What happened to you to make you want to hurt people like that? How have reached a stage of life where you feel comfortable discussing the deepest subjects known to humanity – politics, religion, philosophy – but cannot do so without insulting the other people involved?
Of course, it’s easy to vent your anger on these people.
They’re faceless, they’re far away. They could be on the other side of the world for all you know. It doesn’t matter where they are or who they are, it just matters that they’re there and they’ve angered you and there’s nothing that can stop you spewing your hate and vitriol all over them.
The anonymity helps. It means you can get away with saying awful things and not have to worry about someone thinking less of the you that you present to people in real life.
Even if you’re using your own name and your own information, it can’t have that big an impact on you. It’ll get buried. The internet is so vast a structure now that no matter how horrific you behave today, it will all have blown over tomorrow when everyone gets distracted by a video of a puppy who’s best friends with a koala bear.
So there are plenty of reasons why there’s no reason not to, if you’re so inclined.
But there aren’t any reasons why you should.
You wouldn’t say things like that to someone’s face. You wouldn’t wish so much ill on anyone you had to make eye contact with while you said it, or even after you said it.
If you thought there’d be a punishment for treating other people like that, you wouldn’t do it.
You can shrug it off all you want saying others should be thick skinned, if they don’t want to critiqued they shouldn’t be in the public forum.
It’s all very well saying that to defend yourself once you’ve behaved like a spoilt child who’s learned some rude words.
But there’s still no reason to do it. There’s no reason to threaten people or insult people, not really. No matter how little you like them, life would be easier for you as much as them if you choose to leave things be, to let other people have and voice their own opinions, to open fair and interesting dialogues when you disagree or to stick to your own space.
When you choose to incite anger and hatred because someone disagrees with you, you expose far more about yourself than you can ever hope to reveal about them.
You reveal that you are damaged.
You reveal that you are hurt and broken and alone and you don’t know how to cope with it. You reveal the dark part of you that is scared, so you lash out before it can get hurt.
You show people that you are so afraid of being rejected by them if you disagree that you demean them before they have an opportunity to discuss anything with you.
You show people that you are far too weak and too insecure to ignore the nagging anxieties in your mind and that you would rather hurt others than risk showing anyone who you really are.
And the sad truth behind it all is that the only reason you’re afraid that others won’t like you is because, deep down, you don’t like you.
Which, ultimately, brings you back to the beginning: what happened? Who hurt you? What made you hate?
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.