The Internet: Breathe In, Breathe Out

Us humans have always been self-interested for the most part, that much can be clear.

So am I. I love what I love, and I’ll fight for what I believe in until the very day I die. If there’s someone that does something disagreeable, I generally sound off as thoughtfully as I can about the matter, in hopes of resolving the conflict that may be about to blow up. A lot of us are like this. But then there’s how people act online.

A person can be the nicest, most genuine human being in real life. But when something catches their eye online and they get the sudden impulse to react emotionally and irrationally, there are those out there who do so without a second thought or care of mind. This is unfortunate, as it backfires on them and proceeds to shit all over their freshly-coiffed hair…in a manner of speaking.

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a jokey and paraphrased quote from The Simpsons, stating how sweet it was to have a nice, lazy federal day off from work. Being that is was Veteran’s Day, a federal holiday, proceeded to set off a friend’s temper. They made me out to be some kind of ungrateful jerk, with me apparently not recognizing the facts as to why it was a federal holiday in the first place.

Uncalled for and ridiculous, I then erased the comment stream for the principled reason that I didn’t want to spend a moment longer inside the web that this friend had seemingly me caught in. I knew who was right, and I knew who the asshole was. A needless back-and-forth would have only underlined the facts. If they were of sound mind and rational thought, they could have asked me to elaborate on the original paraphrased quote, and the whole episode could have been avoided. But they didn’t.

Technology has given us the ability to communicate at faster speeds than during any other time in history. Much of it is used well, to the benefit of our collective society. A by-product of this has been the consistent unleashing of venom too quickly spewed. Should we all take a moment to consider out initial and emotional reactions to things small and large, civility would become a hearty and welcomed bedfellow to those of us that work and communicate with each other online.

Imagine how terrific that would truly be.

And that’s my giving a damn.


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