People on the internet can be so mean. Some hide behind an anonymous name to make nasty comments-- and once you don't have to actually stand behind your opinion, the internet becomes a free-for-all. (This is one of the reasons Youtube has begun encouraging users to use their full name recently.)
Last night and today in particular I've seen way too much negativity online. People jumping all over one another on Facebook (and this is non-anon!) calling each other names and implying the ignorance of the OP in other ways. It's pretty awful, and I'm overwhelmed by all this anger and bitterness. And with all this, I'm not even talking about the "cyber bullying" that is going down among our youth--which is, of course, even worse.
A long time ago I mentioned trying to spread positivity online. Well, I still think it's something we should be actively doing. We need to make the good outweigh the bad!
Here are some of my suggestions:
- If you're looking at a photo of someone and you think they look beautiful, or they have a great outfit on, a friendly smile, or whatever--tell them so.
- If someone posts something that you find beautifully poetic, a wonderfully composed image, or something that educated you in a way you didn't expect--thank them for sharing.
- If a joke or a photo makes you think of someone and smile--share it with them.
There are tons of other things you can do, too. When you see an internet argument, don't jump in and add fuel to the fire. It is possible to have a discussion that respects everyone's ideas and viewpoints, but on the internet they seem few and far between. When you don't have all the facts about a situation, try not to make snap judgements. It's always better to ask for clarification then to misunderstand.
The internet doesn't have to be such a negative place. (And neither does the world...but let's take this one step at a time, shall we?)
PS: Feel free to share this post and encourage positivity! And be sure to comment back if you take on this experiment yourself, or have any other suggestions.