I’m fuming right now.
The more I think about the kind of disgusting behaviour I’ve witnessed on social media lately, I think what the f*** has this world come to?
Being positive, being grateful and treating people with respect are core to my values and how I approach life. As much as I strive to practise these things I find that being a part of the vast online community (on Facebook and Instagram) exposes you to unwanted negativity.
Recently, I’ve been on the receiving end of utter rudeness and I’ve also witnessed forms of cyber hate, cyber bullying, trolling, negativity, racism, discrimination, bitchiness, cattiness and pettiness on social media. [I will go into slight detail about this]
Having experienced all this and been extremely disgruntled by it, I started questioning why?
Why are some people so innately rude?
What makes them speak so condescendingly and arrogantly?
What compels people to troll?
Why do people feel the need to offer their opinions on everything?
What kind of life experiences shape people into becoming petty? Is this a learned behaviour?
What joy does bringing someone else down bring to you?
To directly answer the question in the title, of whether social media has made it easier for us to be d***heads and get away with it? I think it ABSOLUTELY has. Social media has without a doubt made it easier for people to get away with being awful and to avoid being held accountable for their actions.
This is a huge issue and nothing about it sits right with me, but the enormity and depth of the problem is nowhere within my reach to “solve” which adds to my frustration.
I’ll begin with the recent ‘incident’ that happened to me on Facebook.
I’m a part of a Buy/Sell/Swap clothing group and within this group there was a post for the sale of a dress. About 5 members commented “SOLD” beneath the listing saying they all wanted to buy the dress, 1 member commented that they had the same dress in a larger size, and I also commented saying that I had a similar dress (a dupe) and I fully disclaimed that the product could be viewed if anyone was curious.
The lady who had originally created the listing then replied under my comment:
“Get off my listing.”
“Go create your own.”
“Fakes aren’t allowed in the group anyways.”
Upon reading that, I felt a storm of emotions. Might I disclaim that this said group is monitored extremely loosely. No clear-cut rules. No nothing. Dupes have been posted before and the important thing is, it was not disallowed.
I guess the fact that she was aggressive and singled me out when in fact another lady had also advertised the sale of her dress in a comment before mine had seriously disgruntled me.
I felt strongly about her tone and the way she delivered her message. It made me wonder whether she spoke in this tone to the people around her and I couldn’t help but question the kind of upbringing she had.
So what did I do? I deleted all comments and I blocked her. I completely disengaged with her. Do I think this was the right thing to do? Absolutely. I don’t want to stoop down to her level and lash out in the same way that she has lashed out to me.
A week has lapsed since this has happened and my feathers are still ruffled. She got away with being a b**** when she clearly could have delivered her message in nicer ways. The fact that we can still be “anonymous” and not have to face the consequence of our actions in situations like this bothers me. Social media has made it easier for people to say unwarranted things and it’s seriously opened the floodgates for negativity.
Social media is certainly a doubled-edged sword. Indeed, it was designed for us to “socialise” and be “social” but ironically, there’s a lot of harm being done than good. Ironically, there’s a lot of malicious and ill-intended individuals who plague these platforms.
Personal branding is severely important, and how you convey yourself on social media assumes a large chunk of your “personal brand” these days. My number one rule is don’t burn bridges. You can grit your teeth but don’t burn bridges. I can assure you that my perspective of this sour lady who I don’t even know has certainly changed and if in any case we cross paths, she’s placed herself in a very awkward position.
So what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that you should watch what you say. You should be responsible and as the old adage goes, ‘unless you have something nice to say, don’t say it’.