I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change"
Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
I have spent a lot of the past month in observation mode, specifically focussing on how people treat each other. I watched people in everyday life, I watched people playing sports, and, most importantly, I watched people interact with others on the internet. We are quite considerate in person. Sport will always have it's fair share of poor sportsmanship but that's just the game for you. But online, wow, do people let loose.
The internet is a great place for expressing opinions; I do it every time I write a blog. But I like to think my blogs are a more structured opinion piece, where I write what I really think and feel, and tend to stay away from personal attacks against people. My Twitter feed, however, it is a different story. Clicking on any trending topic will bring a up a slew of rather disgusting attacks no matter what the story is, and most of the time it's against a particular person. And it is, quite frankly, horrible reading.
Of course, being so rude has for a long time been the topic of many songs by my favourite pop artists.
Taylor Swift said "Why you gotta be so mean"
Magic! said "Why you gotta be so rude"
And Lily Allen just went "Fuck you. Fuck you very very much"
I don't particularly condone that last one, but it kind of gets the point across - online trolls aren't worth much time.
But what does this have to with Man in the Mirror and Michael Jackson? Well, the King of Pop called it all those years ago. The change starts with you. It's time we took ownership of what we say and do. The best way to get rid of the nasties is to keep the nasty out of your own comments. I'll tell it to your face: those comments aren't funny, they are hurtful, and if you wouldn't say it in real life then you shouldn't say it online. I have Twitter-challenged myself to tweet only positive comments to people, and I tell you, it does make me feel great, and I like to think the person receives it smiles when they read it.
I, of course, have much bigger plans to change the world that just telling people to clean up their internet act. I have certainly looked in the mirror and thought about all the ways I can make this world a better place. I'll start by spreading the good vibrations. And I'll finish this blog by saying two things: one, that you should listen to Man in the Mirror and get that inspiration to do some good, and two, that you are a bunch of beautiful people.