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Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Why are people so mean to each other?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

People never cease to amaze me - unfortunately, they sometimes amaze me with their stupidity and ignorance. I am completely baffled at how people can be so cruel to each other on the Internet. I've operated BBS's / web sites for over twenty years, and it seems like the problem is quickly getting worse. In the early days, I don't recall seeing people online with such bad attitudes.

Are people really that mean and getting meaner, or is it just as more people go on the Internet there are more a**holes to be seen?

A few weeks ago, a friend passed away and I was reading the obituary online. I could not believe it when I read all of these rude comments posted throughout the obituary pages. Several messages were making fun of a last name, which is pretty childish. What kind of low life does it take to heckle at a funeral? I don't care how bad a person was in life, show some respect for the grieving families. (Of course, Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have set the record for being disrespectful at a funeral - but I won't "go there")

There have been three celebrity melt-downs last week as a direct result of comments made on Twitter. The first thing a good manager will tell you is, "Stay out of the newsgroups and don't read the tabloids!" That is very hard to do, especially if you are passionate about your work and want to be connected to your fans. I have no idea why someone would follow you on twitter if they don't like you, but I guess some people don't have any other hobbies.

I don't want to sound like Chris Crocker, but "Leave Martha ALONE!!!" Damn it folks - give Martha a break! She has gained a few pounds, but she works around food all day long. You are never supposed to reveal the true age of a woman, but she looks PHENOMENAL for her age! At her recent high school reunion it was obvious - her peers are all shrivelled up gray haired little old ladies. Martha is almost 70 (69 in August) and still works all day, every day. She works on her own farm, rides horses, hikes in the mountains, and gardens. Martha rules - so leave her alone! [For the record, I love shrivelled up gray haired little old ladies so I wasn't being mean - just trying to make a point...]

A strong storm came through last night and I was checking on the damages. Luckily, just a mobile home and a few chicken coops were damaged. At the bottom of the report, there were mean comments: "It should have hit and destroyed those drug selling devil worshippers and Rapists in ___ and ___ County... Any with the name ____ or ____..." Now how are you going to diss two whole counties of people like that???

Some people say folks are mean because they feel anonymous on the Internet. That sounds like a solid theory, but most of the people in my examples didn't use a pseudonym. I guess at least they were brave enough to use their real name.

Is the world really getting meaner - or is it just my imagination?

Next blog: How being nice can change the world!

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

P.S. Be nice!

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