Podcasts, blogs, books, inspirational quotes, friends, family and the like all say “you just have to stay positive,” “have a positive outlook on life,” “the glass is half full.” Does anyone else find it so difficult to stay positive in this cynical world we live in? I can’t even read comments on any of the articles I read because there’s always someone starting a fight. I barely post anything, and certainly try not to post anything controversial just to avoid the negative comments. There could even be a news report headline that reads, “PUPPY SAVES KITTEN FROM BURNING BUILDING” and you will probably see comments saying, “EW that cat is ugly, I hate cats” or “cats are the devil, the dog should have let it die.”

I’m not sure where people got these internet social norms from, but who do they think they are? It was probably all facebook’s fault because of that damn status box saying, “What’s on your mind?”

Kids can’t even get solace at home from bullies. It used to be that kids were safe when they entered their home after being tormented all day long at school, but now they just can’t escape it. Suicide rates are at an all time high among youth. Kids are depressed, have anxiety problems, and much more. This is a cynic’s world and in everyone’s own mind they are a professional. Put it on your resume, who would you impress?

The radical, unmovable thinking in this world truly scares me. To read what people actually think and HOW they think really makes me feel fortunate that I have some kind of rational brain that is grounded in reality. Read some comments if you truly want your mind to be blown at how idiotic and crazy some of these random people are. Aren’t they embarrassed the way they attack some random stranger who lives across the globe? In the age of constant communication and contact, I feel our world couldn’t be more divided. Until people open their minds and their hearts, I fear that our internet culture will continue to be this breeding ground for hate. Hate seems to be the only thing that gets attention, the internet has also provided a medium for positive exchanges and praise as well. Well wishes and congratulations are a breath of fresh air, but just like with everything else the negative seems to cloud it over and be more prevalent.

We need to create some kind of internet etiquette. I’ve come across hundreds of college students the past two years and the snarky attitudes have gotten worse and worse every semester. The internet’s professional critics don’t only confine themselves to being Facebook trolls, they trickle into the classroom. Yes, question authority, I do it and have done it, but do it with respect.

We are all inhabitants of this world and with the new technologies that we have been afforded, please remind those angry individuals that their rudeness is more of an inner reflection of their own pain. As Eric Hoffer said, “rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”

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