Negativity and Trolls

Have you ever read the comments to a news channel post on Facebook, or blog posts, or a Huffington Post article or a tweet? Talk about losing faith in humanity. I have never seen such negativity, such despicable behavior, such rudeness.

I have seen comments about an untimely, accidental death and the commenters blaming the deceased. I have seen comments with mean cuss words. I have seen comments judging opinions with the commenters suggesting that they are “holyier than thou”. When did this happen? When did it become OK to hide behind your computer and bully those people who are unlike you? When did it become OK to “spit”on people through the Internet? In elementary schools today we have programs to teach the kids how not to bully and if they are being bullied how to properly handle it. But as adults we are bullying people through the Internet on a daily basis.

There is a word for the worst of these people. They are called trolls. Case in point in the story of Lindy West, a female journalist. She was bullied by an online troll and she reached out to him to ask why. The result is a story on This American Life. She is brave and bold. But she gets ridiculed constantly. It makes me sad. It makes me mad.

Whatever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all”? What ever happened to respecting others opinions? People put themselves out there on the Internet mostly because they want to tell a story. They want understanding. Myself included. No one wants to be involved in negativity. I wish the Internet atmosphere would evolve into a better place, not a worse one. It definitely makes me reconsider having Facebook and other social media sites.

It seems simple. Just saying.

Be kind. Don’t be a bully. Respect and in turn be respected.

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