Sunday, April 24, 2016

What's Wrong With Everyone?

It seems to me, that people are getting more and more intolerant of each other and much too quick to jump to wrong conclusions.  Especially on the internet.  Now I know you probably think it's always been this way but that's just not true.  Back when chat rooms were the place to be, people tended to be nicer and tried to really get to know who the other person was before jumping down their throats.  And if you didn't like the chat room, you just left.  Now with social media and keeping a 'friends' list of people you hope think like you, it has become more of a shouting match.  Which is not any fun nor is it productive in any way, except to show me how far mankind is falling into an "us or them" mentality.  Whatever happened to having a discussion with someone?  Whatever happened to real conversation, written in full sentences so there is less misunderstanding?  Whatever happened to respecting each others viewpoints with an understanding nod and moving on to a topic that can be discussed rationally?  Or actually having intelligent questions about a different opinion poised so that the opinion can be discussed?  Now people consider rude comments and personal slurs to be a discussion. And it seems that getting in the last word, or slur is the winner.  Like in a discussion, there is a winner and a loser.  Isn't a discussion an exchange of ideas, usually opposing in nature, and not having to be resolved into any change of opinion?  Isn't a discussion just ideas shared by intelligent humans together?  If someone changes their mind, ok...great...but that doesn't have to be the fundamental reason for the discussion, does it?

I enjoy having one social media, and right now it's Facebook.  And I find that people I love to talk to are never this way.  We share ideas and news without it being a shouting match.  But there are others on my feed that seem to never be able to have a real discussion.  Or maybe it's just that they are looking for something to bitch about or complain.  Maybe they are deep down inside, very unhappy people and this is the only place they can vent.  Perhaps it's not who they are in real life, I know there are trolls out there, but it sure makes me form an opinion of who they are by how mean they are on the internet.  You can state your opinion on any topic without being rude, and personal.  But many don't.  And when someone starts a trolling process to someone else on the internet, I sometimes feel a need to swoop in and try to rescue them both from each other.  This never works btw.  Perhaps people just like to argue.  Maybe that's it.  Maybe they just want a good fight and can't get one in real time.  And if they attack me, well I usually try to ignore it after one intelligent question back.  If they keep trying to misunderstand on purpose, I block them or unfollow or whatever so they can't use me for their 'feel good about themselves' fight. 

It seems to me that the internet has opened up a huge can of worms by helping people be mostly anonymous if they choose to be, and be a complete idiot and asshole to everyone they meet if they choose.  And this  is starting to make facebook a place to shamelessly promote yourself, or to see how many selfies in stages of undress you can get away with posting to hit that magic friends number. 

Why as humans do we do this to each other?  We have a great tool and we use it to look at kitten pictures and pictures of each others' meals??  Not interested.  I scroll past so much garbage on my feed.  I unfollow immediately people that post long uninteresting personal rants that seem always negative.  I don't use Facebook to feel more upset about the world and the people in it.  I used it as a place to stay in touch.  It saddens me to see how far social media has fallen and I wonder where all the smart chat rooms are.  I guess all the smart people left social media long ago, and here I sit wondering how different it might have been had they stayed around. 

Maybe if we all were a bit more tolerant of each other not only in real life but here too.  Because people's feelings matter and you could be hurting someones feelings who are a lot weaker than I am.  They might actually be on the edge and your thoughtless words could push them over.  We are probably all guilty of it at one point or another.  Getting into an internet argument and not stopping.  But even with good intentions, as most aren't, I can tell you it never ends well.  Unfortunately, it's better to just walk away, as in real life.   Isn't that a shame.