Think. It’s good for you.

This morning I’ve been mulling things over while I introduce the first dose of caffeine into my system, and I’ve finally gotten annoyed enough to formulate this rant. My issue this morning concerns the extreme lack of manners (or common sense) becoming the norm in this “me” driven, online obsessed culture of ours. While I am just as online obsessed as the next Mama blogger, and while I FULLY understand that we all put our metaphorical feet in our metaphorical mouths from time to time, I am unable to understand WHAT is so difficult (or “uncool”) about following a few simple rules of etiquette? Why do so few people understand that “thinking before speaking”, and taking a moment to  consider your audience,  is not only an extremely good idea in the “real world” – but should also translate to cyberspace as well? There seem to be vast numbers of people lacking even the tiniest hints of tact, tolerance, humility… or hell, even a sense of humor. Not only are these qualities useful in getting your needs met and your point across (while still respecting others, and keeping your friends) – but their use also goes a long way in minimizing “drama” and conflict in life – online and off. I have seen people I know very well, and find perfectly pleasant to be around in person, post or text things that come across downright rude. Things that they’d NEVER, in a million years, say to someone’s face.  EVER.  Apparently, while some people understand that there are certain opinions or attitudes that they are simply NOT entitled to share in “reality”, on Facebook, forums, or in chat rooms, those rules cease to exist for many. And I’m not even talking about discussions that become unnecessarily inflammatory, or rants filled with inappropriate language  – in my realm of friends, and on the forums I frequent, this is rarely an issue. The situations I’ve run into are more subtle, yet JUST as uncalled for, in my opinion. For example – that person who decides that until every single person who has commented on a particular post or thread – as well as the person who initiated the conversation – has agreed with THEM and THEIR opinion – they will simply refuse to stop commenting? And the more others try to diffuse the situation, the more the person insists on posting, and reposting, their viewpoint, occasionally these time consuming, pointless battles escalate to a heated personal attack on anyone and everyone who dares disagree… On one especially memorable occasion, a thread on a friend’s Facebook page ended up reaching 300 + posts. And no one, and I really do mean NO ONE – got anything useful out of it, except for the belief that the “other side” was stupid, crazy, and rude. And that wasn’t useful. Or healthy. So here’s my suggestion. IF, after reading a post, an article or a thread and running your comment of choice through your mind carefully, you STILL feel the need to comment, by all means, do so. And then, move on. Yes, you heard me. Even if someone disagrees, or posts a different opinion, MOVE ON. You had your say. It’s out there in cyberspace for all eternity for everyone to read. There is no reason to continue beating a dead horse. LET IT GO. Unless you have something constructive or new to add, take a deep breath, shake your head at the insanity, grab your mouse, and browse on by. It is NOT an infringement on your right to have an opinion to simply let something go, or to choose to not bring certain opinions or subjects up. It’s common courtesy, and an acknowledgment that there are billions of different points of view in this universe, and very seldom only ONE “right” answer. My goal today is to lighten up, get over myself and have a nice, open minded day. Care to join me?

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