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Monday, March 4, 2013

Meanness - a mini rant

I was watching "Downton Abbey" the other day - well, my wife and I have been watching it almost solidly for the last week or so - we are halfway through the current season.

Aren't you amazed at how plain old mean Thomas is? Mrs. O'Brian is sneaky, conniving and disagreeable, but she at least seems to have a heart.  Thomas, on the other hand, takes delight in his meanness.

(Unrelated, I don't think I would be comfortable with someone dressing me, although it would be nice to have someone put my shoes and socks on for me. What would that title be?  A Footman? hahahahaha. I crack me up)


Thinking about Mean Thomas somehow lead me to think about the meanness of today's online culture.  I've been noticing how verbally ugly and snarky people are on the internet - I don't mean the good snark either - the kind of snark where people are good naturedly sarcastic (you know, how I think I am), but the kind of snark where people are negatively and maliciously mean - using their words to hurt people. I see some of it on Twitter, in 140 character bursts (and do you not understand that when you make pointed comments about someone, they can see them, or is that what you are going for?) I think that Facebook lends itself more to out and out nastiness, though. Maybe it is because there isn't such a small limit on the number of words in a post.  I guess you have to be both clever and mean to do your damage on Twitter, while you can just bloviate on FB.

And have you ever read the comments after seemingly EVERY story posted!  I mean, some nasty stuff said!

I guess it is the relative anonymity of the internet, don't you think?  You can get on your computer, in your parents basement, in your boxers, with yesterdays spaghetti stains on your T-shirt and spew out whatever venom you want.

I've been really, really amazed at the nasty stuff that is posted about our politicians. There seems to be no repercussion to what people say, either.  I believe that a lot of what is said wouldn't be, if it had to be said face to face.  Of course, who hasn't hit the send button a half a second before your brain says "STOP, THINK"? I know I have.

So, what's my point?  Idunno.  As much as I (obviously) enjoy social networks, I really hate the way some folks use it.  As a weapon. To hurt people.

Oh, if I drank as much as the Downton Abbey folks do, I think I'd be in a stupor most of the time. I'd probably come to dinner in black tie instead of white!

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