Friday, 24 January 2020
Paperback's Pondering's: On Whether or Not to Speak Your Mind on the Internet
About a month ago, my mom told my sister and I about a person she followed on Instagram who was being rather shitty. She was a health food blogger who was complaining about someone giving her brownies as a gift for Christmas, saying that this person was trying to sabotage her health, and that she would be throwing the brownies out. Upon further scrolling through this woman's feed, she posts stuff saying that obesity is a "disease," and various other fat-shaming stuff. My mom was appalled, but she didn't know how to comment something while still being civil, so my sister and I typed out a comment for her.
I can't show you the direct comment because the blogger promptly blocked my mom, but we were very respectful, just saying how it is not right to publicly shame someone for giving them a nice gift, and that throwing the brownies out promotes wastefulness when there are people starving in this world. Well, this woman and her followers completely attacked us, and then blocked us. So, brings us to here.
When the first few negative comments on our post came in, my sister and I wanted to retaliate, guns blazing. But my mom told us to just let it go. She said that we shared our piece, they weren't going to listen, and we should just move on. But, my sister and I had a very hard time with that. We wanted to call these people out, we wanted to tell them just how wrong they were. We tried the nice thing, it didn't work. We couldn't let them have the last word.
This incident sparked a conversation about whether or not to feed the trolls. Cee @ Dora Reads actually did a discussion post on this too, you can read it here. I think when I was younger, I did not speak my mind for anything. I just let people say offensive stuff, and I was too chicken to say anything back. But, now my opinions have changed. I feel like I don't take shit from anyone, and if you wanna argue, I will argue back.
This idea of just letting things go, is something that I struggle with. The way I look at it is, if someone is saying stupid stuff, then they need to know just how stupid they are being. Now, I'm all for having healthy debates, and I'm not saying that anyone who ever disagrees with me is stupid. But, if someone is saying something blatantly wrong, I feel as if I just have to get involved.
I guess another way to look at it is: if these people are so quick to fire back, then my opinion most likely won't change theirs. However, I get a lot of satisfaction from calling someone out, and now I'm wondering: is that good or bad?
I think as long as you're not being offensive back, there is nothing wrong with engaging in an argument on social media. Speak up about what you're passionate about! However, I do feel like sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me, and suddenly I feel as if I am now targeting the person, as opposed to the person's shitty opinion. I can be very judgemental, it's something that I really need to work on. I think I immediately assume that when a person says something wrong, they are pure and utter evil, when in reality, they could be going through something behind that screen. It is hard to just judge the opinion, and not judge the person as well.
I think for me personally, I don't want to stop speaking up if I see something wrong on online. However, I think I need to be more cautious about how I speak towards the person, and I think I need to engage in more healthy debates. Nothing gets resulted just by two people screaming at each other.
What do you think? Do you think it is worthwhile to feed the trolls? Or do you think we shouldn't waste our breath?
Emily @ Paperback Princess