The pros and cons of social media

The online community can be a wonderful place to reside. You can find a great deal of insight and opinion on fun topics and interact with like-minded people from all over the world. When you interact with those kind of people, you can engage in civil and entertaining discussions. There are a lot of amazing people out there and the internet makes it possible to get to meet them.

Then there are the small number of people who can just make your online experience a miserable one. They are the trolls who just use it to attack others for whatever the reason. Many of those people are nameless, faceless thugs who hide behind their computers to talk junk and threaten people. They are obnoxious, rude and even abusive but they don’t even care because most of them are protected by the walls of their mommy’s basement. I have been lucky enough to not to have to deal with many people from the latter category, but when I have I see why other are turned off by their cyber experience. It isn’t the most fun thing in the world when someone attacks you just because your opinion is different from theirs.

The first time it happened to me was on a story I wrote about the Utah Jazz. there were a couple of people who disagreed with my assessment of the situation and most did so in a polite and dignified manner. I never have any issues with those kinds of people. We all have different ideas and opinions, and that’s just fine. It was the last comment that I got where I got to see internet abuse first hand. My weight and overall intellect were called into question just because I didn’t have the same viewpoint of the reader. The comment made me laugh because it was so shockingly insensitive and something that no one would dare say in person. It also opened my eyes to the other side of social media. I had heard how bad it could be, but had never seen it up close and personal until that moment. And I have to say that it wasnt the high point of my day.

For those of you out there who like to take shots and get after people online, just remember that there is another person on the other end and they have feelings just like anyone else. You don’t need to be abusive just to get your point across.

Luckily for me, it hasn’t happened too many times since and I am grateful for that. After all, I love social media and want it to be a positive place for me and everyone else.

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