Occasionally I post comments on a local news station message board. I find that the majority of the posters there are little more than lightweight cyber-bullies.
If you do not agree with them politically, or on anything, for that matter, then you are subjected to what some call
“adult conversation” but what I call rude remarks.
They are trigger happy when it comes to biting “sarcasm” – again, a cover for plain old rudeness. They say “I don’t sugar coat, I say it like it is, no boring mamby pamby daycare talk from me!”
Well, I don’t know – I was always taught that adults were supposed to control their tongues. Is being polite boring? Actually, it takes a lot more thought to formulate a strong response devoid of churlishness. Is being rude the only acceptable way to disagree?
One discussion centered around the controversial Gardasil vaccine. There are some very good arguments for not having your child vaccinated, but the only consistent response from the pro-Gardasil people were comments like “paranoid, ignorant, ill-informed.” Not only were these comments on the thread in question, but one poster worked her so-called “adult conversation” into totally irrelevant topics, just to dig at one particular person who was not in favor of Gardasil shots for young girls.
And forget about politics. If you are not 100% in support of Barack Obama or the Democrats in general, you are beyond moronic, and you must of course be in love with George W. Bush. There is no middle ground; the line between intelligence and stupidity stops with Barack Obama.
Before anyone thinks that I lay this rudeness solely at the feet of liberals, think again – I have cringed at the remarks many a conservative has made as well. Christians are prone to just as much rudeness and ignorance as atheists and agnostics…pro-lifers vs. pro-choicers….young earth creationists vs. any form of evolutionist.
It seems that the basic response in humans is to lash out rather than discuss something controversial without insults.
And what about this – a poster who is known to be ultra-conservative posts a more neutral discussion topic. One of the ultra-liberals skilled at being obnoxious declares something along these lines: “Finally, So-and-So posted something intelligent! I think I’m going to choke.”
Please tell me how that is “adult conversation.” Adult conversation would be “Finally, So-and-So posted something we can agree on!”
Being rude and hurtful is not “adult.” It’s worse than childish, because children at least are not expected to know better. Responding to others with insults displays a lack of intellect as well as poor breeding.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, nouQraz