feelings Internet observation

Opinions & Criticism on the Web

I read this quotation last week (via my Twitter feed):

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

I notice in recent times how I’ve come out of my shell a little more, saying a little more of my opinion (in real life and on the Internet) and really, not letting others beat me down for my words. It used to be that I’d clam up and just let others tell me that my opinion is wrong.

Now, if people tell me why exactly they disagree with me (yet still maintain respect for me), I can respect their criticism. But, when they just flat-out become mean-spirited and attack me personally….well, here, I walk away and move on.

It’s not that I don’t want to defend myself, but if they go on and personally attack me when this attack has nothing to do with the original argument, then it’s useless to keep continuing the discussion. This only reflects how the other person feels insecure about his or her own opinion and just wants to stab me with something so to “prove” their superiority.

This comes through a lot on the Internet, unfortunately. I always feel irked whenever I see people just badmouthing for no particular reason on any blog post, news article, etc. Trolls, that’s what they call them. Anyway, I’ve noticed that I tend to receive a comment (or two) on some of my Muni Diaries posts about the fact that my posts are worthless, wastes people’s time, etc.

And these kinds of comments usually come from people who don’t even state their own names.

If you’re going to attack another person online, at least have the decency to show your name. That would show courage and that would hold you accountable for your own words. The Internet may seem like an easy place to escape your real-world identity, but in the end, it’s purely immature to hide behind a facade and bad-mouth others.

When I see comments like these, I wonder how the commenter’s life in the real world is like. Does this person feel like his/her life is not interesting enough, loving enough that he/she must go on the Internet to attack others?

I stand by my own words, and you can stand by yours, I’ll give you that. But remember, to get respect, you must show respect. I put my name out there, so you should put yours out there as well, especially if you’re going to criticize me. Even if you think that you are going to get away with your cruel words, just remember that what comes around goes around.