Last week was an interesting one as far as work was concerned. School was cancelled on Monday even though there was barely any snow or ice on the ground. Nobody knew what was going on, but whatever. And then Wednesday rolled around. Wednesday featured snow, ice, slippery roadways...and school. Buses were late, kids spent the entire day asking and complaining about the weather and in some cases they refused to work because they didn't want to be there.
I had the school district's Facebook page open on my computer in case there was an announcement about school getting out early or something. Lots of people are fans of the school district page--parents, students, teachers, etc. The comments from parents and students (mainly parents) were insane. These people were beyond mad! I certainly don't blame them for being upset, I had a tricky time getting to school that morning, too. Some of the comments seemed as though the people were out for blood. They wanted the superintendent's head on a platter or something. Finally, the person who runs the page had to point out that school district employees are human beings who can make mistakes. It was a mess. I determined that I want to avoid pissing off the parents of the students I teach.
It didn't matter. People wanted him to get fired. There was a televised announcement about the incident at lunchtime and from what I've heard, every story on the news that night was about our county not cancelling school. The non-snow day is not the real reason I'm writing this post. As I read through the hundreds of comments on the Facebook page, it became apparent that people have no qualms about voicing whatever is on their minds.
There used to be a mental filter in our brains that said, "Hey, I might feel this way but I need to be more diplomatic about voicing those feelings." Not any more. At the risk of sounding like some researcher observing the effects of technology on people, I think a huge issue is the internet. Anybody can read a story, blog, joke, etc. online and leave a comment about it. I have previously mentioned that reading comments on news stories and YouTube videos is always amusing for me because people have strong feelings about everything. The story could be about peas being some sort of super food and the comments would probably include things like: "F*** peas and everyone who eats them," "peas are a government conspiracy," "everyone is a moron except me!" I don't like peas, but at the same time I don't feel like wasting a significant portion of my life announcing that to the world. I've also noticed that there is almost always at least one comment in which the person accuses someone else on the comment board of being a Nazi. I don't know why--maybe these people have no idea of what the Nazis actually did. Sidenote, the other great thing about online comments is when the same people log in to see if anyone has commented on their particular comment and then they get in an argument on the comment board.
The internet allows us to unleash some hard core rage against people without having to look them in the eye. In plenty of cases, we don't even have to know the person to go all mental on them. It's a little disturbing if you ask me. Just something to think about...if you disagree, feel free to leave an intense comment.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The Human Race: Now Filter Free!
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