the constant, obsessive nitpicking- sometimes in a really scathing way at that? Richard made perfectly clear that everything he said is his own ” humble opinion”. As to the topic of online anonymity he said ” that’s just my personal preference”. He never said it would be a “must” for everybody.

    Some people defend their freedom of speech so vehemently- but they don’t seem to accept the opinion of others. Of course everyone has the right to have a different opinion and to critize- but I think it should be voiced in a respectful manner. “Der Ton macht die Musik”- as we say in German.
    Usually I’m really a peace-loving person, but this unfair behaviour makes me very angry, too.
    Richard had the best intentions and surely is aware, as should everyone, that an essay can’t change the world. Nobody can expect that. It is a very difficult topic- and, being a teacher, I know that there are no easy, pre-fabricated solutions. Every case is different and needs different treatment.

    I really have the deepest respect for Richard for what he is doing and putting himself out there. I found him very open. He can’t work miracles- but he has instigated many discussions. You can’t change people- but you can show those concerned by bullying that many have this problem and they are not alone.
    That’s exactly his job as an ambassador to this cause.

    I really hope he stays on Twitter, but I could unterstand, if he stopped. Such negativity, overanalyzing, nitpicking, white noise, as Richard put it – I wonder if this is the case in other fandoms, too?

    • NYCPAT says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, I wonder about other fandoms as well. This is the first I’ve been in with social media like blogs and twitter. Things were more controlled in the olden days. LOL!! I really hope he stays on Twitter.

    • Chrys says:

      You have spoken for all of us who respect and admire Richard Armitage, and who are at least mature enough to know that being a fan does not give us a license to make white noise as you so beautifully put it, so many thanks!
      It WAS less negative in the past when fans were not over analyzing and nitpicking every move made by the actor or musician they followed. Of course, the rules were a little different then. My generation did not think the world began the day we were born, and we did not believe that the sun rose and set on us alone.
      Richard Armitage is not the possession of his fans and does not owe them anything except “thank you” which he frequently and beautifully expresses, and which is not appreciated enough. I am outraged about the gaul and audacity of some of these so-called bloggers who would dare to criticize a man who is pouring out his heart and his mind and his wisdom and who would also dare to criticize him because he does not agree with their selfishness.
      It has long been known that freedom of speech does not mean you can stand up in the theater and yell “FIRE”. So you might want to grow up, and have some respect… and realize that there are throngs of people who care what this man has to say, but a lot fewer who care what you say.

      • NYCPAT says:

        Hi, Chrys! I simply don’t understand the need to be negative in an in-crowd snarky way. It irks me. I agree that we should show a little respect for Mr. Armitage, but really we should respect each other too. Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. RAFrenzy says:

    Love the piece. I believe it’s inspired another blog piece from me. Damn! why can’t I stop talking about this. I don’t really want to keep talking about all of this, but I can’t help it when I see an excellent point made.

    For the record, I think you’re nice, Pat! ‘Course you gotta consider the source. : D

    *gone to highlight something you said that needs repeating*

  5. KellyDS says:

    “Love who you are” the perfect ending to this post. why does this “thing” that we do have to be so complicated? it should be easy. I mean, how hard is it to just smile and feel good? “hearing” your voice again and seeing you w/your cute little doggie made me smile though. and it wasn’t hard at all ❤

  6. June says:

    I really loved what you had to say and the way you said it.
    I know that people should have their opinions about the piece because he did ask for feedback, but my lord, the nit picking about the small details just about drives me over the edge with frustration. No other actor has ever had the effect on me that the lovely Richard Armitage has and I applaud his every attempt to communicate with his fans or others that he might be able to influence. It is truly my hope that he would take what is helpful and ignore the negatives and keep feeling the love from the majority in his fandom because we do genuinely heart him.

    • NYCPAT says:

      Hi June! Yes, I just LOVE the way Richard communicates with his fans! He brings so much happiness to so many. There is just a minority who have to act superior about everything and nitpick and criticize. It’s time he spoke out against it and we need to support him. And pray he doesn’t leave us! ❤️

  7. Leticia says:

    Well said. Thank you for sharing your honest and sincere thoughts.

    Love the picture. 🙂

  8. Found your voice, indeed. I’d had it with this latest brouhaha and wasn’t going to read any more posts about it until I saw yours. Welcome back. You’ve been silent too long. Proof: you articulated my thoughts right out of my head onto a screen. Thank you for that, and, announcement to the world: I’ve met NYCPAT in real life and can vouch that she’s a very nice person, well worth knowing, and anyone who talks mean about her behind her back, I’ll rip your tongue out. (Ooops, that didn’t sound too nice. Small wonder. I’m NOT a people pleaser!)

