This one’s for the haters.
I stumbled across the world of message boards today. I don’t even know what led me there, but Internet Happenstance must have lined up perfectly and somehow I found myself in a forum of people hating on other people’s writing. And their lives. And their hobbies. And their ambitions. There’s even a forum on this particular site for people who hate the idea of the forum. Wow. I know Christmas is over and everything… but….. seriously?
However, this isn’t a post about that particular forum. This is a post about negative verbal diarrhea. There is a rampant epidemic of it these days – because it certainly isn’t limited to one corner of the internet, spread by one singular crusty individual.
It’s immediately evident when you look at the bottom of you tube videos, newspaper articles, or basically attached to any medium on the internet that allows you to comment. It’s there: hundreds of stupid comments that just sit and take up white space. Only if you read them do they have the propensity to really effect you. (For instance today I clearly read one too many negative comments and it’s got me all excited and worked up. Mercy me.) But if you wrote them, you are seriously affected. And to those who argue that there is a human internet right to say anything and everything, there’s a distinct and concrete difference between freedom of speech and a waste of everyone’s time. In addition to that, internet commenting isn’t about human rights… it’s about taking a good, long hard look in the mirror. That’s all I’m suggesting.
Similarly, there’s also a difference between meaningful communication and bull shit use of exclamation marks!! and fake comments dripping with backhanded compliments (“If girls were as nice to each other in real life as they were on Facebook, there would be world peace”).
This blog was my first endeavor into really using the internet. Before last April, my use was limited to email, facebook, news articles and academic research. It would not be a stretch to say I’m still a bit naive to the negativity that people just exude, serving no real purpose. That’s why it took me a good 1/2 hour of reading that forum [I was talking about earlier] to understand how there was an entire niche of people who came together based purely on hating and criticizing. I think this is why I considered it worthy of a post. The bottom line is, the internet is full of random useless information and posts. Most people know that. If someone stumbles across something they feel worthy, then it brings the human race closer together. The internet can share information, and it can also plays to the human nature by spreading the narcissistic ego. That’s what the internet does in a nutshell. I’m aware and I accept this.
There are some things in this life which our mothers taught us that still stand true:
1) Don’t get a soaker – you’ll get a cold;
2) If you get a soaker change your socks immediately – wet feet make even the most pleasant person miserable;
3) If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Point 3 is relevant to this rantpost. But it’s not important for the reason you may think.
On the internet we’re not concerned about hurting other people’s feelings (unless of course you are a bully – that’s a whole different kettle of negative fish.) What I’m getting at is the fact that it can’t be good for you keeping all that bottled up energy inside, until you hit…. a message board? Or a news article comment sections? I guarantee you, there will be people who will agree with you (it’s the internet and you will never be alone). And this will make you feel better. But it can’t possibly be what you are looking for. Because your group is the one left with the hate. And everyone else… they are still spreading the love.
Think twice. Pay it forward. Use your time constructively. If you can write it better; do it. If you can come up with a better way to say it; do it. And if you feel like taking up the challenge would be hypocritical; just let it go. Consider who benefits more from what you have to say. Be sincere and do a little good in the world. It goes a long way.
So that’s what I have to offer on this subject. And now I’m over it.