IntrepidWoman's Journey

Social Media is Just Plain Mean

Posted on: October 25, 2015

Canada just had a very long and very painful federal election process. It is a relief to have it end. There is a FB photo out recently of the new and the old leaders hugging, which is wonderful, but unfortunately, there have also been FB casualties.

The question I ponder today: why are people so mean on social media, to the point of violence? I have witnessed countless images that degraded political leaders, spewed hatred and showed violence. The worst was a photo of the leader of our country sitting in a chair and his head exploding into bloody pulp. Come on! Really?

Whatever did he do that caused so much anger? I see the same anger directed at the American president, including hate-filled comments towards him when he has nothing to do with the situation being discussed!

Social media scares me. It is infested with hate-mongers, bigots and bullies. They see nothing wrong with threatening violence, name-calling, bashing peoples intelligence and integrity.

Is it because I am old and just not receptive to the current total freedom of self-expression?

I am writing this post because I did something I never thought I would ever do. I believe in free speech and the value of everyone’s opinions, but I blocked two people from FB, one during the election and one right after.

During all the hate-filled comments against the Prime Minister, I posted a positive photo/info about him and was lambasted with cutting, rude words on my page that stated I was ridiculous and ignorant to think he was a good leader. In shock, I deleted the comment, then deleted the person. I can forgive many things, including his swearing and rants about how hard life is, but I hold strong my democratic privilege of freedom of speech. Say what you want, but don’t bad-mouth on my page!

Alas, after it was all over and I was relieved to have the negative stuff in the past, another person decided to state that a local candidate won because “aging boomers with their religiosity HANDED her the seat. People who are narrow-minded and suffer SEVERE memory loss.” A friend of the poster challenged this by stating she had voted for this person and found it insulting that hard working people who build this country were being put down.  The original poster said she “was not insulting our elders”, but the person still “got the vote by default.”

I could not contain myself, which is proof that I need to get off FB for either a good, long time or forever! I responded by stating the person “got the win by receiving the majority of votes from people of all ages in the riding” and stated that the writer was “insulting boomers who have been around a lot longer” (than her) “and we do have brains and far more experiences with life and politics! ‘Narrow minded’ and ‘suffering from memory loss’ = totally insulting!” My rant included “The people have spoken in this fine democracy and it is time to get back to working hard at making an honest living, paying forward with good deeds, and showing love and respect for our fellow humans!” Of course she took offence. To me, that is a bully. When someone stands up to a bully, they get louder, but eventually go away. I did not wait. I unfriended her to make her go away.

So, now I sit and ponder the whole thing. Am I terrible for standing up for my beliefs? Her statements were on her own page, so I did not have the right to comment, but isn’t that what everyone does, comment? We tell people how awesome their new image is, how incredible their holiday sounds and how cute their kids are.

I guess the rules change during an election and also when the discussion is about religion. Religion and politics. They say we should never discuss those two things. What is the third thing we should not discuss? Sex? I can’t remember. Maybe because I am a senior.

I am a baby boomer, after all with “severe memory loss”, at least according to an ex-FB friend. Sigh!

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2 Responses to "Social Media is Just Plain Mean"

Jan, people are mean on social media because they can get away with it. They divorce themselves from the fact that there is a person on the other end of their rude insults. The only recourse people have is to dump them. I am glad you disallowed this. I would have done the same thing.
Judi

I think you’re spot on Jan! People are mean on social media, I think it’s because they can’t see the consequences of their words.

Gina

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