I used to find reading comments on articles and social media posts a great (and often amusing) way to waste time, procrastinate, or simply to satisfy my curiosity because I had to know what people were going to say about whatever it was I’d just read. Those days have long since passed because seeing the escalating hatred everywhere I look has gotten old.
Ugly words often lead to long, seemingly endless battles by participants who feel bold and brave as they hide behind a phone or computer screen. It’s easy to spew venom when it’s done in secret. When the ‘hater’ can’t see the expression of the person he or she has just ripped to verbal shreds. Of course, more often than not the victim gives back as good as they get, thus beginning a contest of sorts. Who can come up with the meanest, most foul comeback?
Like a virulent strain of flu infects the masses, so does hatred and intolerance.
Now, the hatred is spreading. Someone doesn’t like the God you believe in? The politician you support? The clothes you wear? You’re an uneducated idiot who needs real enlightenment. Still don’t believe in something that used to be considered taboo? You’re a bigot, a racist, intolerant.
Today, people are afraid of saying anything, or having an opinion, for fear of offending someone – or everyone. Because if they do share their honest feelings, they’re going to be verbally – or virtually – attacked.
Bullies are no longer confined to the schoolyard. They’re everywhere – and they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. And if you don’t agree with their opinions, support their causes, and make sure everything that comes out of your mouth is politically correct, you’ll live to regret it.
No, we’re not part of the problem – but we can be carriers of the ‘cure’ for the ‘disease’ that’s infecting our social media.
If you’re as weary of internet ugliness as I am, let’s ‘infect the internet’ with kindness. Let’s try posting more upbeat messages, sharing more positive memes, responding to others with more courtesy and respect. It won’t put an end to real issues we face in the world today … but we can do our best to quash the sparks haters are trying to turn into wildfires.
My series, the Coach’s Boys, deals with a nameless, faceless hater (whose name and motivation I can’t reveal) who feels powerful – while hiding in the shadows. For a reason to be revealed in a later book, this stalker is bent on hurting Detective Ed Winslow, along with any of his friends who stick around to support him. Buy the whole series on Amazon.com – or read it ‘free’ with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
*Photo Credit: Morguefile.com