Social media has become a massive part of the lives of many people. I quite often hear the question, ‘Twitter or Facebook?’ A few years ago I would have looked at the questioner as if they needed mental health care for asking such a seemingly stupid question. Now I don’t even blink before answering “Facebook.”
Answering Facebook immediately marks me down as being less posh and more working class that a Twitter user. “Oh! My twitter was going mad last night.” is a comment I’ve heard more than one occasion and on more than one occasion it’s made me titter like a schoolboy. Oo-er missus, how’s yer twitter tonight?
I like Facebook. I like the fact that it keeps me in touch, if only in a tiny way, to people I would otherwise have lost touch with completely, people we have met on holiday, distant family, dog club friends and so on. I like the jokes, the platitudes and the photographs, it makes me feel connected.
It seems to be turning into a repository for posts about lost dogs, cats and kids, a selling forum. Recently though I’ve noticed that Facebook is taking a more sinister turn, into a lion’s den into which the accused, guilty or not are thrown in to be mauled without mercy. It seems to me that anyone who feels they have been wronged in any way thinks it’s ok to potentially destroy the life of another person. “Share the hell out of this and make the bastard’s life a misery!” “Who knows this person? Let’s name and shame them.”
Only yesterday a very nice person, a dog trainer, put on a post about how a puppy had turned up in her class after having previously been to a trainer who’s training methods were at best questionable. The point of her post being that the puppy now has issues it didn’t have before and has lost it’s trust in humans and that positive training methods are the best training methods. It’s an emotive issue, I totally get that. Animal cruelty, or indeed any kind of cruelty, I find abhorrent.
While the person who posted about the incident kept it factual and civilised the number of people who jumped onto the bandwagon with suggestions that the other trainer be publicly shamed, victimised and even physically attacked really shocked me. A long stream of comments become more and more abusive as they day went on. It quickly turned into an angry and abusive mob. All of these people with such strong feelings should be contacting the proper authorities if they have genuine concerns but instead they choose to mouth off instead.If only this was an isolated incident but it’s far from it.
It seems to be becoming socially acceptable to behave like a thug online. To attack, insult, hurt, argue and generally make the life of another person a misery and potentially destroy them. A forum that I’m certain was built with with nothing but good intentions has turned into a platform in which the worst of human nature comes to the fore at the touch of a keypad. It saddens and sickens me.
One of these previously mentioned platitudes turned up the other day asking how you would explain to an alien visiting our planet that we have a resource that gives us the knowledge of the whole world at our fingertips and yet we use it to look at cute and funny pictures of cats and get into arguments with total strangers. Food for thought.
What are your thoughts?