Sunday, February 4, 2007

Mean people suck

One of the bloggers I follow has closed comments on a recent post because she's been receiving some very harsh comments and personal attacks because of part of what she'd written. I'll admit that I had left a comment saying that I didn't like the tone of the post, but I think I did it respectfully - she must have thought so too because she vetted and posted my remark. Another blogger had written bitterly about a former employer and was attacked via comments - assumably not by the employers or anyone who knows them. That blogger chose to moderate all comments on her blog, after deleting the attack. The similar thing that happened to me was an online conversation in which the discussion turned from cooking sweet potatoes into a personal attack on me. I ultimately deleted the thread.

Why do people do this? I've been wondering since running into the mean girls in fourth grade (and running into them, and into them, and into them... for five years). In grammar school I can understand it being about power and anger (at the same time that I don't understand it), but why does it happen online? Why would people forget their manners and write things that they would never say? And if they're the kind of people who say nasty things, why are they like that?

Actually the real question I have is, Why does this happen at all? Yet, I think about my experience with someone about whom I cared very much, and I believe that that person's inward-directed anger and self-hatred boiled over onto whoever was standing closest... but without going into the details, I don't think that accounts for everyone. It couldn't be the cause for everyone - trust me.

Whenever someone is mean to me, honestly, my first reaction is, "ME? Why me? I haven't done anything to deserve this poor treatment!" Then my second reaction is to go over and over each interaction to see if indeed I have some responsibility for making the other person angry. I'll admit that I don't do right by everyone all the time, but sometimes it is just a mystery. Those people suck.

1 comment:

pj said...

I think it's like road rage. It's anger that maybe people can't seem to express at home, at work, face to face - so it comes out in anonymous places really easily. That is, I think people think they can get away with flaming other people. There will be no physical consequence, and they don't even have to take responsibility for drumming up a conflict. They can just disappear.

It may be as simple as a little kid burning ants with a magnifying glass. Why do they do it? They maybe don't fully understand that the depth of their destructive behavior.

Or maybe they are being assholes on purpose.

I hate that flamed feeling.