Abuse. Hating. Bullying. Trolling.
Whatever you call it, it’s not that new and there has been a lot said about internet based abuse and hate recently. While I have been fortunate enough to not have been the victim of any such attacks myself, I am increasingly aware of hateful comments, tweets and discussions targeted at bloggers, tweeters and others who engage in social media.
This really makes me really very sad.
As a result of my health, I have to put quite a lot of effort into making myself feel good on almost a daily basis. Happiness is powerful and precious and deserves the energy invested in seeking it out and holding on to it. To my mind, hate is a complete waste of time and emotional energy. No one benefits from hate, not the hater, the hatee or anyone surrounding either of them.
I understand that people can’t always agree or think and feel the same way, but what does expressing your opposition through anger, hate, vitriol or venom gain for you? Nothing.
Now, I’m all for debate and discussion. But, it’s not as though people are just expressing an opposing opinion in a calm, reasonable manner either. These attacks can be personal and malicious, even threatening.
The television and radio presented Richard Bacon received personal threats as well as attacks targeted at his mother, wife and new born son. What kind of person does that? And Why!?
I have also seen hateful comments on blogs calling bloggers all kinds on unnecessary nasty things.
It might be a bit of a cliché, but really, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all.
Why do some people think manners and common decency don’t apply on the internet?
I really find the whole thing very distressing. I am frequently fearful of ever being the subject of any degree of online abuse, as I know it will destroy my passion for blogging and could risk all the hard work I have put into building myself up in recent years.
I don’t want to go all ‘happy-clappy, group-hug, heal-the-world’ etc, because that’s just not realistic, but if people put even a fraction of the effort they put into this online hate into actually making someone feel good, we’d all be much better off.
I expect most of you reading this aren’t the kind of people who would engage in this kind of behaviour, so there’s not much point in giving any advice on it really, but, on the off chance you are -‘Next time you think about saying something nasty, just don’t. Take a deep breath, count to 10, and move on with your life.
Try smiling at someone instead, you’ll probably both feel better for it.
Thanks for reading,