Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's a Question of Rudeness

I wasn't sure where I should talk about this... over on my "private" blog, the one that's only open to friends and family... or here on the public one, the one that is seen by a lot more people. I obviously decided that this topic needed a larger audience. Why? Because it's important. Because rudeness seems to be becoming accepted as part of life. Because by accepting rudeness as "okay", once we ignore it when we see it or, worse yet, don't even recognize it, we devalue ourselves and all the work and growth that went into humans becoming "civilized".

People who know me have this idea that I'm invincible, that nothing bothers me. Well, truth be told, I am actually very sensitive. I am not titanium. I am water. When I hurt, I hurt deeply, although I hardly ever show it. And the ripple-effects go on and on and on. Today I had "an incident" on one of my social pages. First, you must understand, I don't use social media very often. On this particular social page, I only have a very few contacts. They are all supposedly friends... and family. I have them as contacts because I feel I should be able to trust them.

Here's the story...

I innocently shared an article from the news because it was something I was interested in and something I felt like sharing. As I said, I seldom post anything on social media and when I do it is something important to me in some way... big or small. I didn't expect anyone to bother with a response, although one or two might "thumbs up" it. I shared it, not for anyone but myself. Within a few minutes, I had someone respond with "Who cares?"

"Who cares?" How completely rude! How utterly hurtful! And from someone I considered a friend. Doubly hurtful then.

Rudeness abounds on the internet and particularly on social media, which is why I seldom use it. Usually it's trolls who are rude to complete strangers. Their goal is to incite an argument so that they can be rude to even more people. They think this might make them "famous". I pretty much ignore trolls because I don't believe in giving them what they want, but now and then I will speak out, if the situation warrants it.

But this wasn't a troll... this was someone I trusted, someone I thought cared about me. And that "who cares?" hurt deeply. What the article was about and what the rest of the comment was is neither here nor there. "Who cares?" cut deeply. It was rude, uncalled for, hateful... and aimed directly at me. Because that's the nature of "who cares?" It's like saying "who cares what you think?" or "who cares about you?" It's like saying "your opinions or ideas are completely worthless". And not one other so-called "friend" stepped up and said "that's just wrong". Not one. Which validated the "who cares?" and said it was okay.

Now, before you say I'm far too sensitive, let me put this same situation in the real world.
You're at a gathering with family and friends and someone brings up a news topic. Everyone around that person is listening. Then, out of nowhere, one of them says "who cares?" Is that not rude? Yes, it is. It is unacceptably rude (unless you're from an area where everyone treats everyone else with compete and utter disrespect). Everyone within earshot at that party would likely stop to stare and at least one would say "that's rather rude, don't you think?" or words to that effect. That's the real world. A world that is becoming more and more intolerant of abuse and bullying.
But on social media people are more apathetic (or is it pathetic?). Rudeness is accepted as normal more often than not. Bullying and abuse abound... and people seldom defend anyone, although there are some who defend the abused. But ponder this... just as in the real world, when we say nothing, we are telling the bully (because that's what it is, after all) that what they've said is okay. But worse than that, we are telling the person being bullied that she or he is worthless and that she or he deserves to be spoken to in that manner. And that isn't okay.

So I'm quitting that social media page. I don't need that sort of hurt in my life. The people there know where I am. Everyone else can read me here or on my other blogs. I hope you ponder what I've said, take it to heart, and help to bring change about. Because the world needs us all to bring more peace, more love, more hope, more magic, more art, more good... and to defeat bullying, abuse, fear, war, and paranoia.

No comments:

Post a Comment