Is social media becoming a mean place?

So we were having a discussion in the office this morning about how sometimes it’s frightening to just make a passing comment on social media about something that’s happening, without someone jumping down your throat.

And I don’t even mean anything controversial.

For instance, during the last tube strike I tweeted something like “Just the thought of tomorrow’s commute is giving me a headache.” Someone then decided to very helpfully tweet back “Use your legs, lazy Londoner” or words to that effect…

Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m sarcastic and even if you don’t, if you look back on previous tweets etc, knows I’m partial to a satirical quip.

Taylor Swift

Picture courtesy of YouTube

Now I know that in this day and age, people couldn’t care less about doing a bit of stalking research or even engaging in a thing called ‘having a sense of humour.’ Equally I know sarcasm isn’t easily conveyed online but it feels like Facebook and especially Twitter have become a breeding ground for spiteful, judgemental trolls.

People seem to think it’s fair game to have a pop at journalists in particular. At the end of the day, there is a real person behind the words and it’s about time, people started transferring some manners to the online world.

You wouldn’t tell someone on the tube that you hated their outfit.

You wouldn’t tell someone in the supermarket not to buy a microwave meal.

And you certainly wouldn’t just go up to someone and call them all the names under the sun.

So why do it elsewhere?

I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to their opinions, a bit of healthy debate is good for the soul apparently but to be outright mean or respond with “YOUR WRONG !!!” isn’t constructive nor grammatically correct…

Instagram appears to be one of the only platforms where people are actually nice to each other, to people they don’t even know, purely because they’ve stumbled across something through searching a tag.

Why fuel so much energy into being hateful? What do people actually get out of it? And why not actually explore the context around something first before commenting?

And if you can’t be bothered with that – if you’ve got no kind words to say, you should say nothing at all.