Online abuse

Social media is a murky place at times. Even though I spend a fair amount of time on it both for pleasure (?) and work, I don’t often get trolled. Occasionally I do, admittedly in a very mild form. Even so it can be upsetting and I cannot begin to imagine how horrific it must be to be properly attacked.

Most of my spats occur over a difference in political opinion, not that there is much of that online. Many people I engage with have different opinions to me and it can be interesting to hear them, whether I agree with them or not. Even opinions I don’t agree with can get me thinking about my own views if they are constructed and argued well. Healthy political discussions are well… healthy.

What gets my goat everytime however, is when people throw in an abusive comment, even if it is mild, along the lines of I’m stupid, I know nothing or I need to get help, that kind of thing. I know lots, I’m not stupid and have all the help I need, thank you very much. 

I don’t know why they do it. Perhaps it makes them feel big by trying to make me feel small, though I suspect that it has more to do with them not liking my views and thinking it is a good way to shut me down. 

Being rude though, never wins an argument, certainly not with me. I find that such comments make me more determined to get my case across. Everytime I get such a rebuke, I always go back to them, making my views as clear as I can. I am always polite and never play them at their own game. Eventually, after a few back and forths they give up and I never hear from them again.

I’m not sure why I bother. I have never met these people and am unlikely ever to do so (i may have passed them in the street without knowing, such is social media). I guess it is part of my ocean-boiling ambition to make the world a more decent place, where civilised conversations and disagreements can be had without recourse to personal or physical abuse.

Last night I had a couple. I suspect I have some way to go.

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