How to minimise the risk of the ‘online idiot‘…?
Well easy, the sooner Facebook implements a ‘this person needs a slap‘ button the better and with todays technology and the willing volunteers who’d be ready to be on standby for such an event, well, I reckon we could have a team in full ‘slap mode‘ and with the perpetrator in minutes if not hours.
So, how do we tackle the online bully, prevent uneccessary trolling and reduce mankind’s quota of online idiots to a minimum?
Personally I don’t think it’s as hard as it seems either.
I know right! We’re all thinking it. We’ve all no doubt suffered it too and we’ve all sure as hell seen it spring up from nowhere on most online posts, comments or new feeds.
Sadly this sort of behaviour I’m about to highlight is becoming an epidemic with some pages and groups, and surely something that most people tire of seeing the days anyway.
Ten/fiteen years ago maybe some of the pettyness may have been seens as ‘witty‘, if you define ‘wit‘ as an intellectually poor person’s attempt to make themselves look smart for picking on someone who made a simple mistake, but even then, my guess is that most people would still have thought ‘what a tit‘ anyway, and yet onwards we plough, socially de-evolving it seems, by the day.
Having been one of the victims of the new fangled ‘computer generation‘ and being taught in one of the UK’s first schools to have a dedicated computer room, it’s fair to say I have more than some relative experience with such technologies and so feel I and many of you may understand where I’m coming from.
Having worked in 2D/3D design and interactive media for most of my adult career I have also been privvy to seeing more than I wish I had of ‘online incidents‘ in my time over the years and so have been able to observe and refine the views many of us share.
Not that this is in any means a prime requisite for engaging the world socially these days but it has afforded me the luxury of mind to be able to sometimes sit back and reflect on todays largely intellectually challenged ‘online world‘.
Combine any insight into a chosen subject with a modicum of common sense and you suddenly find yourself trapped in an internal state of bemused bewilderment when faced with today’s social media.
I write this now having been spurred on by yet another incident whereby I felt duty bound (as did a few others) to try and help another victim of a ‘Facebook‘ post gone wrong, and thanks to the rapid deployment of the online ‘Grammar Nazi’s‘ who sit at home in their underpants, stained shirts covered in last nights curry eagerly trolling all posts for missing apostrophe’s, spelling mistakes or any other obtuse grammar related discrepancies, just had to act.
This no doubt happens online thousands if not millions of times each day across all the known social media platforms, Facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, behance etc… And I won’t even dare touch on youtube for now because what happens on youtube is a law unto itself, and it has always been out of control anyway.
What I write about we’ve probably all at some point gone through it, witnessed it first hand and some people, through no fault of their own fall victim to it more than others through any number of factors, myself included.
Anti-social notworking or social networking?
This particular ‘incident‘ happened on the much enjoyed ‘Foreigners in Greece‘ group, one which sadly like on all too many pages and groups can suffer the intolerance of a sub-section of mind numbingly shalllow people who feel it their need to go out their way to opportunistically target others for what is often no more than an oversight, at best an error or maybe a misunderstanding and often just a genuine mix up or language issue.
The reasons for why this kind of small minded ‘social bullying‘, (and yes, that’s exactly what it is when you break it down), are many :
Boredom, stupidity, spite, ignorance, an attitude problem to all manner of far more serious problems like sexism/racism, prejudice of all sorts to inherant Nationalism and facism.
Sometimes it’s because people are just born a twat.
To cherry pick the exact cause isn’t an issue I really want to get caught up in otherwise we’d all be here forever and I’d be writing for an eternity, naturally myself falling victim to the ‘Spelling Police‘ or the ‘Grammar Nazi’s‘ for not honing up my 30+ year old English education and so I shall aspire to just dealing with the remedy rather than the poison which often eminates from these online interjections.
