July 11, 2021

By: 
Lauren Galli

Galli Gripes: Stop Being Keyboard Warriors!

keyboard warriors

Then and Now

Back in the day, we (for the most part) kept our bad thoughts to ourselves. We did not say everything that was floating around inside our heads for fear of hurting others’ feelings or worse (e.g., getting punched in the face).

Then along came social media.

And now, no one seems to have filters anymore. People hide behind their keyboards, spewing vitriol, without fear of retribution.

We all encounter people who we do not like and do not want to deal with. Many of us maintain a courteous distance and smile when it is necessary to be around those individuals. However, the internet has given a means for people to voice their thoughts openly—and often impulsively. People feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to say whatever they want whenever a thought enters their head.

We Need to Stop.

We have to stop making excuses for ourselves and get out of the mindset of “I don’t have a filter” or “I will say whatever I think.” In many cases, people are not merely saying what they think online—they are just plain rude. Things have gotten a bit ridiculous when a pro-vaccination post can accumulate thousands of comments, and half of those comments are people telling someone to kill themselves or that they are absolutely {expletive deleted} stupid.

While very few of us are equipped to say hateful words to another human’s face, many people have become “keyboard warriors” who demean and insult others over the internet and from behind the safety of their screens.

Why do so many of us think it’s okay to do that to people?

At a time when mental illness, addiction, and suicide are at an all-time high, I think kindness—human decency—needs to prevail. There has been a lot of talk over the past two years about becoming kinder and gentler people. Some of us have done that. Some of us have not even come close.

I’ll be frank here. Someone who professes to be one sort of person outside of the house among people but spends their nights torturing people via Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok IS A COWARD.

It’s that simple.

Those people are not heroes like the frontline workers who have been handling their business during one of the scariest times the United States has faced. Those people aren’t tough guys. They are rude and weak of character.

The Bottom Line

No matter how much someone hates my hair or a celebrity’s eyebrows, it’s not okay for them to spew insults all over the internet. People do not post on social media to be attacked; typically, they are looking for validation and acceptance.

But many of us go out of our way to say something vicious. What’s the purpose of that? It makes no sense.

That needs to change. WE need to evaluate why we feel the need to say horrific things to people from behind the safety of a screen. Better yet, we need to figure out why we feel the need to give our two cents at all.

If we’re not fans of something, is it not better to sit down and keep our mouths shut? That is what my mom always taught me.

Here’s my direct order to keyboard warriors, “Follow your mama’s advice: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Have you had the unfortunate circumstance of dealing with keyboard warriors on your social media posts? Leave a comment with how you’ve handled those situations.

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