I owe my inspiration for this post to Shae @ C’est La Vie, after I read an honest and intelligent post on her blog about the acceptance speech that Jodie Foster made at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
So thanks, Shae....x
Unfortunately I didn’t see the Golden Globes this year, but was able to catch Foster's speech over at You Tube after I read Shae's post.
Allow me to preface here by saying that this post is not about my feelings on Jodie Foster's speech, but rather about the manner in which many of the comments left by several people were expressed on You Tube.
I don’t know how much time you spend on You Tube, but I spend a lot there, researching video clips for my blog or simply watching episodes of old TV shows that I enjoy. And what continues to shock me are the comments left by individuals that are outright cruel. You know, I often wonder if these same individuals would have the courage to say these things if they didn’t have the Internet to separate them from saying it face to face.
Out of all the places I visit on the Internet, You Tube by far, contains some of the vilest comments I have ever laid eyes on. I’ve read comments over there that have been so hateful, they have literally brought tears to my eyes because I didn’t think anyone could be THAT cruel. And many of these comments were left on videos that had absolutely no controversial theme whatsoever.
The comments were left to be mean.
There have been times when I’ve watched video clips in which someone made a home video of themselves, playing a musical instrument or singing a song, and the comments left below said things like…
“YOU TOTALLY SUCK!”
“Whoever told you that you could sing was DEAF!”
I mean, why would someone choose to say something like that?
Listen, I adore the Internet. But in many ways it has enabled people to carelessly spew their bitter venom, while anonymously hiding behind a screen. I also think that the Internet has slowly begun to numb us to the fact that in spite of all its wonderful assets, if we're not careful, we can forget that we’re talking to real people.
One of the most valuable and important things I have learned from blogging is that written words have POWER – whether they be in an email, a comment, or a blog post.
Words are not something we should carelessly type onto a page without any concern. Words contain energy, which have the ability to make someone FEEL something. They can be used in an honest yet positive way, or they can be used to simply sting.
I am in no way saying that we cannot disagree with what someone else has written. But I feel that we do have an obligation to share our opinions in a conscious manner. There have many times when I have strongly disagreed with someone else’s viewpoint, but I have never expressed my own viewpoint in a nasty or hurtful way.
In the six years that I've been blogging, there have been only a few occasions when a reader has left nasty and hurtful comments here, which I deleted and then requested that they never return to this blog.
Yes, I believe in the freedom of speech and that we all have the right to express our viewpoints honestly, but not at the cost of hurting someone – with no reason other than to be cruel.
So for all those people out there on the Internet, who sit behind their computer screens and spend hours leaving their toxic verbal waste all over cyberspace, I say to you…
Take responsibility for your words, by pausing a moment to read them before you hit the publish button.
And then ask yourself…
If these words were said to me, how would they make me feel?
Wishing you a beautiful weekend everyone!