There are a lot of positives about social media. I’m able to keep in touch with friends I might not have been so easily able to otherwise. It’s a great way to further worthy causes and raise awareness. But it’s also a bit of a double edged sword. I’ve noticed this increasing trend of people writing articles and commenting on things that tear other people down. Other people, their choices, their lifestyle, even who they are.
It’s no secret cyber bullying became a huge issue with the onset of the internet and social media but now people are writing things for Business Insider and Huffington Post, reputable news outlets, to voice their distaste with other people. Of course speaking up for injustice is something people should never stop doing, but writing a nasty, judgmental article about someone else just because you don’t agree with them or their choices is just negative.
It scares me sometimes, the ease with which the internet and social media gives people the ability to hide behind our screens and be so awful to one another. Have you ever read the comments on a news article before? It will absolutely stomp out any faith in humanity you might have had. And you know the large majority of people would never say these things to someone if they were sitting right in front of them. Most people wouldn’t have the guts.
We should all have opinions and convictions but when do we draw the line with where and how we share them? When it does it become hate speech instead? When does it become sharing our opinions at the expensive of tearing someone else down? What’s really necessary for us to say and what we should try turn into a positive and understand instead? We can never fully know the circumstances of someone else’s situation (especially not from a computer or iPad), or why they made a certain choice and just because someone might post something we disagree with, that doesn’t call for jumping all over them or writing mean comments.
I’ll be totally honest. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, I just want to hop on Twitter and send a nasty tweet to Kim Kardashian or some celebrity I dislike equally. I can’t deny that it’s human nature to sometimes try to find catharsis by lashing out. That doesn’t in any way shape or form make it ok but I can see in a really small way where it comes from and how it’s become so prevalent.
I hope that in the near future though we can use social media and the internet as only a tool to better ourselves and better each other. To lift each other up and send a positive message rather than use it to tear each other down. To just keep in touch with friends and family, not use it as a weapon against each other. There’s enough hate in the world as it is without having to add it to when we open our computers or tablets.