Isn’t it wonderful that we can live in a place where everyone can say what we feel? But as most social media users know, blogging has a dark side too. Without touching on how bots stir-up anger, having the ability to be a faceless user hidden behind a computer has opened the doors for many people to insult others with no recourse. Disagreement and discussion are part of engaging in conversation, be it virtual or face-to-face, but being able to hide our identity has taken away common civilized expectations of human behavior. Just because someone disagrees with an opinion or idea or does things a little differently does not mean they are a horrible person. Just because someone is different it does not mean it is acceptable to be rude to that person.
I expected blogging to have its ups and down, but nothing prepared me for what I would learn as a blogger, especially when I mention anything about motherhood or politics. Fellow social media users have been called me a horrible mother, shallow, and arrogant, and #Snowflake (being from Colorado and loving skiing, I am ok with that last one!). Everyone deserves to have an opinion, but has a faceless society made it ok to insult people we do not even know? My skin has grown extra tough as a blogger but that still does not mean I am not a little taken aback when I read a personal insult.
Like so many others, I love to write. Blogging brings out the best in people and the worst in people. But as a society, we cannot let a faceless public sphere override common decency. I disagree with some of the blogs I read, but that does not mean I hate the author. I think it is time in the maturity cycle of cyberspace blogging to move towards a more civilized, known conversation.
Blogs have done amazing things for our society; most importantly they have given everyone a voice. Put perhaps those faceless, angry voices may one day consider this: if you don’t have anything nice to say, do you really need to say it?