UNITED STATES—Have you ever had a feud on social media via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? The answer to that question is probably yes, but just because someone ignites a conversation with a stupid comment does not mean you have to reply?
But why are we innately born to do so as humans? The idea of defending ourselves is something that we take front and center. That’s the problem I have with the internet. It seems likely every website you visit nowadays gives the public the opportunity to comment on things. You might post a comment, and soon after someone replies to your comment saying something super ignorant or rude in nature.
Your first instinct is to respond because you’re horrified by what you’re reading. Second, you take offense to something the person has posted; likely disagreeing with your assertion. Three, the person responds back to your negative comments with an even harsher comment and a firestorm has taken place. This happened just yesterday with a few celebrities in the reality television and music world.
Was the argument silly in nature? Absolutely, but one comment made on a radio show led to a response via Facebook, which led to a feud via social media, where we’re all now talking about it. We are an opinionated culture; we like to think EVERYONE wants to hear what we have to say, but in all truth, its not always so. Just because we are permitted to voice our thoughts, doesn’t mean we have to do it at every single opportunity that presents itself to do so.
That same notion echoes for those media outlets that tend to interview celebrities asking for their thoughts on certain individuals in the public sphere or heated issues that continue to be debatable in the public domain. Even outspoken Kanye West admitted in a recent interview that he voices his opinions with good intent, but they may not always come out the way that people expect them to.
I believe we do live in a culture, where people suspect they should just say what they want to say, when they want to say it and not have any repercussions at all. This is a big problem because stupidity is contagious and once a firestorm has been unleashed into society or worse in the media, it’s difficult to stop the bleeding. The worse component of all is the media! People eat up the crap that they put out time and time again, knowing half the time none of it is true, and its crazy that tons of these media outlets don’t even verify the source of the information sometimes.
Should we have an opinion police? No, but the social media sphere needs to do better policing on the commentary that people make. Racist, derogatory, sexist, ignorant and just plain rude comments should not be allowed. Many sites do have systems that check the monitoring of comments before anything is posted, which is a terrific idea, but when you’re a site that achieves millions of hits in a given daily, its quite hard to police an audience of that size.
If you’re going to feud with someone on social media, let it be over something that is worth feuding about. Silly she said he said things are just pointless, a waste of energy and doesn’t reflect well on the person involved. Plain and simple!