I have noticed a disturbing trend on social media- mostly Facebook- that I am truly struggling to understand. I know that I’m not the only person who’s noticed it, but no one I’ve mentioned it to seems to have any kind of explanation for it, so I’m putting it out for public discussion in the hopes of making some sense of this.
The phenomenon in question is this- Why is it that the folks who are the most gentle hearted, soft-spoken, kindest people you’ll ever know are the ones who post some of the most vile, hateful memes/ links online?
I’m talking about people who are leaders in their church. People who rarely – if ever- use profanity (except in memes apparently). People who would give you the shirt of their backs in a heartbeat and ask for nothing in return. People I would trust to watch my niece or my cat or my bag of gold (if I had one). The kind of people you want as friends, neighbors and coworkers. Good, decent people.
Why do an alarming percentage of these folks appear to become raged filled loons online? What is going on in these people’s minds that short circuits their genuine, deep-seated good natures and lets their arms post things along the lines of “Michelle Obama is a tranny” or “The lizard people running the world are going to start mandating microchipping of humans in 2018” or anything Alex Jones has ever said? And for the record, I am not making ANY of these up. These are all REAL examples from my own personal Facebook feed.
I’m hoping that by putting this out there I can accomplish one of two things (or both would be great!)
#1 Someone will take the time to REALLY think about what they are posting and how they are presenting themselves online. I know my friends aren’t hate filled maniacs in spite of their posts, but a potential employer, neighbor, or romantic prospect would see a totally different person, and not a very good one at that.
#2 Someone can explain why this even happens in the first place. I have no answers. I’m stumped.