  9. Sabrina M says:

    Thank you for this well thought out, insightful and kind blog. I read one the other day where the person basically dressed down RA like he was a child. It sickens me that people would bully someone who is giving his opinion on bullying. I know others don’t see it as bullying because it’s just an opinion on something he wrote, but taking that tact can make someone feel like not wanting to write anything anymore. RA is a grown man and he has expressed something personal to him and to a lot of other people. Just because some of what he said didn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean it Won’t work for someone else. Some of the bullying going on between people in the fandom has made me want to leave it multiple times but I have stuck to it and ignored the meanies and unfollowed blogs and twitter pages and FB pages and am much happier for it.

    • NYCPAT says:

      Totally agree, Sabrina. Toxic words. There has been a lot of anger and sarcasm directed at Mr. Armitage in the name of “dissent” or “analysis”. Not for me. Sometimes you come upon it unexpectedly and it just makes me sick. I’m with you! 😃

  10. Helen says:

    Well said, I’m with you all the way. It really is sad that you have been put off writing what you want because of fear of the reaction. And well said Sabrina and all the other commenters here. Life’s too short for over-analysis, I reckon…

    • NYCPAT says:

      Hi, Helen. So many people have written here and elsewhere to say they agree that I am really glad I wrote the post. I was afraid of backlash and there is stuff out there, but you don’t have to see it unless you are looking for it. There should be warning signs on some of that stuff! Thanks for commenting!

  11. Netra says:

    Hello we truely agree with you and love RA for being a good actor and a great Human.And we hope he does not leave this world of social media. And I admire all true RA fans.

  12. Lena says:

    You echo my sentiments exactly! Thank you for the piece. P/S Love your dog! 🙂 He/she looks exactly like my family’s beloved dog Lucy.

  13. All of you have taken the words right out of my mouth, I really am thankful for this. ;-)))

  14. Alma Minter says:

    Thank you for your kind blog. I agree. I hope Richard continues to share his thoughts. He has open himself up to criticism by trying to do something good. The nit-picking shouldn’t cast a shadow over the basic message of kindness. With it as our baseline, we can do a lot toward solving this problem. Nice photo of you and your dog; I wish my dogs were well behaved in the backseat! 🙂 Thank you again.

    • NYCPAT says:

      Thanks, Alma. We are all vulnerable when we participate in social media,
      But for Richard it’s so magnified because he is so popular! I appreciate your kind words. 👍

  15. Kim McKinnon says:

    Hi! I am really glad you wrote this. It sums up my view perfectly. And the constant dissection of everything he says and does — enough, already! I said as much on another blog and got lectured about the comments policy and threatened with being blocked!

    The “critique” I have been seeing is particularly arrogant given that he did not present his views as gospel nor did he encourage anybody to use their real name and pic online. Personal preference he said.

    Some are wailing that he shouldn’t have taken on the role of ambassador without being more knowledgeable about social media. Huh? His job is to attract attention to the issue, not be an expert about it, nor solve it. And he has succeeded in fulfilling his role in spades. Look at all the discussion going on.

    Sorry for the long rant but for some reason this round of “analysis” has frustrated me no end. Move on, people. World peace isn’t threatened by what he said.

    There. Rant over. Thank you for reading.

  16. katia220871 says:

    I really love your post and not knowing well English, I am happy when someone writes exactly what I am thinking. This story starts to be a new “B.O.F.A.A.” Battle of the Five Armitage Armies. Lol.
    I don’t follow the blogs for a long time. Less than 2 years and I understand just now that NO it is not a community where everybody is nice and sharing ideas about the projects of R.A. Yes I know I was so naive to think this. Not naive is not the right world : completely stupid but I still have hope when I read blogs like yours. The fact that we don’t accept the criticism about RA is not because we think that he is perfect but are we ? or not able to defend himself but it’s the fact that he does not deserve it. Not when he is trying to help other people. Hope to read new posts. May be we will succeed to love each other, at least as the Dwarves love the Elfes !!!

    • NYCPAT says:

      Love your comments, Katia! I am so glad you liked what I wrote. Even Dwarves and Elves can get along once they get to know each other, like Legolas and Gimli! Right? Maybe there’s hope for us all yet! ❤️

  17. linnetmoss says:

    A thoughtful post! I am a “free speech” person, but I also think people should use their freedom responsibly 🙂

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