Don't Look Back in Anger

It has struck me recently, even before the recent UK riots, that lately people are so angry.  I sometimes like to read weekend papers online, if I am too cosy in my bed to go out and buy them, and I have been stunned by the vitriol of some commenters to the most simple articles.

Maybe it's because I'm of the 'if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing' school of thought, and I understand that people have hard lives and difficult experieneces - I'm no stranger to that, but people seem so quick to be negative and make hateful comments, as far as I'm concerned there's no need for it.  One phenomenon I keep reading of more and more is 'trolling' where cyber bullies target either the social networking pages of people who have died or pages of people who have recently undergone suffering, and make hurtful comments.

Although social networking sites seem to bear the brunt of the blame for most things lately, another part of the blame culture we live in that increasingly irritates me, public negative comments are nothing new.  I remember watching the Brits on TV in the 90s, and seeing Liam Gallagher challenging Robbie Williams to a fight.  Although that made headline news, it was direct, unlike negative comments recently, and makes me think about how things have changed.  Now, a celebrity can do something controversial and within hours it is worldwide news.  Word gets around, albeit much faster in 2011 than even ten years ago.

Twitter, too, is a double edged sword.  While it can be fantastic to follow your friends or celebrities, and find out their latest, once tweeted always rememebered.  You only have to look at Russell Brand tweeting a make-up free snap of Katy Perry for evidence, although he deleted the tweet the unflattering image has been republished in newspapers and magazines globally.  Twitter and facebook were criticised heavily by the media for their 'role' in organising riot meet ups.  What got a much smaller press, however, was how it was also used to co-ordinate the mass clean up of damaged areas.

One factor that has been overwhelming to me in the coverage of the riots, is how the biggest troublemakers covered their faces when carrying out their destruction, and when entering court after being subsequently caught.  It's the same with online haters, it is very easy to sit behind a computer and an anonymous profile, spawning negativity.  Far harder to be direct and honest.  That's why I enjoy reading my poems at open mic nights, that way if someone has an issue with one of my poems, good or bad they can tell me face to face.

I have noticed a trend with celebrities who receive abusive tweets.  They just hit Retweet.  Named and shamed - as it should be.


  1. There's a problem like this on forums as well. There's a forum of a rock band which I visit whereby the moderators can ban trouble makers if they post hateful messages.

    It also gets on my nerves how some people go on places like Youtube and write untrue comments about a celebrity which I've now learned is only because they don't like them. For example: 'Bono can't sing' or 'Robert De Niro is a rubbish actor'.

    The reason why I don't like giving out my real name is because I'm paranoid about identity theft.


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