As a new member of the blogging community, I often read a variety of other blogs to get inspiration for my own writings. Most of the blogs I read have passive topics and opinions with writers that want to just spread a message. Most bloggers don't have any intentions on hurting feelings or being rude. There are bold opinions, but most of the time, they are just stated opinions- something you can take or leave. What is surprising though isn't the articles being written (or at least the ones I'm reading), but the comments that are left on these articles.
There are hundreds and sometimes even thousands of comments left on articles expressing their opinions on things such as religion, politics, health, etc. The amount of comments is less surprising than what is actually being said in those comments.
F-bombs being dropped like they actually support their opinions. Unnecessary name-calling to people users don't even know. Accusations that couldn't be farther from the truth (accusations claiming research that is false falls here too). Typing away with pride carrying the thought that opinions actually can be proven or disproven (this one really frustrates me). And the list could continue forever.
What the heck people? It's like all of the sudden (more of like since the internet came into daily use) people have no problem being horrendously rude to people they have and most likely will never meet. The little idea of anonymity has swept the world with idea that it's okay to have sharp knives attached to their fingers as they type on the internet.
Would you go up to someone in public who was a bit overweight and tell them to their face how fat and ugly they are? Would you go up to a mother who just vaccinated her children and tell her how she's going to hell for doing such a thing? Would you go to a church of a religion that is not your own and tell each person there why they are so morbidly wrong?
Well you do freely on the internet. And that MUST make it okay, right? It's ANONYMOUS, right?
For a long time I was under the impression that most of the horrible comments I ran across on the internet were posted by immature teenagers that were still learning what the heck internet etiquette was. But ever since I've started my blog, boy have I learned different.
It's mothers and fathers. Teachers and professionals. Religious and political leaders.
People we expect to hold a higher level of morality than everyone else.
But it doesn't stop there.
After reading tons of rude comments on fairly passive articles, I figured that I would just be done for the day with blogs. Later I decided to do my daily Facebook sweep to see what was going on in everyone's lives that day. And even where anonymity was not a contributing factor, where your face and name are clearly seen, the negative comments and posts continued.
Facebook has warped into a site where it is filled with highly contrasting ideas. A shared picture on why Jesus saves. Then a picture of anti-republican or anti-democrat propaganda. A post on someone's newborn baby. An engagement. A post on why someone can't stand baby and engagement posts. An ambiguous post directed at something/someone that's annoying. A change in a profile picture. A post littered with unnecessary cussing. Happy freakin' birthdays.
It seems like everyone can't keep their dirty laundry to themselves no matter how many times drama plays across Facebook. No one seems to be learning from their mistakes.
So what can we do to rise above this epidemic of rudeness? I'm fully aware that this problem will be an ongoing one that may not ever end. But can we not add to the ever-growing problem?
First, we as adults need to learn internet etiquette. It truly is sad how many people have no concept of this at all. If you wouldn't say it in person, then don't say it all. If it could affect you getting a job later, don't post it. If you don't want it your children seeing it, don't put it out there for everyone else to see. These are silly things that I honestly thought would be common sense. But apparently not.
Second, don't participate in the stupidity. If someone is being rude, don't join in. Even if you agree with the person being rude, don't join in. It only creates causeless arguments.
Third, accept that everyone else out there is 110% different that you. We are all different shapes. We all have different beliefs (even those that are in the same religion have different ways of living life). And everyone thinks different than you. Bonnie L. Oscarson said, "You may love to exercise vigorously for an hour each day because it makes you feel so good, while I consider it to be a major athletic event if I walk up one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. We can still be friends, can’t we?"
Fourth, understand that I'm not saying to only speak joy if you're online. You're allowed to have opinions. This whole article is my opinion right? You're allowed to disagree with opinions. Opinions are just OPINIONS! Just know that there is a line you can cross between agreeing to disagree and being rude.
Fifth, just love. Ya I know, pretty hippie. But it's true. Be that person that writes a positive post on Facebook instead of complaining. This little vid shows that despite the overwhelming amounts of negativity there is, there is always room for goodness:
Because this is a post about comments, feel free to comment on your experiences and opinions. I'd love to know if I'm the only crazy person that feels this way!