When I would hear of people deleting their Facebook or Twitter accounts because of “drama”, negativity or personal intrusion/or ridicule, it would puzzle me. I assumed I never had that problem because I didn’t surround myself with people who were distrustful, negative or seemed to get a thrill out of gossip. I managed to avoid the cruel, crazy circus that was the dark-side of social media. And then I started a blog. This spring, I opened several social media accounts to expand promotion for this site and immediately got hit in the face with human ugliness and ignorance. While I wasn’t personally attacked (for a period) and Jsaysonline.com benefitted from the internet networking, I witnessed cyber-bullying (of both celebrities and non-celebrities), brash political-incorrectness, cultural insensitivity, mindlessness, superficiality, self-exploitation and people being just down-right mean; and most of the time it was unwarranted. It’s like people muster up all of their potential for hate and negativity and take it to the internet because the web is the only place where you can be unabashedly malevolent without being criticized.
Beware of death by Twitter
In fact, it seems the more harsh and condescending you are, the more people gravitate to you. Disgusting behavior is reinforced by “likes,” “retweets,” “thumbs up” and “LOL’s (laugh outloud).” The sharp-tongued (or sharp-typed, rather) exalted by their “fans,” “followers” and “subscribers.” It’s almost as if social media is abused so people can feed their need to continue high-school after high-school; where self-empowerment, an over-abundance of attention and some sort of celebrity can all be easily attained by cultivating a support base with a pretentious persona and mercilessly excluding those deemed less-than. Internet networking can be used for many positive things, but more often than not, it’s used for evil and tom-foolery. If you want to get an idea of what the current generation is all about, get really involved on a social media site. My experiences online led to my post “Today’s Ticking Time-Bomb Youth” (http://bit.ly/pxE1eN) last month. It all both saddens and angers me. How can people lavishly swim so deeply in arrogance and ignorance?
My attempts to encourage more positive behavior have only succeeded once. Someone said something unnecessarily critical about another person, and in response to my “Hey, let’s be nice. Spread Love. That doesn’t have to be said,” the user said “You’re right. Sorry.” When a male Twitter user posted “Dr. Oz has these bitches telling their biz on TV,” I replied “Hey now, why bitches?” He subsequently unfollowed me and never answered the question. In another similar case, a guy tweeted me “You got something to say, faggot?” When I explained that “faggot” is a rude, offensive and unnecessary term, he replied “Ok, faggot. You don’t pay my bills. I do what it takes homie.”