It’s a cold world out there. In the over 30 years that I’ve been living on this good earth, I have learnt that I am able to be too fat, too thin (I don’t hear much of the latter anymore), too overdressed, too underdressed, too made up, not made up enough all at the same time. Our social media profiles have become pillories where every Tom, Dick and Harry can roll up and throw their rotting vegetables in the form of insults, insecurities and general randomness.
At the moment, I’m in the middle of fashion week and between the chasing of shows and the endless panic over whether I will be able to make it to things on time, I am receiving the odd trolling comment which at this point would make a portrait of the Madonna herself weep for the stupidity and audacity of humanity. The thing is, while I don’t particularly care, other people who might receive similar insights might.
It’s one thing to constructively criticise and another to spew utter vitriol and hide behind the freedom of speech umbrella
I don’t know when this happened, when it became okay to just spit out random, mostly badly-muddled phrases to people we don’t know from Adam. I have no idea when it became okay to be rude or crass or to openly comment on someone’s appearance, but somewhere along the way, things have gotten horribly out of hand. Whether people are in the public eye or the next door neighbour whom you borrowed sugar from once in 2002, it doesn’t give you the right to ridicule others and try to make them feel inept to make yourself feel better in turn.
A lot of people might argue that if you can’t take the heat then you shouldn’t stay in the kitchen, but it’s one thing to constructively criticise and another to spew utter vitriol and hide behind the freedom of speech umbrella which seems to be growing every day to cover more and more unacceptable rhetoric.
It is not kind or polite, nor is it funny or brave to lambast people because you feel they are better than you or because you feel that they are not deserving of the popularity they have. And it’s certainly not cool to do it from behind a screen.
I detest the word keyboard warrior used in conjunction with trolling, because it gives people’s reprehensible actions a dignity that is certainly not earned. If you spend your days wishing ill on people you don’t even know, you don’t need more Wi-Fi privileges; you need a therapist.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us