the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 68 Aren’t You Sick of The Negative?

Posted by themirrenlee on 08/03/2012

Bullying

If a person can't be positive about something, neutral would be better than the amount of mindless negativity we're seeing.

Aren’t you sick of the negative?

Don’t you miss kindness?

Did the Internet kill it?

I am so sick of people being mean to each other online. I am so fed up with anonymous bullying. No, not flaming, that sounds too abstract. Bullying. WHY are people so mean on the Internet? Why are they so NEGATIVE?  

I am not only weary of the negative backlashes to positive stories, but filled with great sadness at ALL the “mean” online. Evidently, we’ve come to accept that people can be as nasty as they like about anything, and then hide behind a made-up user name, or simply “anonymous”. We accept that people say things to each other online that they would NEVER say in person. Cowards. Bullies.

If I were the Internet Queen, I would make it a law that you HAD to use your real name when posting anything. That might get rid of a few bullies, not to mention the trolls.

It’s not a minor issue; we know that kids are killing themselves over Facebook bullying.

I can handle anyone disagreeing with me; I love a good discussion with differing viewpoints. We learn from each other that way. I don’t even mind having a strong back and forth with a bigot, a racist, or anyone I consider to be a bit unbalanced. It helps me to see how the other side thinks! That’s not what’s happening here. We’re talking about nothing but PERSONAL ATTACKS. Which doesn’t help dialogues progress one bit.

Bullying

MAKE IT ABOUT THE ISSUE, NOT THE PERSON.

Why do there always have to be backlashes to positive events? Don’t you think if a person doesn’t have an alternative solution to a problem then they shouldn’t criticize those who are trying to solve it – whatever it is?

The main event today that set me off on this rant is the negative online comments about the Joseph Kony/Invisible Children project I wrote about yesterday. They got over eleven million hits on YouTube. They accomplished what they set out to do: raised enough awareness of this criminal’s actions so that they can get help to see him captured.

Lots of positive feedback online at first. Good on you, well done, keep it up, here’s my support, etc. …

Then, of course, the backlash has to start. Whether because the person simply had an unkind nature, or wanted to be a contrarian, just for the sake of getting their views seen as another “take” on things, we had all sorts of shit being flung at this wonderful organization trying to do something of a purely humanitarian nature (well, they’re certainly not going to get power or oil out of it!).

So here are some of the questions that came to me in response to some of the negative comments:

  • Did you not hear him say on the video that he was trying to connect his son in people’s minds with the fact that if it was him being abducted and brutalized, there’d be an outcry?
  • Do you not take on board that they’ve been going for 10 years, accomplishing great things, and even losing one of their own in the Uganda stadium blast?
  • Do you not BELIEVE that governments won’t do anything for just a humanitarian result – only for security or financial benefits?
  • How can you be nothing but supportive for a wonderful example of People Power?
  • Don’t you think an end to apathy in general about the world’s suffering would be a wonderful outcome?
  • How do you reconcile criticism about not helping places such as Rwanda with their genocidal war to criticising people who ARE trying to help a terrible situation?
  • Aren’t you FED UP with the “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” mentality?
  • Does it really not move you when he tells the abused child, Jacob, who is sobbing for his lost brother and saying that he might as well be dead himself, that he promises he will help him – and he DOES?!
  • Do you really think these people are not walking their talk?
  • And finally, how can you not be filled with awe for a group that has miraculously managed to overcome “compassion fatigue”, one of the biggest problems for any aid organisation?

It DOES matter what’s happening online. It’s being reflected back in our society. We have never seen such nastiness as that in the current American political climate. Vile and disgusting personal attacks on every single issue, and the people connected with it. Mostly coming from the “conservatives” (not the conservatives of another era – Reagan was always a gentleman, for instance, and is probably turning in his grave), the “Christians” (not very Christian-like behavior), the Republicans (Barbara Bush says it’s the “worst campaign” she’s ever seen because it’s “so ugly”), and the right wingers, who appear to be turning into a synonym for bullies.

