Okay, so, not everyone. But when I turn on the news, scroll Facebook or scan Twitter, it feels like our society has become overly entitled, sensitive and mean. I find it so off-putting to watch certain news networks blast their political leaders, celebrities and public in general. They don’t offer actual ‘news’, education or directional information to their viewers – it’s more like watching a primary school bully panel where one commentator tries to outwit the next one, only for it to spiral into a pattern of sarcasm-offended-more sarcasm-again offended-more sarcasm. The discussion quickly wavers from the actual topic to become a “who insulted who best” competition.
One has to really think about posting a personal opinion online without inviting a good possibility of reactionary assault (granted, as long as your view doesn’t propagate violence, abuse or inequality, obviously!). Decent debates are fine, but I’m referring to full-on attacks and trolling. Offering an opinion has become increasingly risky. Why? Well, I personally think people now hide behind screens. Being mean has become too easy because you don’t see the emotional reaction on the person’s face you just insulted. Smartphone and computer screens have become a worldwide mask for people. Sending insults are quick, easy and carry no repercussions for the conscience. And it’s worrying how many are comfortable wearing the mask that can so easily spew cruelty.
The other problem, I feel, is that these masks cut people off from intuition, human connectedness and basic consideration of each other’s feelings. The cold glowing masks allow the festering of selfishness and narcissism without growing regard for one another. It’s all about ‘The Me and I’ as everyone is entitled to an opinion no matter what the repercussions, feelings or experiences are for someone else.
Entitlement has become a pandemic. And what’s so worrying is just how easily people jump into the malicious online pool.
I worry that people just can’t put themselves in someone else’s shoes anymore because being an All About Me Snowflake is too easy. Placing yourself in someone else’s point of view, trying to understand where another person’s coming from seems to be the lesser action taken. Fewer people take a moment before reacting to ask “Why?” and instead it’s about trying to come up with the funniest hashtag or one liner (usually aggressive or nasty).
Are there stupid things said out there? YES! Do we meet people that make you wonder if their ON switch was ever flicked? YES! But does everyone have to be offended when someone says something you don’t agree with? NO. Does everyone have to jump on the mean-bandwagon and dish out insults that lead to – what? What does being mean lead to? Does it make the world better? Does it make YOU as a person better? Does viciously tearing down someone’s opinion or their identity – because the Special Snowflake is entitled to an opinion – make anything better? I don’t think so. I don’t understand how anyone can be impressed with themselves for saying something hurtful to someone else, think they’re funny and brag about it.
Can we aim to shrink the Snowflake Patrol pool? Yes a lot of people say/Tweet/post a lot of senseless things out there. Nobody can fix stupid. But we can disseminate BETTER and uplifting opinions that drown out absurdity. We can choose to ignore/delete/scroll past idiotic rants and offer insightful posts of our own. Or at least humorous ones! And hey, funny memes are awesome. Being able to post thoughts, information and humour online is an incredible tool that can be used for much better things rather than Snowflakes getting offended and trolls tearing down opinions with keypad claws.
I personally don’t have the time or energy to waste on something I really don’t agree with. But I will invest ALL my energy in an effort like this – writing a blog – suggesting that we all try to be just a little nicer to each other in real life, and online. Try remember that behind the cold smartphone mask, chat room and post is a person. A human. With feelings. Take a few moments to think before acting and replying. We can ALL try be better people for each other.
Chat/blog/think soon! And remember, all these views are my own 🙂