Monday, January 27, 2014

The culture of cowardice...blame social media.

Okay, I am in my late 40s, so I may just be turning into that old man yelling at kids to stay off his lawn, but honestly, I think that the social media is turning society into selfish drones who spout off an overabundance of hatred and vitriol.

Back "in the day" if you ran your mouth enough, somebody would eventually come along and smack it shut. These days, most people sit safely ensconced behind a keyboard where they can pound away in relative anonymity. This has built a sense of false security for far too many people who, if face-to-face with the people that they so easily deride and talk trash about, would sit in a corner with their mouths shut tight.

Perhaps you have heard about it, or perhaps not. A good example is the "Richard Sherman" situation. He sent his team to the Super Bowl with a tipped pass that was intercepted by a team mate. He did this in coverage against a person who he does not care for, but still went up to post game/play and gave him a pat. Now, maybe he said "good game" or maybe he said something inflammatory. The end result was he got shoved in the face by that player. Seconds later, the sideline reporter shoved a microphone in Sherman's face. Now, if you have never been part of a physical sport like football, you have no idea what goes on, what is said DURING the game. There is a degree of intimidation and verbal sparring that takes place. You are jacked up...especially if you just beat your most hated rival in a game that gives you a chance to play in the biggest sporting event in the world. So, yeah, Sherman was at full volume and had words for his opponent. What followed was an embarrassment as people took to the social media to sling racial slurs and talk about something that they know nothing about.

And it happens all the time. Cyber bullying has caused children to end their lives. Review sites are now awash with "trolls" whose sole purpose is to spew negativity (often at the behest of a rival author who feels threatened). People prowl the social media searching for somebody to knock down because they know they are safe from a good, old-fashioned ass kicking. And while I am not trying to promote physical violence as a response to words...I do believe that people have simply become too accustomed to being able to hide behind their keyboards and say whatever they feel like.

My advice, imagine those words you are slinging being said to your son, daughter, husband, or wife. And if it still does not bother you, then you are probably a sociopath and think it is okay to torture animals...


  1. My husband played sports at that level; and he said the same thing he said the heat of the moment; ppl don't understand, and from what i've seen even the sports commentators, who should know seem to be trying to fan those flames? Just trying to feed the news beast. Hate and intolerance seems to sell...

  2. On every mmo I've ever been on there has always been a troll.. or twenty. I've asked many people what the reasons behind trolling are. Believe it or not, almost every single person I asked said they troll simply to cause a reaction. That's it. Good or bad, as long as they can get people to react, they've accomplished what they set out for.

    Maybe they do not feel accomplished in life. Maybe they are lonely. Maybe someone bullied them and they felt validation by taking their anger out on others... I don't know. I do know it is something they feel they can do, must do, and should do. Why we have allowed society to reach this point is the question that worries me.

    In the end, I suppose it is like asking why people are people and getting answers like, "The spoon made me fat. The games made me violent. The bully made me do it." For some people those reasons not only seem logical, they honestly believe that those reasons ARE the answers. No more, no less.