Internet Abuse: Is the web your soapbox?

A perspective on the people we love to hate online and the new,
modern problem of too many opinions and feelings

How many “friends” have you blocked lately? It’s the simplest, yet most overlooked solution to the annoyances of overly dramatic outcries and personal platforms shared on social media. People are quick to offer up several thumb scrolls of rants and counter rants.

While we do agree that people have the right to voice their opinions, and we do not hold anything against those who do, some people just downright abuse the opportunity. Here are some of these types to look out for when you’re scrolling through your feed.

The Armchair Activist
How can you stand with a cause when you’re just sitting down and staring at your phone? These are the people who jump on a new cause every day. Some new trending topic or hashtag to make them feel like they’re a part of something bigger, when really they’re just not original and unmotivated to help with anything. They urge people to be aware and help with a cause, but you never really see them actually getting involved. they just share and reblog their way through life. They’re quick to share a GoFundMe page for every cause under the sun, but you’ve seen them not leave a tip before, so you know they aren’t shelling out the big bucks to help anyone anywhere.

 

The Local News Station Commenter
Now, everyone enjoys the local nightly news, but if you’ve ever had the displeasure of checking out a station’s Facebook page, you’ll know exactly what I mean. News stations have a new tactic of making their own click-baiting articles, and who loves clickbait more than all of the rejects you went to highschool with? News stations are really great at bringing bigots out of the woodwork, and until they find a better way to attract page hits with actual decent content and coverage, it looks like your friend’s racist aunt and someone you used to work with are willing to widely publicize their homophobic philosophies. Some are there to misquote the Constitution and some are just there to post memes and stir up more bullshit. No matter what the reason for being there, they’re all a mess.

 

The “Not Your Cause”
There’s a big difference in being an ally and making something all about you … and these people seem to miss that part of it. They are quick to comment on a post with something like “All Lives Matter,” and just ignore whatever valid point someone was trying to say by making it their issue. They’re also a big fan of the phrase “That’s just how I was raised.” They don’t understand why people get so mad at their ignorant memes on Facebook because they mean well, but they’re just too stupid to realize that everyone else despises and resents their views.

 

People Who Are Offended at People Being Offended
This could be the pot calling the kettle black as I’m sitting here writing this article. The people who get mad about Christians being mad about Starbucks Christmas cups when they haven’t even seen a single post about them. The people who don’t understand what black people are so mad about. The people who ask what someone was wearing when they were raped. The victim blamers and shamers. The people who find it so hard to step outside themselves and see things from someone else’s perspective.
Maybe that’s the problem here. We so often look for things to be offended by, that we can’t step outside ourselves and think about the bigger picture. In the end — it’s not just about us. It’s a whole world of others and things that offend them as well. So before you share something or say something that could offend others, maybe think about why you feel you need to say something in the first place. Wouldn’t the world be a little better if one less offensive meme or negative vibe was put out there? Is it really so bad to think about your actions before taking them? Or are you just another one of the ones offended by people being offended? Perhaps just save the Facebook arguments for another day and go have an actual, open-minded discussion.

Written by

Brittany Purvis was born in Mobile, Alabama and came to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for school. She fell in love with the charm of the Hub City and made it her new home. When she’s not performing stand up comedy across the Gulf Coast, she can be found at her home watching documentaries on Netflix or in the kitchen baking. She enjoys a good antiquing adventure to add to her collection of knick knacks and kitsch. She has no children, much to the chagrin of her family, but she does have three perfect cats and a pretty wonderful boyfriend. She is a firm believer in the Oxford comma. See what she’s up to on Instagram and Twitter @luckierthanthou.

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