I was taught if you can’t say something nice about a person, don’t say anything at all. That rule of courtesy doesn’t always seem to apply for some when making comments online. I have noticed many people, who speak in the harshest of tone, don’t use their real name. I understand privacy is an online right, but what is alarming is how vicious and close-minded some of the statements are. If an individual feels they have the right to speak their minds, then they should be willing to identify themselves. Hiding behind a user name is an excuse to spew out vile, mean, and ridiculous comments that only serve to offend, ridicule, and make fun of people or situations.
What is interesting is the choice of some of these names. Some name themselves after places or feelings. Others use the names of fictional characters. Others pick descriptive phrases that pertain to an issue or situation. I am alarmed at what some of these hiders say when they are anonymous. It is an insight into what people really think in society. I don’t care that they have an opinion. It doesn’t bother me if they say something I don’t agree with. What I don’t like is the degree to which they will go to comment. Individuals will rip apart the appearance, ethnic, racial, religion, or sexual orientation of people involved in the topic. They will make hurtful or sarcastic remarks that have nothing to do with the issue being discussed. Some users will actually engage in online road rage and go back and forth with insults.
I have the choice not to read comments or participate in an online discussion. What I wonder is how many of these people are adults with children. Do they speak this way within earshot of their kids? Are they having discussions with other adults thinking that their children aren’t listening? Do they shout at the television or in the car when they see or hear something they don’t like? Do they insult others on a regular basis? Believe me, kids hear and see everything. You make think they aren’t listening, but those little ears are taking it all in.
I often tell my daughters that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and thoughts. What some people like, others will not. Everyone has the right to do what they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone. We often think about children and teenagers when discussing the topic of bullying. In reality, it is around us all every day. Society has to learn to listen, talk, share, and discuss issues without shouting, name-calling, and tearing into people with whom we disagree. So much more could be accomplished, and more people would exist in a happier environment. Try using your real name when making comments and it might make you think twice about what you really want to say.