It never ceases to amaze me the way some people can be totally insensitive and ignorant. Case in point - online comments left by people following a news story. Not just any news story...but a tragic news story.
Now I am not stupid, I know these people are typically commenting to get the ire up of other people...but to gleefully post repulsive statements following someone's untimely or horrific death or life-threatening ordeal...I seriously could never fathom doing so. Even if I were a child, sitting around with a group of friends - I really don't think I could bring myself to do it...or if I did, I'd scurry and delete my comments after they left. You see, I was never the person who made fun of other people in school or at the mall - I was the one saying "hey, a person can't really change the way they look, you know". And don't tell me one person can't make a difference...they stopped doing it, at least in my presence.
Why do people feel the need to berate and make fun of another's misfortune? Is this whole online anonymity destroying whatever shred of decency we once had? Why can't people funnel their anger in a more positive venture...why prey on people whose circumstance they themselves [hopefully] wish never to endure in their own lives?
And these people live among us. They are our bosses, our baggers, the guy in front of us at the light, and, yes, perhaps even the lady next to us in church. The guise of anonymity makes people believe they are impervious to the side glances and finger pointing they would normally get out in the open...so to their privacy of their homes they retreat with their cruel thoughts, keyboards and fantasy screen names at the ready.
Keep in mind there are a lot of such comments online - don't believe me, click on one of those horrific news stories and read the comments. I was just now reading some regarding a 14-year-old boy who had been tripped/fell/collapsed while walking down the stairs to claim a Nintendo Wii he won at a hockey game in Providence, Rhode Island. I read similar, but even worse comments, regarding Natalie Holloway the other day. Oh, yes...let's just make fun of the girl who, in most likelihood, was killed in Aruba. I don't know about you, but I can't think of a more productive and pleasant way to pass my time during the Thanksgiving holiday.
How disturbing must it be for family and friends to go online and peruse the comments, thinking people are sending prayers and well wishes their way only to be met with a barrage of verbal brutality? I cannot imagine the thoughts those people experience...why can't people have more empathy for their fellow man and realize words said in anger or jest can have lasting effects. I know all too well how those "names will never hurt you" words do indeed hurt...and they can stick in your head and play all kinds of wicked games in there...for years and years.
So, I will continue to be amazed at the ignorance of others - (and I'm not just talking about their spelling and grammar...don't get me started on that, as that's for another blog) shake my head and wonder just what makes these people tick...and know deep down that it certainly isn't their overly compassionate heart.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".
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I think anonymity on the internet, such as it is, is finally allowing us to lay out our subconscious for all to see. Our "monsters from the id" are off the leash and running around freely. I suppose, this might be therapeutic in a way - sort of a substitute for the psychiatrist's couch. The only problem is we all risk being exposed to the hurtful ramblings of troubled minds. Instead of seeking out one confidant who could be relied upon for his discretion, some now feel they can afford to seek out millions with a confidence that the anonymity and remoteness from the lives they affect will insulate them from guilt or punishment or consequences of any kind. This won't change so long as there is little risk of a name being associated with a voice, nor should there be a change, I should reiterate, not only because it would be unworkable but because, for the most part, most of the people who write hurtful comments are just simple, barely literate, home grown, corn fed, idiots. But that's a subject for another blog.ReplyDelete