Warning: This is not going to be a felting post although it is felting related and will probably be a little bit of a rant, so you can stop reading now if it might make you feel uncomfortable. Oh, and no photos.
Firstly, I want to say how much I love blogging and other aspects of social media. I first started blogging in November 2008 when I lost my job during the recession. A journalist Tango friend of mine suggested I start a blog when I was taking classes with her. It was like a photo diary and therapy all in one. I am not one for writing in a journal, but for some reason I was happy to write a blog. That was also when I joined Facebook. One thing lead to another and then I started a Tango blog. Then I went travelling around South America with the hubs and started a travel blog. That is also when I really started posting on Facebook, to keep the kids informed of our movements! My first blog was basically about what I was doing at the time I was doing it until I took up needle felting and and started this blog. I love reading blogs and learning from others and I like sharing. I also love YouTube. You can learn how to do almost anything on YouTube. I am so grateful for the people who take the time to film and post on YouTube. Not all of it is great, but then you do need to learn how to sift out the wheat from the chaff and use your common sense. You may need to watch about 10 different videos before you decide how you are going to go about something as everyone has their own way of doing things. I can’t even begin to count how many videos I have watched. I now have a library playlist for saved videos so I don’t forget. It may be a little bit nerdy, but if I watch something and I like it, I can save it to watch later or to share a link if someone wants to know how to do something.
I know that there is some sort of ‘rule’ about not making rude comments, which is fair, but there is a fine line between being downright rude and just direct, and some people make a point of saying nice things all of the time even if something is clearly bad or not right. If you like having someone blow hot air up your backside to give your ego a boost, then FB can be just the place for you. If someone shares something in a group on FB and I don’t like it, I won’t comment or just skip it. If someone asks for advice, I might give it as I like to be helpful. We all need to start somewhere and it takes time to develop. I try to be encouraging. However, there are some things that do bug me. This is now the start of my rant. I do object to people sharing copyrighted material. This could be anything from pages in a book, to a screen shot on YouTube. Just because something is out in the public domain doesn’t mean you can just take screenshots to share because people are too lazy to watch the video on the link that was already shared. I don’t think posting pages from a book to a FB group where many people sell their work is appropriate, just because an Author says it is ok to share as long as it is not for commercial purposes. I don’t think that was the intention. It irks me when someone promotes a class for a technique that, although has become popular, is clearly not their own and that they do not have permission. It annoys me when someone shares work from a class they took and they don’t credit the tutor. People work hard to create things for others and sometimes they earn a living from it. Just because it is out in the worldwide web doesn’t mean you can just take it for your own personal whatever even though others seem to disagree. One should give credit where it is due. It seems like there is a fair amount of stuff that bugs me, but maybe it is because I have high standards and think ‘what if it were me’. How would I feel if someone shared a photo of something I made and asked a group on FB how to make one like it? I would be pretty pissed off about that, especially if that person didn’t ask me, and if no one suggested it. This was happening quite often recently in one of the FB groups, especially by newcomers to felting, and it was allowed by the administrators. I got really annoyed when someone posted misinformation about sanders, although well intentioned. What I found more surprising was how many people thought the information was really good. Just because words or ideas come out of a person, that doesn’t necessarily make them true, even if they believe it themselves. Trust me, I had an ex like that. What made things worse was a video that was posted and I could see for myself that this person was not imparting information in a calm manner. I was always taught to question things and that didn’t sit right with me. I tend to have very good instincts even if I am not able to articulate myself in the moment. Luckily I am married to an engineer and I had my own construction company and worked in design and construction for many years. All it took was a few minutes of research to get the hard facts. The facts are: if your sander is class 2, it is safe as all parts are encased in plastic and the risk of electric shock is negligible. You are more likely to hurt yourself ironing your clothes. Using an item not for its original purpose can cause issues, but essentially if the item is not submerged, and the holes that suck up dust are sealed, and you don’t touch the plug with wet hands, you should be good, regardless of the voltage. You are no less at risk using 110v or 230v, but the amperage for 110v poses less of a risk in most healthy people but can still cause damage or death. So there is no reason to go and change every thing you have as British Standards are quite high and contingencies in the home are in place. The biggest cause of injury on job sites from using power tools is not because they get wet, but because the person is not careful using their tools or the power cable gets cut. But don’t take my word for it.
As I mentioned in previous posts, I have been watching a lot of felting videos. I have been trying different ways of making hats. Some work better than others. Watching videos is like doing research and educating myself. I recently followed one video and didn’t get the results I should have. I did everything the same as in the video, but it didn’t happen for me even though it worked for the person in the video. Luckily, I have a bit of experience behind me now and just went and made the hat with a different layout and I got the result I wanted. Maybe there was something I missed before, but my second way got the result and that is the way for me to go. I am not going to name names here as I don’t think that would be fair. However, yesterday someone posted in FB about a technique they used from a video and wasn’t happy with the results. Fair enough, but what really set me off was the fact that the author used the person’s name that created the video in the original post, who also happened to be a member of the group. So, how would you like it if you made a video that didn’t quite work for someone, and rather than just ask you about it they used your name in a group that you are a member of? Think about that one. Why couldn’t the author just say that they watched a video on sanding felt and this is what happened, what can they do? No names would have to be mentioned and no one would feel they needed to defend themselves or be embarrassed. Who even knows if the author followed the tutorial correctly? There were many people jumping in and offering advice, but not one person, apart from moi, suggested, very nicely, that they talk to the person who made the video or suggest that they leave names out as it could cause distress. To me that is logical and kind. To the administrator, that was offensive and policing. Seriously!? I think someone got out of the wrong side of the bed. Are we only allowed to comment on posts if it is nice? Or what is perceived as nice, because being kind and honest is not nice sometimes. Maybe directness isn’t perceived as being nice as it touches on people’s insecurities and rather than thinking about what they did, they get defensive or aggressive instead. No one likes criticism, but I did try to be nice about it with an explanation. I was actually in a good mood yesterday as I was making flower brooches while watching Looney Tunes on YouTube. However, I really felt bad for the person whose name was mentioned in the post. I know it isn’t my job to defend people, but as I have taken classes with this person, and I know how hard they work, I felt it was a bit unfair to see their name used in this way. It was not a direct complaint, but still, quite unnecessary to use their name. So, I got my head bitten off for stating the obvious and when I defended my reasons was chastised (yes, it was like being at school, or working for the council) for being offensive. What I found interesting is how quickly others can jump on a negative bandwagon as I have seen it on other blogs and FB groups. I also find it interesting what is perceived as offensive. No swear words were used, so if the truth hurts, then that is offensive. What I find offensive is that no one even bothered to suggest that the author should go to the source to find out what went wrong as they were too busy being ‘helpful’. So, I stopped notifications for that post as people were commenting on how rude and unhelpful and unfriendly I was and the next thing I know I was removed from the group. Not even a message. So there you go! I have left groups before, but this was a first. I did have a bruised ego for about five minutes, but then I got over it. You can’t control how others respond to what you say and if people get offended for being honest, well that says more about them. I will always defend people where it is warranted, and complain with a reason if necessary, and support those starting out. That is just who I am. Perhaps this is a wake-up call to spend less time on Social Media. It is easy to get sucked in to these things when you have a lot of free time on your hands. So, if you don’t see me on FB much, it means I am either working for money or working on my stuff. It was nice while it lasted.