Most people over a certain age these days are all a part of the ‘online family‘ we lovingly know and hate as social media, and what a family it is… You wouldn’t be far wrong if you imagined the Munsters with wifi…
And that’s being too kind.
Many competent in their own chosen field of work/study, vocations far and wide, and many using the native language many of us take for granted, as such many are also either foreign, learning or learned in the English language but non native and so often as a result unfamiliar with it’s extensive and subtle nuances, plus we don’t always know how people choose to communicate their message online either.
iPad, iphone, my phone, old phone, laptop or whatever and sometimes just a victim to circumstance, technology, auto-correct or simply like me, just having fingers far too eager to express themselves before the brain catches up, texting on the bus, doing it while driving or whilst having sex, (I don’t know) but knowing how common it is seeing people glued to their mobiles these days, I’m guessing it happens.
Mistakes happen, its inevitable.
Half the people now reading this post will already be tugging themselves into a stupor because I deliberately left a mistake in the header!
Just seeing that for many will make the focus of this entire post redundant as they will now be solely locked on the lack of apostrophe in the ‘it’s‘…
Originally I did accidentally make quite a few mistakes when i wrote this, I always do, my brains fever pitch going at a speed my fingers often refuse to abide by and so being a human, these oversights and accidents happen. In my case a lot.
The point being, we don’t go online to sit a test. Neither are we submitting a piece for a language examination on language competence. To many of us it’s just a short brief contribution to something which piqued our interest, caught our eye, holds some kind of worth in what we are interested in or is an insight into something we wish to share with the world or as often the case, something which enrages us.
In fairness most of us aren’t really worrying about our 5th year English teacher popping up and trying to chastise us for something that for all intents and purposes is just as childish as it is petty. And make no mistake about it either, that’s all it is childish and petty.
Sure, we’d love everyone online to be a Nobel Laureate, gifted in the explicit use of the Queens English with all the time in the world to triple check their contribution to post or comment without the worry of some nonce appearing.
Rarely the case though and if your only contribution to social media is to go out of your way to becoming one of the social media parasites who can only aggrandise themselves by behaving in this way, then just how sad and pathetic is your life anyway?
If ‘apostrophe’s‘ and ‘your/you’re‘ give you enough self entitlement and validation to become a complete cock, then really, you have far more worrying societal concerns than any language issue other people may have…
To coin a phrase, ‘It’s not big, and it’s not clever‘.
I got the poison, I got the remedy :
For those who aren’t all too bothered about being all that socially adept on Facebook or those who use it casually as many of us do, there is the option to ‘edit post‘.
A few people recently pointed out to me recently that they were actually unaware of this option and it’s easy to understand why. It’s not all that clear or obvious unless you’re a ‘seeker‘ type or the kind of person who does use software and is online a lot, and for the majority of people using either mobiles and other platforms to interact with, it may not be as obvious either.
This darling little gem obviously enables us to (correct/add/delete/change) any information previously entered into our own comments or posts, subject to us or someone else spotting an error.
So if you yourself suddenly spot a mistake after posting it, you can always easily ammend it anytime prior or after the ‘numpty brigade‘ sound the alarm, furthermore, even if said numpty does appear and try to mock you for not spotting your mistake, you can still then alter the comment or correct the post accordingly and all is well.
Your new found numpty will probably still persist as they’ve already proven to the world how small minded and petty they already are, but at least you will deter the arrival of others who similarly would revel at your mistake and in the process make their own comment show themselves up.
If Facebook and or the other social media platforms would make an autocorrect option for when we submitted posts and or comments online as default or as an option, I’m sure half the online bullying and unmitigated social arrogance which spawns from this kind of opportune misery would slowly fade to a minimum, as the kind of people who often have to resort to such a low rhetoric are often those who are jealous, bitter or have nothing else to contribute and so they claw at every opportunity to just cause a reaction because at the end of the day, that is all they have in their sad little lives…
If they weren’t so pathetic, you could almost feel sorry for them… Apparently.