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I was reading an article on a humor website the other day and stumbled into the comments section because I’m a glutton for punishment. When did people become so fucking sensitive?! Half of the comments were from thin-skinned folks defending their own life choices because (I guess) they felt personally attacked by the author’s piece. This is why I hate so much of the Internet. Every time somebody writes something funny or thought provoking, the comments section devolves–almost immediately–into a bunch of idiots defending themselves against imagined slights. No intelligent discourse can take place when people are so busy nailing themselves to crosses in the comments section. Can nobody take a Goddamn joke anymore?

I’m running into this more and more, on Facebook especially, and it’s really starting to wear on me. I cracked wise about someone ordering a veggie burger and non-alcoholic beer on burger-and-beer night at my favorite local gastropub and the first thing anyone said was, “Well maybe she was pregnant!” First off, I never revealed the gender of the person ordering those items, so sexism is alive and well. Second, who the fuck cares? It’s hilarious that some nitwit went to a place that SPECIALIZES in beer and burgers and ordered basically the most pathetic pairing on the menu. Why do we have to care about the back story of every single person around us? Whatever happened to making a witty observation, having a giggle, and getting on with our lives? Why are people taking so many things personally?

I have a theory, natch. My theory is that people are inherently self-centered (myself included) and can’t help but take everything personally. Especially if it concerns decisions they made but maybe aren’t fully comfortable with. How else can you explain how insanely defensive people get in response to blogs and op-eds? The post I read suggested (facetiously, might I add, because it was on a humor website) that people should get a special license to drive an SUV, not unlike getting a motorcycle license. The comments section was brimming with people crying, “But *I* can drive *my* SUV! WHAT ABOUT ME?!” Uh, then you’d have no problem passing the pretend driving test? I don’t know, man, maybe relax a bit. Unless you’re secretly insecure about your driving…

In my adult life, I have chosen to hold off on being offended except in extreme and/or obviously personal situations. So when I read the inevitable opinion online that “Women with tattoos are trashy,” or “People who don’t want kids are selfish,” or “People who use vulgar language are desperate for attention”… I shrug it off. I don’t get into an argument online about it. It’s never about me; it’s just strangers on the Internet expressing their opinions. Maybe I think their opinions are shitty, but whose mind am I going to change by responding in all caps that I have tattoos and am not trashy?

I wish people would be more introspective. Maybe think about WHY they’re having such a visceral reaction and addressing it internally instead of firing a stream of grammatically incorrect, unbridled hatred on a total stranger.

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