News stories come and go – and for the most part, I barely read any of them. The issue with the county clerks in Kentucky is one that I have peeked in on over the last three days. I am quite glad that the proper administrative and political process are being put into motion by the Kentucky state and county governments. But what’s really caught my attention is the commentary that runs at the end of most stories. Most comment sections tend to be a place where people voice outrageous opinions – comfortable in the fact that they are protected by the anonymity and distance that the internet provides. And when the commenters tend to attract someone in opposition to their original point – the heat and fervor of their rhetoric gets ratcheted up even further. Which fuels the other side of the argument to be just as grandiose — and you get the picture. Apparently the “winner” in these internet slugfests is the one that can come up with the most outrageous insults – personal and otherwise – without getting their comments banned by whatever news outlet had set the story out on their platform.
What a tiring and ridiculous pile of bullshit. The back and forth exchange – while originally amusing – really gets to be a wearisome process to even be a spectator to. And in a very quick fashion. As I have said before, I have never claimed any aspect of being an empath – but sometimes I wonder. What does any of that really solve? Not much. Apparently, according to some of my more psychology oriented friends, its a form of an ego boost. I certainly don’t understand that either, but they are the ones studying the behaviors of people. I’ll take them at their word for the time being.
I mean, seriously, how many people have had their opinion changed by some political meme that is posted on Facebook? I’d submit that its fairly close to zero. And hey – I’ve posted some political memes in my time. I wasn’t trying to change anyone’s opinion, merely sharing something that I personally found amusing or ironic. I certainly wasn’t trolling for a fight of any sort.
We talk – within the blogosphere and the Facebook status environments, that there are all kinds of problems in the world. Climate change, political this, political that – but we essentially dance around the real issue: we have essentially abandoned rational, critical, and KIND communication with others, and have reached towards a perspective where we go out of our way to insult, cajole, and troll people into a back-and-0forth that serves no other purpose than to sling those insults in the most hateful manner we can. I have posted this before…more than once. But Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead was so seriously on target at the last “Fare Thee Well” concert in Chicago earlier this Summer:
The feeling we have here – remember it, take it home and do some good with it. l leave you with this: Please, be kind.
My biggest concern now is not so much that we do not treat one another kind – rather its a concern of how did we get here in the first place? After that, I have to wonder how we change things? I already have that answer: one person at a time.