Then we see the bullying take hold in schools, because it seems to be so acceptable online and in the media.

no bullying online

I'd love to see the world united in helping to create a more positive online community.

There’s a scene in the movie, “The Help”, where the lead bully is asked something like isn’t she tired of being so horrible. That’s what I feel like asking everyone who’s spreading such unpleasant negativity, unkindness, and vitriol online.

We all know by now that when we post something online, we need to gird our loins for attacks. I don’t think it should be that way, do you? Do you think you should feel anxious when you show yourself online? I know people who won’t add their opinions for just that reason. People who have something important and intelligent to contribute, people with viewpoints that should be heard.

The Internet shouldn’t be held captive by bullies and mindless negativity for its own sake.

That’s why I love The Invisible Children project – because I sense behind it kindness. Compassion. Caring. Plus great, wonderful, fantastic positivity.

All of the things that we need so much more of to help heal the world. Can anyone really deny that the world is hurting? Not just the greater world, in the sense of refugees and war victims. People like you and me. People who are out of work, sick, alone, feeling hopeless. People who wonder if things will ever get better. People who now, because of the general atmosphere of negativity and bullying, are being told that it’s THEIR FAULT if they’re hurting.

“Get over it, get a job, get rich, get healed, get out of my way, I don’t want to think about you. I certainly don’t want to help you. But I’m ready and waiting to criticize anyone who does,” posted by Anonymous.

I’ve had it up to here. But can we do about it? Well, I for one am just going to speak up online WHENEVER I see it happening. I’m going to walk my talk and defend those who are being positive, and speak against those who are being viciously negative, even if it’s hidden in passive aggression (watch out for that one; it’s subtle). We have to tell people it’s NOT okay to set an example of this kind of bullying negativity. About anything or anyone.

To paraphrase the “It Gets Better” campaign: it’s not yet, but I’m going to add my voice to see that it does. I hope you do, too.

I’m just fightin’ the negative …

4 Responses to “Day 68 Aren’t You Sick of The Negative?”

  1. Hollie M said

    Amen, Sister… you should see the horrible emails I get from readers of internet assholes! I stopped tweeting bc i was tired of the horrible tweets, not that i cared what these people thought, but it was too much negative energy..

  2. Hi, Don’t let the mean spirited naysayers have an impact on your own well being!! I hope you can focus on the many empathetic, loving caring people who are responding to the Joseph Kony 2012 video and the Invisible Children Project. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive– and millions of people are viewing the video each hour. On April 20th a world-wide rally is planned that may spark an interest in U.N. intervention on behalf of the kidnapped and abused children. The number of young people who have been touched and motivated by the film maker’s documentary account of the atrocities is astounding, and this viral response encourages me to see that there are loving, caring people in the world. And, there are good souls in the younger generations!!

    Some of the most negative comments have focused on the overly simplistic approach of Invisible Children Project and the fact that not all of the funds raised will go directly to the children. Instead, much of the money is and will be spent on getting the message out. Since the people who head the Project are not representatives of any government, don’t have an army to respond to the atrocities, and can’t have a direct impact on Kony, their approach seems brilliant to me. Hopefully, they will shame the U.N. and world governments to do something about this horrible situation that has been reported on for decades in the mainstream press.

    As for negative people… They are out there and we know it. I believe it’s our job to ignore their venom and to face each day with a loving, positive attitude that we can spread to others.

    • You’re absolutely right, and I don’t mean to imply that I let them get me down because I’ve learned to be so aware of how negativity is toxic to my well being. What happens with me is that I just find backlashes, in particular, so tedious in their predictability, and I’m not a person capable of standing back and saying nothing. I am really looking forward to April 20th to see how it goes. They sent out a lovely video today showing how hard they’re working to process the orders for those of us who sent them in. Yes, I agree with you – we must focus on the good people and remember that they ARE out there, no matter how much the trolls try to outshout them. Thanks for the reminder!

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