What did our mothers tell us? “If you have nothing nice to say about someone…go online and spout your crazy” No that wasn’t it…was it?
The phone has always made some people more outspoken than they might have been in person and this can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. People on the phone sometimes feel more empowered as they are not communicating in person. They feel free to say things that they would never say sitting across from the other person. This has long been the difference between talking on the phone and engaging with someone in person.
What has changed the rules completely is the anonymity of the internet. People who would not raise their voice if their hair was on fire become raving lunatics online. They put down all the baggage of self-control and do unto others thinking and pick up their brick bat of their own lost hopes and dashed dreams and are now armed and ready to destroy the world.
Sometimes these people wind up creating fake identities, fake emails and even fake leads. For what reason we will never know? Are they trying to recreate their days of playing ding-dong ditch in the new world?
Are they thinking that wasting the time of other people is somehow going to make their lives better?
Are they thinking that they have something viciously insightful to say that other must know and therefore they must share?
Are they trying to take out their bed wetting on the boss that fired them or an entire race of people that they feel are not worthy of their compassion?
We will never know what goes through the minds of these people. It is not common sense, that is for sure.
The internet provides racist, sexist, snarky, mean and stupid all in one place. Nothing like this has ever been in seen in history before and there is little incentive to pull it back. Online publications that allow anonymous people to post evil diatribes make money by selling advertising space to companies that want the traffic that these online publications draw. Let’s face it, some of these sites get a lot of traffic from the same people who watch racing for the crashes and not the race.
Because even if we don’t write it….many more of us read it out of morbid curiosity. There was a story recently posted about the sewage in Africa being dumped into the ocean. The story was legitimate, what was out of control were the comments. Hundreds of people made comment after comment that read as if they had just graduated from the School of Evil with a PhD.
Recently there was rumor of Google requiring YouTube comments to be added through Google + accounts to cut down on some of the meanness but they have not done anything about this to date. It was a good idea but alas, it was not put into place and the keyboard is still the weapon of choice for bullying and malicious attacks on everything from videos of kids dancing to spreading unfounded rumors about a classmate.
Mean and nasty wins the day and we sit by and think that someone is going to grow out of it, but the truth is, like ding-dong ditch, there are always new adolescence. Some of them just happen to be old enough to be our parents.
Someone got their butts kicked in grade school and wants to get back at the world….where should they go in order to set the universe right?
Online of course and make crazy statements on kitten videos or celebrities or whatever they happen across while researching medication for Kray Kray.
When people lack power over their own lives they tend to lash out at things that they feel they can have an impact on.
What is easier? Destruction or construction? Which provides the most immediate feedback?
It is all about getting some immediate feedback and the more outrageous the comment the more likely and more quickly someone else will be pulled in and reply to your comment.
What makes us think that some of these people use their real names when they write comments when we know that most are using fake names to keep from being found out. The fact that what they have written is so far beyond reasonable that is why they don’t use their real names. The answer is that no matter how far beyond crazy they are, they are still courageous, outspoken and incredibly insightful behind their keyboards.