More than ever, I find myself daydreaming about cutting the cord to all of my social media accounts, deleting the Reddit app from my phone & becoming one of "those people". You know, the people who are "off the grid". Well, at least as much as you can be in 2018. Sadly, that reverie & my line of work don't exactly line up so well.
So, here I am. Maneuvering best as I can each day through was seems like an endless barrage of trolling comments, extreme gate-keeping & tragically comical & ever varying views on what social justice is this week.
I've never been especially timid in regards to letting my thoughts be known & I don't shy away from debate as a rule. However, the internet is not the real world. The internet does not abide by the laws of nature. It's a sucker-punch & run kind of place.
Now, usually this would be the point in the article where I make a heartfelt plea to all of you to be respectful of each other & to be civil, right? Nahh. This is not a call for civility. We certainly don't have a shortage of those. It seems like I see an article a day with a headline that says the equivalent of "Can't we all just get along?".
I think the answer to that question is pretty simple; No. No, we can't.
That said, what we can all do as individuals is as follows:
1. Examine the motive. Why are you about to say what you're about to say?
2. Is this the forum? Will commenting here achieve the end goal of my motive?
3. Is your commentary a coherent explanation of your viewpoint? Or are you just angry?
If you can't find a good & honest answer to each of these questions, you might be a troll. "Way to go, idiot" is a good example of a suckerpunch comment. It probably felt good hitting enter, but you're not progressing your viewpoint & you're not winning anyone over either.
So, here's my advice; shout all you want. Post pointed comments, call people out when necessary & don't be afraid to express your opinion if you're ready to defend it. But being a contrarian for the sake of being difficult is its own reward & you shouldn't expect anything more than your 15 seconds of suckerpunch satisfaction.
Being a little salty isn't so bad.
Nobody was ever offended by lukewarm vegetable lasagna, but nobody really likes it either.