We live in a digital world. A world where the internet is a vessel and mode of information sharing that billions of people use daily.
MOST of us also live in a world of ‘free speech’ where we are allowed to voice and share our opinions on a huge range of topics – actually ALL the topics (unless you live in Zimbabwe, N. Korea, or China … to name a few, but I won’t go there today).
Where these two world combine can be a magical, wonderous, motivational, lucrative, educational and inspiring place.
It can also be a sad and scary place filled with fear, bullying, anti-social and religious persecution combined with bigotry and exploitation.
Most of us decent respectful people use the internet socially , to conduct business and to gain knowledge. Most of us respect that fact that everyone has their own opinions and we all live our lives according to what we personally stand for.
If you are still with me, I’m slowly getting to my point.
What I have an issue with is when people don’t agree with what someone writes and they then feel the need to tear that person down. It’s basically an on-line equivalent of ‘picking on’.
Please note, I am not talking about Trump, or Beyoncé, or any other politicians or famous people, although some of them need to be cut a little slack too.
I’m going to share two examples to better explain what I’m talking about.
I recently wrote a sponsored post where I was specifically asked to recommend things to do that fall within a specific budget – cheap or free to be exact. I did it. It was shared on the company’s webpage and across their social media channels. I followed up a few weeks later to see what people’s opinions were on the places I’d recommended, and I will not be doing that again. Whilst most were positive comments, some were … for lack of better words, unkind and uninformed.
The unkind and unnecessary comments were not a personal attack on me, but an attack on the place I’d written about. An attack from people I can bet had NEVER even been there, or who did not read the whole point of the post and assumed the list was exhaustive of everything to do in said place, which it most certainly was not!
Why? Why comment?
If there were errors in the post, fine. If there was blatant false information, also fine. But to comment negatively for the sake of ‘hearing your own voice’. Just keep quiet.
Example 2: A fellow blogger had her post submitted to a well known online Parenting website, had it shared all over the internet, and then the comments started rolling in. The post was about how she had enjoyed not taking her children to a wedding and ONE of her reasons was because she had a few too many drinks.
Now I’m pretty sure she’s older than 21, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t drive home drunk. So legally she didn’t break any laws! The point of the post wasn’t about her alcohol consumption, it was about kids at weddings! Some ‘do-gooder sitting on her self-righteous throne’ who had nothing better to do or say totally ripped into her post about how leaving your kids behind so you can have a few drinks is abhorrent and how “not everyone drinks, you know?”
Why? Why comment?
Two very different examples of perfect times when I do not see the point of sharing your opinion! Neither of them are adding any value. The comments were full of negativity and only really showed their own ignorance and small-mindedness.
I know that they are allowed their opinions, but surely in both these cases they should rather have just clicked the little x at the top of the screen, scrolled down, or just quite literally put their phone down!
Something I constantly tell my children, in the hopes of making sure they don’t turn into a*holes is:
If you have nothing nice to say, just be quiet!
Rant over with for today.