“Last night I’m walking home
And a homeless man says ‘hello’
With a smile to let me know
That he’s got a lotta’ hope
He says have faith, young man, we are fine
The world is kind, one small act at a time
Small acts we do together
Even though may be alone
Changes the world for the better
So we can call it home”
People in person are so, so, SO much kinder and more civil and open minded than people on social media. I don’t understand it. There is so much arguing and snippy comments even over petty stuff like a silly meme. I get more positive comments than unpleasant but I definitely get unkind messages/comments somewhat frequently sometimes and I see the pointless negative and mocking comments others receive. And the threads I see with people debating, almost always end up full of vicious insults and ridicule. It’s like people *look* for things to be angry and offended over these days, and go out of their way to be unkind to others online. Even just slightly negatively sarcastic comments are often slung online when they probably would be less likely in person because through a screen, we feel more bold with a degree of anonymity, or we see people as less human and less worthy of respect.
Would you all do this in person if it was all the same people but in each other’s faces without a screen as a protective barrier? I would think we would be embarrassed to act in person how we do online and should be embarrassed acting that way online too.
Recently I was out in person with a group of lgbtq people, who all just met each other, and it was so much a pleasant interaction talking about all kinds of stuff, lgbtq related and not, even a couple of debates where some disagreed with others, that I realized even more how very toxic social media can be because of how people choose to use it. On social media we want to jump down each other’s throats then use our big bad blocking power to ultimately put them in their place after chewing them out.
The conversation I had with people in person are some of the very same I have/see online and it was a totally different experience in person, much more pleasant and a deeper sense of connection. I missed it and haven’t experienced it in so long.
It was like a “breath of fresh air” to be able to chat, laugh, joke about things that online would have triggered unnecessary insults, negative tones, ignorant comments, people blocking. And there was no exclusion or judging, just a bunch of people accepting and understanding each other completely.
The scary thing is though, these keyboard warriors and anonymous a$$holes online are real people who exist and they must be somewhere in person so where are they? Are they pretending to be kind in person because they don’t have the nerve to act how they do online? Or maybe they just stay in being all “bad” online and never showing their faces for real. Not sure, but I can say the in person world is a much friendlier place than social media world.
This morning I woke up to an online lgbtq debate by people at each other’s throats, slinging insults and accusations and ridiculing each other, even people on the “same side” just because of how something was worded or a minor disagreement on something else. When I was out with people in person recently, we had this same discussion/debate that I saw here and not once did anyone insult each other or ridicule each other or get snippy. No one scoffed at each other and there were no laughing emojis as a tool to use invalidation and ridicule as abuse.
It was just a totally safe space and a feeling of togetherness.
Everyone offered their own views and experiences and were all happy to hear the views/experiences of others.
Also, in person when talking to people we just meet, it’s easier to get an idea of the person’s character and tone and true intentions than through a screen. There was a debate that could have gotten ugly fast and if I was witnessing it/engaging in it online, I may have thought some people were the biggest a-holes and not have wanted to interact with them anymore but in person, we really see where the person is “coming from.” We can detect their tone and pick up on body language/energy, nuances, mannerisms to a greater extent than online. Not everyone is the d!ck we may think they are online, when we are face to face with them, in the flesh. It’s much easier to judge and dismiss online than in person. People’s intentions are definitely more obvious in person sometimes. And it’s easier to see them as human, as flesh and blood, as full of emotion, as a person with many different aspects. Online, it’s easier to think of them as just an online figure or “just some a$$” who lives across the country/world.
The internet, if not handled carefully, is a tool that can be used to dehumanize people.
So many online interactions end with people blocking and reporting each other’s accounts; our recent in person interaction ended with us making plans to meet up and all hang out again.
It reminds me of when people say they are in an abusive relationship/family/have sh!tty friends for so long and they finally get out and meet someone new who shows them how they really should be loved and that they are better than how they have been being mistreated. Most of my socialization and conversations and the ones I witness about lgbtq/political… issues are online. Getting back out in person reminded me how social interactions should be, not the abuse we endure online.
Social media is a great thing and allows us to do so much good and keep in touch with/meet people we never would without it but it’s so unfortunate how people misuse it to carry out abuse.
I suggest we all be more kind in person and online. And remember online people are real people, not just some online figures we can use as targets for abuse then go our merry way without a care in the world. Those thumbnail pictures we see and the usernames represent actual people with real lives and emotions.
And a reminder to people who have only/mainly social interactions online and encounter much hostility, it’s not an accurate reflection of the outside world! People are generally kind. It’s just the internet tends to bring out people who choose to be unpleasant in interacting with others and allows them to feel less awkward being unnecessarily unkind.
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim 💜🏳️🌈