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Can We Try And Be Positive?

Updated on August 18, 2018

Would This Work To Stop Internet Trolls?


Friendly Discourse Is One Thing. Don't Be Mean.

I've noticed something lately on social media.

Maybe it's the people out there in the wild, posting their opinions and feeling invulnerable behind their device screens or computer keyboards, but I've noticed that there is an increasing number of people who are trying to take others down a peg or two instead of trying to elevate them.

I just watched a rather cute kid on a video from Ellen DeGeneres, and she was there because she had responded in a very serious but cute way to her first glimpse of the portrait of Michelle Obama. The kid was adorable. She wasn't there to recite the States in backward alphabetical order, and she wasn't there to demonstrate her Picasso-like ability to paint. She was there because she was captured in a moment that went viral.

One of the comments that had somehow made its way to the top of the comments chain said words to the effect that all Ellen wanted on her show were no talent kids and "the word is out."

People don't have debates on social media anymore. Look at the political landscape through a social media lens. It used to be that you simply could not discuss politics because that was not what you did in polite company. Perhaps people should start re-adopting that posture, as the insults that shoot back and forth when people disagree with what you've posted are often nothing short of disgusting. How we treat each other online often reminds me of the moments in the zoo when the monkeys become agitated and start flinging their excrement at each other. I've taken to either hiding the posts that pop up for whatever reason or simply deleting them altogether.

I am absolutely no saint when it comes to disagreeing with someone online, in that I have been known to engage in debates and discussions at times. I have, however, tried to be respectful of the fact that the other person is a human being and is deserving to be heard rather than cursed at or had their intelligence questioned - and I've seen both of these things occur. I've had occasions when I have gone in and tried to debate issues about whatever subject at hand. I have had occasions where I've done nothing more than ask someone a question about what they've posted and been quite plainly insulted in reply.

Men and women alike will post pictures of themselves where they feel they look good or even great and while they receive a fair bit of positive encouragement, there is always a troll, lurking in the bushes and waiting for their moment to just completely gut the person in question.

I'm tired of trolls.

I'm tired of negative energy.

So why don't I stay off social media? "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen," right?

As ridiculous as this sounds, given I am but one writer/teacher/mom of two girls, I try very, very hard to post positive things on my social media profiles. The times I've complained, it's because I've seen something that I want to somehow try to change for the better, even if that means that I'm trying to raise awareness that there's a problem in the first place.

I try to raise awareness about issues that people may not know about.

I try to post cute pictures of kids or animals, or even videos of kids and animals because that's how I roll. I'm exceedingly grateful that I have many friends that feel the same way, and I have found many of their posts funny, uplifting or even just plain interesting.

I have had just about enough of the people that have decided they are so joyless that they have to impress upon others just how joyless they are.

It's a concept that would never even cross my radar. Sure, I have moments where I have a healthy pity party about whatever curveball life has thrown my way, and I am almost positive that I am not alone in being crusty with whoever may have aggravated me in the moment, but to be deliberately spiteful just because I can?

I guess I just don't understand what there is to be gained by being deliberately mean or even cruel to others.

I hope I never do.


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