Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sad Face

The internet makes me sad.  Okay, not the internet itself, just the parts where there are people on it. I stopped going on forums years ago because the people who weren't being depressingly stupid were being stupidly mean.  So I focused on book sites, blogs of people I respect, geeky news, comics, and whatever interesting non-anonymous user driven content I could find.

But those have all started to fill up with stupid and mean too.  Every time I  switch pages there are angry blog posts, or linked articles about some absolutely horrible cyber bullying, confused comments, depressing internet news stories, and people I respect being textually bashed around for doing whatever it is they do.  Every disagreement has turned into a huge, rage fueled fight with many of us looking on in bewilderment.

What the hell happened to "live and let live"?  If you don't like what someone does, says, thinks, makes, or likes you can either come up with something productive to say or JUST NOT ENGAGE THEM.  Go to a different website. Don't read their posts. Stop watching their videos.  Don't support their fundraiser.  Unfollow them on twitter. (But don't announce it.  That's tacky, and a great way to sound immature.  'I'm taking my ball and going home').  You would think this would be easier on the internet, since there are a million other digital places for you to frequent, and an almost zero chance of "running into" someone and it being all awkward.  But even in the real world, the best way to deal with someone you just don't like is to avoid them.

Instead of civil detachment or  reasonable criticism, what I am seeing is people making personal attacks, threatening, raging in disgust using foul and offensive language (and I am not easily offended), and people taking intense personal offense to something that was put out there for the entire world.  Of course there are things you will disagree with.  And of course there will be things that you think are not worth your time.  SO DON'T GIVE IT YOUR TIME!  Walk away.  Do something else. Let these people and the people who agree with them go about their business while you smugly find people and places more to your clearly refined sense of taste.  Or criticize if you want.  That's okay too.  But you can  criticize the work, or post  thoughtful counterpoints to an opinion without resorting to personal, non related attacks.  " I don't really like this.  The ______ was completely terrible."  is a perfectly valid thing to say.  A comment like, "Why did you waste my time with this $#!*, you &#(% c*@#$/!@.  You should be put down! " not only invalidates your stance on the work, but also your standing as a remotely decent human being.  Also, responding in kind to comments like that doesn't help you look heroic, but merely on the other side of a completely ridiculous argument.

Women in gaming is not new, and them wanting a little more consideration from the industry will not end your little basement/man-cave world.  Female creators of geeky things *coughFeliciaDaycough* are not out to offend you personally with their ability to achieve something cool in a male dominated culture.  Bad book reviews have always happened, and will always happen, and its not a personal attack.  On the other side of that one, if you don't like a book (or movie, or game, or fuzzy squirrel hat), that's fine.  It's even fine to say so.  But you don't need to act like the creator put this horrible thing in the world just to make your life a living hell.  I am not going to get into the fact that all of the vileness I have seen recently has been directed at women.  That might be another post. I'm just mad about this kind of behavior, no matter who it is directed at!

The really stupid part is that this is all essentially completely frivolous stuff.  I'm not even getting into equality, politics, world hunger, or the environment!  All of which have similar issues with reasonable discourse, but at least those things actually have real world impact.

Get over it.  Get over yourself.  Find something productive to do with your life, because tearing other people down is not going to get you to the top.

Edit:  It occurs to me that this rant is somewhat related to my previous post about religious differences. I really should stop being surprised at this crap.  Or stop interacting with people.   Either or.

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