Kindness. Compassion. Respect. Online.

Like most people, I check in with social media each day.  In recent times, I have noticed an increase in angry posts.  Why is that? I suppose it harks back to my previous post about people being so ready to be offended.

Why is everyone so angry?

Where love and fear mix; a loved one is threatened, you are threatened or if you or a loved one are physically violated, this I can understand. Anger in retaliation. Though anger is not the most productive of emotions, I would be hard-pressed to remain calm if someone hurt someone I love.  It’s justifiable. Love drives us to protect.

But how can we justify online anger? It’s discontentment, pure and simple.  We think our lives should be better because we see images of people apparently living the high life.  It also arises from boredom and put simply, it’s just too easy to vent your spleen online.   The audience is ready-made, in the form of Facebook friends or Twitter followers or whichever platform you prefer.

These days everyone is a politician.

Everyone is a personal trainer.

Everyone is a dietitian/nutritionist.

One religion is better than another.

Everyone is an expert in something.

What about respect? What about respecting that we are all entitled to opinions but we can’t be right about everything?  What about having a difference of opinion without belittling someone or expressing anger?  What about recognising that we can all learn something new?

First world problems are less serious that third world problems so we squabble about politics, sports, fashion.  This is fair enough but people don’t want to learn anything.  They think they are right so that’s that. Full stop.

So what can be done about it?

Kids receive internet safety chats at school to keep them safe from predators.  Maybe there should be more training for adults. The ease of access to the internet via laptops or smart phones isn’t necessarily a good thing if the user is not savvy.  Not all news is real. Not all profiles are real. Personas can be fake.  People can be less than tactful with a keyboard than they might be verbally.  I think we need to go back to basics.

Don’t accept everything as real.

Remember that fundamentally, human beings are good people.

How would you treat someone offline? With kindness and compassion?

Good.

Remember that when you type.

Kindness. Compassion. Respect.