My vreugdes en frustrasies

A - Z (2018)

#AtoZchallenge (2018) V is for feeling Victorious

My theme for this challenge is “feelings” of a sexagenarian and the influence of social media.

My tema vir hierdie uitdaging is “gevoelens” van ‘n sestig-plusser en die invloed van sosiale media.

English (Afrikaans below):

Victorious: having won a conquest / battle / game / competition; triumphant. We all know those persons who love competition but are really sore losers. They are not team players and hate sharing their hard-won first place on the podium. Most of them are honest competitors who never cheat, but don’t hand them an opening – they will stuff their competitors into that hole.

There are thousands of victorious winners and sore losers competing in the sports arenas and game shows on television, on political stages and talk shows, etc., and we, the spectators, love cheering them on. Unfortunately, there is an exception: when the playing field is one of the social media platforms, I sometimes feel like strangling the players.

The role of social media:  Have you ever noticed how fast an innocent query or a casual discussion can turn into a bloody battlefield on Facebook?

Example: Someone mentions that a planned protest action may disrupt the flow of traffic and suggests alternate routes. The first “competitor” to pop up on the stage is the righteous citizen who condemns all protest actions as a ruse by those lazy buggers who just want to make use of the free time to loot and loiter in the streets. This immediately draws a defender who tries to explain the circumstances which led to the protest action being set in motion. Then the spectators jump in to support their champion and arguments range from political agendas v. the man on the street to the big corporates v small businesses, the rich v. the poor, black v. white, atheists v. believers. How did we move from possible traffic disruptions to racism and religion in a matter of mere minutes? In between, we also have the Grammar Nazis who insist on correcting every spelling mistake or grammatical error, lamenting the low intellect of those who do not use the correct punctuation.

The weird thing is this: there is no recognisable order to the way the arguments are presented; this is clearly not a debate. There is no teamwork, each competitor strives to bring home his or her own argument, to be the winner, victorious in having had the last say.

The moral of the story is – do not try to discuss traffic problems on social media. I think. Today’s emoji: 😤


Triomfantlik: ‘n verowering / stryd / wedstryd / kompetisie is gewen; die botoon is gevoer. Ons ken almal daardie mense wat geesdriftige mededingers is, maar wat regtig slegte verloorders is. Hulle is nie spanspelers nie en hulle haat dit om hulle eerste plek op die podium met ander te deel. Die meeste van hulle is eerlike mededingers wat nooit ‘n teenstander sal bedrieg nie, maar moenie ‘n opening vir hulle laat nie – hulle sal hul mededingers in die gat druk.

Daar is duisende seëvierende wenners en slegte verloorders wat meeding in die sportarenas en game shows op televisie, op politieke verhoë en by debatte, ens., en ons, die toeskouers, hou daarvan om hulle toe te juig. Ongelukkig is daar ‘n uitsondering: wanneer die speelveld een van die sosiale media-platforms is, voel ek soms lus om die spelers te verwurg.

Die rol van sosiale media: Het jy al ooit opgemerk hoe vinnig ‘n onskuldige navraag of ‘n informele bespreking op Facebook kan verander in ‘n bloedige slagveld?

Voorbeeld: Iemand noem dat ‘n beplande protesaksie die vloei van verkeer kan ontwrig en stel alternatiewe roetes voor. Die eerste “mededinger” wat op hierdie stadium sy / haar verskyning maak op die verhoog, is die regverdige burger wat alle protesaksies veroordeel as ‘n oëverblindery deur die lui swernote wat net van die vrye tyd gebruik wil maak om te plunder en in die strate rond te lê. Dit lok dadelik ‘n verdediger wat probeer om die omstandighede wat tot die protesaksie gelei het, te verduidelik. Dan spring die toeskouers in om hul kampioen te ondersteun en argumente wissel van politieke agendas v. die man op straat na die groot maatskappye v. klein besighede, die rykes v. die armes, swart v. wit, ateïste v. gelowiges. Hoe het ons beweeg van moontlike verkeersontwrigting tot rassisme en godsdiens in ‘n kwessie van blote minute? Daarbenewens het ons ook die Taal-Nazi’s wat daarop aandring om elke spelfout of grammatikale fout te uit te wys en die lae intellek van diegene wat nie die korrekte leestekens gebruik nie, betreur.

Die vreemde ding is dit: daar is geen herkenbare orde aan die manier waarop die argumente aangebied word nie; dit is duidelik nie ‘n debat nie. Daar is geen spanwerk nie, elke deelnemer streef daarna om sy eie argument op die tafel te plaas, om die wenner te wees, om te seëvier deur die laaste sê te hê.

Die sedelessie van die storie is – moenie probeer om verkeersprobleme op sosiale media te bespreek nie. Dink ek. Emoji vir vandag: 😤

Read all my entries for the #AtoZchallenge (April 2018) here.


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  1. You are SO right.

  2. Hierdie het my nou laat lag, en eintlik is dit tragies hoe kleingeestig mense kan wees.

  3. Ek gaan jou reeks mis!

  4. Exactly right!!! I’ve followed those begin as ‘directions and end as atheists versus theists’ threads, the why STILL baffles me?

    • Comment by post author


      My thoughts: atheists have a religion of their own, they just refuse to acknowledge it; Christians have still not returned from the crusades and insist on wielding their swords. The debate carries on forever and no new thoughts are added. It really gets boring sometimes.

  5. 😀 😀 Lolol I have a confession to make, on my old YouTube I used to be THAT grammar Nazi, only because it wound up those who cannot spell even more! 😀

    • Comment by post author


      I used to be just as bad (please do not kill my mother tongue!), but one mellows after a while, although really bad language can irritate the dickens out of me.

  6. Great multilingual post. Social media has given us an army of ‘specialists’ in every field. And as you say the conversation can turn bloody in an instant — even more puzzling is when it turns so between complete strangers. Blogging seems more civilized, why I’m here, I guess. 🙂

    • Comment by post author


      I also prefer blogging. Thank you for dropping by Silvia. I bookmarked / followed your blog and will come visiting soon. We have a public holiday and thus a long weekend ahead of us; we plan to spend most of our time at the beach, which does not leave much time for reading. Catching up afterwards is always fun, though.

  7. Nicely put.

    I have totally observed that on Facebook!

  8. I have made a pact with myself to do my best to avoid comments on Facebook and news articles. I also battled (and maybe I still do except not so much anymore) with wanting to be right. A old friend of mine used to ask me (and I now ask my friends) if we want to be right or we want to be happy. I used to tell him being right made me happy. I prefer happiness now. 🙂 It’s victory for me.

    • Comment by post author


      I still suffer from that same problem sometimes, Anne, because I don’t live easily with willful stupidity. But I’m learning to let go.

      • I think that sometimes people might call me apathetic or callous or uncaring but I am looking out for my well-being by detaching myself. I think when you look at it that way, letting go is a little easier. I bet one day, you’ll realize you have let go. Hugs. 🙂