Angry Little Pixels

I haven’t quite figured out yet why people feel the need to lash out or abuse others through the internet.

You see it everywhere you go, anywhere people can interact on the internet, be it forums, comment sections, chat rooms (do chat rooms still exist?), discussion boards, whatever title these arenas for public discourse might be given.  Now, I don’t mean specifically trolls, they’re a different brand of beast.  Trolls are emotional molesters, they only make the comments they do to rile up other people for their own amusement, kind of like dropping a bomb from a safe distance then watching the destruction ensue.  I’m talking about those people who are emotionally invested in the conversations, fervently argue, cast insults at people they do not know beyond the little pixels on their screen, and actually intend for their words to hurt the other person/people reading.  And yes, that includes those who valiantly(?) rise to the occasional troll.

When has it ever been acceptable in an argument to disagree by simply calling the other person an idiot or something in that ilk?  To make personal comments about the other person, “oh you’re just saying this because you’re…(insert unfounded accusation about another person’s lifestyle or ideologies here)”, or just flat out responding “fuck you”?  I guess if I verbally eviscerate you sans name calling and you’re left with no ground to stand on,  that last one might be a little justified, but otherwise, why can’t people peacefully agree to disagree without stooping to that low level of playground name-calling and shit-slinging?

It’s petty and silly.  Furthermore, it reflects more on you than me.  Unless I respond in kind, and then we’re both three year olds in a pissing contest as far as the rest of the digital world is concerned.

I’d heard the advice some time back, that if you start to read a response/comment/post that sounds negative (or anything in your life comes at you negative, like a voicemail or letter/email, etc), stop reading/listening to it and delete it.  Life is too short, and there are too many other stresses, to ever have to deal with someone else’s negativity.  I’ve been trying to follow this advice, but it is difficult.  Sometimes you can’t help but want to read what the other person wrote.  That sick, twisted part of you that just needs to know how the “story” ends.  And then, of course, once you’ve read you need to reply, because otherwise they have the last word, and gosh darn it, if they have the last word you’ll never be able to sleep at night.

But I’m getting better at it.  Recently someone sent me something that started out “fuck you” and I deleted it without reading any further.  Now I’m a tad tormented by what the rest may have said, but I’ll get over it.   I just don’t understand.

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