Friday, September 13, 2019
Tech & The Web

Why is Social Media Rudeness Now the Norm?

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It’s probably a bad sign, but I seem to be getting less surprised by the levels of social media rudeness I see on a daily basis.

There was a time when social media rudeness was the exception, not the rule.

I recall a time several years ago where Twitter was a lot more hostile than Facebook. But that made sense.

Years ago, most people didn’t use their real name on Twitter and often didn’t post a photo of themselves. So there was the sense of “anonymity” there.

Facebook, on the other hand, was the place where most people did post their real name and photo.

For a time, most of the social media rudeness was concentrated on Twitter. Facebook seemed a bit more reserved when it came to people flying off the handle, since everyone could see who they actually are.

But today, that’s out the window. People post the rudest, nastiest, most mean-spirited comments they can compose and they seemingly don’t care who sees it.

Even worse, they don’t seem to care who they offend.

I used to think we were better than this.

Now I have my doubts.

As someone who has a hand in managing numerous Facebook and Twitter accounts, I see firsthand the vitriol that’s being meted out. I stopped saying, “I’ve seen everything” a long time ago. But there are days when I actually find myself surprised by how inconsiderate people seem almost eager to act.

There’s no respect. Everyone, from the outset, is treated as personal enemies with the worst-possible “agenda.” No one gets the benefit of the doubt.

No one gets respect. These social media warriors are the ones who believe, erroneously that respect must be earned.

That’s false, of course. Everyone is due a degree of respect. It’s trust that you earn.

If you disagree, I’d respectfully suggest you take it up with Jesus Christ. Maybe He’ll be able to do something with you.

People love to place blame for things.

When it comes to social media rudeness, maybe that blame belongs, they say, on the media. They love to blame “the media” for any number of problems, despite the fact that they’re never willing to give it up themselves.

Others insist on blaming politicians for all the trouble. Political parties have gotten so rude and so over the top these days that they simply can’t bring themselves to say anything even remotely nice about each other.

I’m certainly not the only one to ask why things have to be this way. Some get very technical in their analyses of “trolls” and their behavior.

You can blame whoever and whatever you wish.

But when we sit down and type out that angry post that crucifies another person, calling them names, disrespecting them and their points of view, we need to keep one thing in mind.

No one’s holding a gun at our head.

The more mature among us seem to know when not to click that tempting “Post” button.

That’s on us, not anyone else.

If we can’t govern ourselves any better than this, maybe we’re the ones who need to step away from social media, not those with whom we disagree.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.