People are difficult. Inherently difficult, I'd say. Not only are we all stuck between the blinders of our experience and our beliefs, but we're all the teensiest bit self-righteous. And nowhere does that come out more than on the Internet, where anonymity protects everyone while simultaneously giving them the right to vilify anyone else.
Recently, Jenna Marbles posted a video talking about sluts. I've seen people yelling at her and condemning her for slut shaming, getting mad at each other for saying things like, "But sex should be meaningful," and just generally losing their heads entirely. Let me say here and now that I am not writing this to get involved in that discussion. I plan to stay far, far away from it, and the reason is this.
I am so tired of people on the Internet.
Don't get me wrong - I like people, and I like the Internet. But it seems as though there's a controversial flare-up every day, even every hour, where people yell at each other about mistakes that have been made or phrases that have been used, about any issue that comes up, about anything they can think of, and I'm tired of it.
Do I think people should be treated fairly, justly, and equally? Of course I do.
Do I think that hurting animals is wrong? Of course I do.
Do I think it's unfair to judge people about anything and everything? Of course I do.
But it's getting to the point where there's so much anger and backlash to any opinion anyone gives, ever, that I don't want to be involved anymore. I thought about responding to the Jenna Marbles video controversy, but as soon as I realized the inevitable criticism I would get no matter what I said, I stopped. If I said, "She's totally slut-shaming! You should be able to have sex with whoever you want whenever and have it be fine!" then people would say I was saying that because I'm a slut and don't want to feel bad about it. If I said, "I totally agree with her! Girls should stop dressing slutty and sleeping with whomever!" then I would get called out for slut-shaming and keeping women's rights in the dark ages.
There is no way to be right on the Internet - and that's exhausting.
Every time I want to make a video or write a blog post, I have to think about its implications. I'm beginning to think that anything I say will get the comment equivalent of a scorpion sting. I know that people are allowed their opinions as I am mine, but the sheer number of opposing opinions and their overwhelming speed means that I feel like I've been stripped of my right to a public opinion. People are constantly trying to change not only others' opinions, but also their feelings, and that's a) tiresome and b) nearly impossible.
My friend Trey is a devout Catholic and I am an Atheist, but every time we've spoken about religion it's been calm, drama-free, and interesting. I like talking to him about it because it helps me feel out my beliefs or lack thereof and it gives me insight into why he thinks the way he does. Neither of us hates the other or tries to change the other, but we know that we think differently. And we're fine with it!
I want that kind of relationship with the Internet. If I say something dumb/inflammatory, I want to know about it, but I want to know about it in a reasonable way, e.g. "Hey, I see why you think that Obama's awesome, but I disagree for these reasons." Then I say, "Well, I'm still happy I voted for him because of X, Y and Z," and they say, "Okay, no worries. I preferred Romney!" and I say, "Okay!" and then we merrily go our separate ways.
This probably can't happen online. There are too many people, too many age levels, and too many trolls all milling about in the same place. I know we can't escape it, but I wish with all my heart that we could co-exist and disagree without winding ourselves up in indignation, self-righteousness, or rudeness.
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