Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mean People Suck

I'm not a saint.
I like snark as much as the next person.
Purposeful negativity is not something I seek out. Apparently though, I am in the minority. Two different people I know are being cyber-bullied. In one case, it has to do with a woman's involvement in the fandom of a minor-league celebrity and it's pretty easy to pinpoint the source of the anger being directed toward my friend. (It's sheer, delusional jealousy.)
In the other case it has to do with expectations not being met and lack of communications. But what's going on is that a woman has been posting to all her friends on something awful.com, ranting about what a terrible person my friend is. It's interesting to me that people who are part of the site call themselves "goons." My friend is understandably freaked out by all this negative attention but what strikes me is that there are actually people--strangers to her--who are getting involved in the whole situation. And all I can think of is the question--Don't they have anything better to do?
It's schadenfreude taken to the nth degree. Somewhere inside all of us is a little dark spot that sparks up when we hear that bad things have happened to people who have wronged us in some way. But honestly--feeling good about somebody you don't even know having troubles?  If you're doing that, you need to get a life.

3 comments:

  1. Yep. There is snark, and then there is being mean. There is venting online, and then there is harassment. Unfortunately those last two are often confused, or deliberately mixed.

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  2. And of course, once it's out there on the Internet, it's there forever.

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  3. I have learned the hard way to weight my words on the internets. I received anonymous emails calling me a worm and saying I should give up writing. Truth is, the web is the land of no-accountability. People don't weight their actions behind a computer screen. They don't see the reach of what they do.

    As much as it's destructive practice, there is no other way around this than to turn a deaf ear and to keep doing what you're doing. Nobody is ever going to police the internet and even less police mean people. Like David Foster Wallace said, you just have to choose what and who you give importance to.

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