Me too. So I’ve come up with a solution.
The ‘say it to their face’ rule.
It’s simple. You’re not allowed to comment, post or leave any message anywhere on the internet unless you’re prepared to say it to that person’s face.
Before you comment under someone’s photo that they look a little overweight, you can see a pimple or that you’d really like to see them naked.
Before you write under someone’s article that their opinion reeks like unwashed balls, that they’ve used the wrong ‘your’ or that you’ve run over animals that were funnier.
Think to yourself. ‘Would I say this to someone’s face?’
If you would, then type away.
If you would not. Then shut the hell up.
So it takes less than a minute to create a fake email address, or twitter account, or whatever you need to hide behind, so you can spout that little insult that for some reason you’re convinced is worth sharing with the world.
It might even be fun. Writing anonymously something that’s way too naughty to say out loud. Some comment that you don’t really agree with, but think is humorous.
You can even pretend to be whoever you want. Your online alter ego might be some seven foot tall muscle encrusted super demon with seven pensises.
But you know who doesn’t get to hide or pretend?
The person in the photo. The person who wrote the article. The person that you’re writing about.
Here’s an idea for a Reality TV Show. Pick an article or photo or anything.
Choose one of the more insulting comments. It shouldn’t be hard, as that’s just about all of them.
Then find the person that wrote it, and pay for their flights and a hotel to come and meet whoever it is that they insulted.
In order to get the person who did the insulting to agree to all this we’ll pay them or trick them or something. However they do it on Jerry Springer should be fine.
The next step is for them to meet the person that they insulted, and to see if they’ll say the same insult to that person’s face.
The final step is to leave the two people alone with some weapons, in order to sort out their differences.
Maybe even tie up the person who did the insulting, just to make it unfair.
So before you type that next comment, don’t just think about how you’ll feel after you’ve typed it.
Think about how you’re making the person at the other end feel. The person that you’re typing about.
There is a person there, and while they might have no idea who you are, they do know that you’re a real person.
So for them, whatever you type, it’s just like you’re saying it to their face.
You know what the world would be without your hateful, poorly thought out and immature little comments? Better.
Feel like saying something to my face? Even just a ‘hi’ would be fine. I’m performing two shows as part of the Melbourne Fringe until Oct 5:
There’s the comedy walking tour, ‘2013 – When We Were Idiots’.
As well as hosting the variety show, ‘Hot Night in the City – Comedy and Variety Showcase.’