Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will drive you mad…
As you may or may not know, last Saturday I deactivated my Twitter following Mat’s start against the Astros. I made the choice after receiving hateful tweets from “fans”. I didn’t do it because my feelings were hurt. I didn’t do it because I can’t handle criticism. I did it knowing full well that I would be able to reactivate my account within 30 days. I just needed a break. It is one thing to constantly have to digest negative banter about myself and my husband on the internet and quite another not to respond.
The problem with Twitter is that it allows people to become unaccountable for their words and provides these same people access to individuals they may otherwise never get the opportunity to speak to. Bullies hide behind usernames that are in no way associated with their real world identity and suddenly have the courage to say things that they would never say to someone’s face if given the opportunity. On principal, this makes me hate the internet with the passion of 6,000 steamy love boats.
No, I don’t expect people to have nothing but nice things to say about Mat or I. Let’s be honest, we have become conditioned to look for people’s flaws, short-comings, weaknesses, etc. rather than focus on the positive or make the effort to find anything nice to say. Here’s the bottom line: your opinion of me (or my husband) is none of my business. There is absolutely no need for anyone to send their hateful thoughts to me. Write them on your blog, tweet them to your followers, do what you have to do to feel better but keep your negative energy away from me.
I normally go about my business with generous use of the “block” button but it just really got to me on Saturday night that people seem to get such a kick out of being nasty. It made me even more irate that the people being nasty were provoking me to be nasty back. That’s not who I am. I don’t have a mean bone in my body or any intent to make anyone else feel poorly. Recognizing this emotion in myself was my sign to leave the room and come back when I had cleared my head. Life is too short, people.
I have conditioned myself to put up with a lot of crap from “people” whose faces I will never see but let me depersonalize this issue for a moment- STOP USING THE INTERNET TO BE HATEFUL.
Mat and I are human. Like every other human on earth, we have bad days and we make mistakes… But virtually kicking someone when they’re down is just low. I am certain that this incident isn’t the end of the nonsense that I will put up with in choosing to be a part of the Twitter community but I have a single request: The next time you consider being hateful or attacking someone on the internet, just don’t. It doesn’t make you cool. It’s not funny. It’s disgusting and says more about you than the person you’re addressing.
Freedom of speech is awesome. Twitter is awesome. Being a hateful jerk sucks.
Smile for me.
p.s. I would share some of the really lame tweets I got on Saturday but no… they’re not worthy of further discussion.