What’s the cost of being kind?
One of my tasks as Managing Editor of SLR Lounge is to moderate comments on our sites. This means daily sifting through lots and lots of opinions from people hiding behind the screen, which invariably destroys any filter that they may use in real life. And though I am a proponent of saying how you feel about something, standing up for what you believe in and having opinions, I do not condone the people who feel like they can do it by being an a*hole.
Words are powerful.
It’s cliche, I know. But true. If you have been given the gift of language and the ability to speak, be it a voice online or a voice in person, use it accordingly.
In the photo industry, people feel that it is okay just to tear someone apart for pictures they post. Why? Would you say that to their face? Even if the answer is yes, why?
Oh…that looks Photoshopped. What a terrible picture, you should’ve done this…this and this and it would’ve been soooo much better. This article was useless…and on and on it goes.
Is there a way you can say it nicely? I know, I know, I sound like a mom here, but jeez. It takes just as much effort to be a jerk as it is to be kind. These people are called trolls for a reason.
If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Some days, I deal with some real tools. I don’t know who they are because they are too cowardly to use their real name when they comment. It leaves me shaking my head. And not just in the work world, but even random day to day stuff. I read a book last night called, “Heaven is for Real.” It’s about a little boy who had a near death experience and went to heaven. He came back and told some incredible stories. Is it true? I dunno, who am I to judge if someone’s near death experience is true? I enjoyed the book; it had some inspirational things I could take away, and I am glad I read it. So I decided to put it on my virtual GoodReads bookshelf. (If you don’t know what GoodReads is, it’s for geeky people who love books so much we must have a virtual bookshelf). And as with all things that have any slight religious bent to them, had a large list of comments debating the book. Among the most vocal and jerky comments were people being rude and Bible thumping. (Urgh, don’t get me started on that rant. Been there…). If you didn’t like the book, then say, “I didn’t like the book and here’s why…” Is it absolutely necessary to be an a*hole about it – I read comments where people were mocking the little boy for the color of shirt he was wearing on an interview. Get.a.life.
Just because you are typing something virtually and pretty much anonymously doesn’t give you free reign just to spout off. Some people need to just shut their mouths and use the airspace around them better instead of polluting the world (and the world wide web) around them.
What’s the cost of being kind? Nothing. So, go do it.