Chapter 143 – Power of Words, IRL edition

Writers might be more used to the power of words than others, but anyone is capable of causing a reaction with their words. Words have power so how we use them is important, especially in the infamous “real world.”

alphabet_by_blickpixel

Internet makes it easy to find like-minded people and connect with them. Unfortunately it also makes it easy to find people you don’t like. I’ve talked about how reviews sometimes get too personal and I’ve mused about the responsibility of fiction writers, but this time I’m focusing on the non-fiction story some call the Real World.

Today I ran across a Jimmy Kimmel Live video on YouTube, called Celebrities Read Mean Tweets #10. Apparently the “mean tweets” series has been going on for a while but I hadn’t heard of it before.

So, I watched all 10 parts and laughed through most of it. In truth, there was nothing to laugh about in many of the tweets.

I realize the series has been made for entertainment and it certainly looked like many of the celebrities knew how to laugh at the nasty comments and not take them to heart, but the problem still exists.

When did it become okay, normal or funny to say things like “shut up you fucking bitch” or “hope you get hit by a bus” to people?

The reason I laughed at the videos was that the comments were so absurd and it was hard to imagine anyone repeating them out loud to someone’s face — which is still a part of the problem. It’s easy to type a comment and send it without considering if it’s something they could actually say.

It wasn’t all that long ago when a woman made a blog post where she was surprised by how a big chain store had an advertisement along the lines of: “Here are all these pink toys for your girls and here are all the blue toys for your boys!” She wondered why boys couldn’t have pink toys and vice versa. Her blog got swarmed with comments that wished her beaten, raped and killed.

If we went up to some of the people who left those comments, they’d probably claim it was just a joke. Don’t be so serious. Have a sense of humor!

It’s odd how people use “you’re no fun” as a defense after they’ve said something extremely rude instead of taking any responsibility for their own actions.

I hope people would think about what they’re saying and what their friends are saying. There’s not usually much to do about a nasty online comment except to simply shrug it off, but whenever we can, we should do something about it. Report it. Tell our friends they could express their opinion in a much better way.

Words can have immense power and these days it’s easier than ever to spread them.

We all just need to remember that with great power, comes great responsibility.

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