I recently took a brave step into the new world of Reddit by posting one of my articles. True to the internet stereotype, I was insulted within three minutes flat! Grinning to myself, I read through the comment, which contained a few angry phrases and a couple of choice words regarding my gender. All of this, from a complete stranger, at 7:40 AM! I couldn’t help but be amused – and feel a bit sorry for this irritated soul.
"Angry Face" by Ryan Hyde
We all know that sticks and stones can break your bones, and we know that words can hurt you. But they needn’t. As the saying goes “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I didn’t respond to the commenter. Instead I wondered what kind of person they might be. Angry, I think. Dissatisfied with life. Disrespectful and rude. All in all, not someone whose opinion is important to me. If the same words came from a close friend, I would be very upset, then probably look long and hard at myself to correct my behaviour. As it is, this poor person, reduced to hating others over the internet, means nothing to me.
We are surrounded by words and opinions, but only by applying a “value filter” can we maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves. We can choose what to pay attention to and who to believe. As for my irritated commenter, I only hope he or she can find some fulfilling real-world relationships – and learn to pay attention to the important people, not just strangers on the internet.