A friend of mine was upset, to put it mildly, over negative and down right mean comments that people had addressed towards her husband on the internet.
Let me set the scene.
Her husband is a great guy, a wonderful father and the kind of husband you wish for. He also happens to be a tv weatherman. What's wrong with that, you say? I, myself, used to be a weatherman. Great job and research shows that, "What's it going to be like today?", is a major question for viewers.
So far, so good.
Apparently, what he forecast was not what transpired. Weather is very fickle and many times it changes it's mind. It happens. What was really disturbing were the comments left on his station's web site by people who lost their minds.
Mean comments. Mad comments. Bad comments. Saying things that could really hurt your feelings. How can people do that?
I'll tell you how.
First, what my mother and father taught me. Manners. My mother always used to say, "Be sweet." Let's be clear, she did not say to be a pushover or to not stick up for yourself. But nice seems to have gone bye bye. We seem to have veered into a different place and I think the internet takes some of the blame. We are in an age of swift pitchforks and torches. We are also in an age where people can leave vitriolic comments anonymously.
Think about that for a second.
People can post whatever they want knowing their doorbell is not going to be rung by an angry person demanding an explanation. Have you read comments on anything lately? People with handles like John3456 or Grasshopper5 say anything and everything. And many times what they say is awful. I know, I know, freedom of expression is one of the things that makes this country great.
When you're not held accountable for what you say? You tend to say anything. When you are? Different ballgame. You think before you speak or in this case post. If people had to put their real name and address on their posts, things would clear up right fast. A lot of bullies are cowards and if the awful things a person says could be traced back to them...
I don't know if things will get better, if things will change. They should. Do you think they will?
And for my friend who was baffled by how rude strangers could be to her husband?
Ignore them and hang tough.
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