Last week, there was a minor tectonic shift surrounding a post from Nic @ MyBottlesUp.

Here is the original post about her experience at the Atlanta airport: TSA Agents Took My Son.

Here is her follow up post, with links to some of the responses around the blog-o-sphere: Apologies.

And here is her post responding to the week long mess: Ownership.

Now, for some of my thoughts:

My wife I had dinner and coffee with Nic and her husband this weekend. It was a great time. We talked about lots and lots (including the craziness of responses to her original post and the follow up posts).

(For the record, I believe Nic. I naturally don’t trust government agencies/businesses, and can believe that they want to save face.)

I just don’t get it. I understand that some people feel that Nic lied, exaggerated, went nuts… whatever. But seriously people, the amount of venom and hate that has been directed at this has been… mind numbing. This is ultimatly an experience that non of us were there for, so we have a “she said/they said” situation that has gennerated such bullshit from peope who weren’t even there!

Yes, we all have the right to voice our opinions, reactions, and thoughts about things that are put out in a public forum. I fully support that right, and believe that this should never be stopped.

However, as Nic pointed out in her last post on this, we still are responsible for what we say, how we say it, and (most importantly) how we treat other human beings through this medoum of keyboards and screens. Social media (like blogging and twitter) are great for the conversations they promote. But, remember that we are not interacting with bodie-less events, ideas, and words. We are talking to a real person, with thoughts, feelings, blood, and flesh just like yours.

Sometimes, I think we forget that.

When we dehumanize someone for something that happens on the internet, what does that really say about us? Would you respond to a ‘real life’ friend the same way? If you lived by Nic, and she told you this story over coffee, you decided that she lied,  how would you respond?

As I said, I believe Nic, and consider her (and her family) a good friend. It’s sad that people get to miss what an intelegent, witty, beautiful woman she is because they have decided to hate her for what she blogged. If you don’t believe her, that’s fine. But do you really need to make her internet enemy #1? Is is really all about the drama?

Love your friends, choose not to be frineds with others, respectfully express your voice, and know when to stfu.