Hodge: Bombarded by negativity in social media world

Ragging on or publicizing someone’s angry vileness hardly serves any valid purpose other than to perpetuate the problem.

Even writers have the occasional moment where the right word to describe their feelings does not appear on the tip of the tongue when needed. Like right now.

Tolerance may not be the correct vernacular I am searching for because the term comes with a connotation of arrogance or holier than thou attitude.

In this case, arrogance or judgment is the last word I am looking for.

Perhaps it is acceptance, or understanding, or another term my brain is simply too rattled to recall at the moment.

But whatever, the scenario is one I find as a sad reflection of the anger, narrow minded and mean spirited nature of some folks.

As many Canadians do, my morning ritual now includes hopping on to the Internet early in my day while I enjoy my second or third coffee of the morning.

My morning coffee breaks used to involve a cigarette and a cup of java while either catching the news on radio or TV. Technology has now added online news feeds to the list.

While online info may be quieter and available when I am ready (not ‘on the hour’) it also comes with a lot more thin research and anonymous critics. Regardless, it serves a role.

Reading and reviewing the Wednesday headlines, however, on various local websites and channels was an exercise in depression and dismay.

Like many I admit to being flabbergasted by an irate Kelowna woman, Nancy Enns, berating city council for painting a crosswalk in rainbow colours and demanding that it be repainted.

Clearly an angry and intolerant soul, Ms. Enns quickly fueled a debate on Castanet and elsewhere with her demands and venom.

Her profoundly disturbing diatribe, as mean as it was, paled in comparison to the off the wall, relentless bombardment of insults and foul language just the day before spouted by a Conservative supporter on national television.

The clip of the arrogant, rude, nasty man verbally attacking news reporters with profanity and slanderous comments rocked even veteran journalists such as myself.

Anger management and a reassessment of medication may be in order.

As I sat somewhat dumbfounded by the sea of anger and negativity, I shook my head at the apparent wasted energy of some folks.

I sat down with the computer prepared to respond with shots and stabs of my own until I read a brief Facebook comment by local website journalist Marshall Jones.

His wise words saved me somewhat from jumping on the bandwagon of joining the modern day version of a witch burning.

Jones wrote: “I’ve been asked a dozen times today if we are doing a story on the mindless ramblings of some random woman who has a bigoted opinion about rainbow sidewalks.

“I see news orgs piling on just for pageviews and controversy for controversy’s sake. I see people sharing this sh**.

“My answer is no, we are not doing a story on it. Random fools with unfounded opinions is not news and I’m a little ashamed this is what passes for discourse. This is not representative of my city just because a couple of websites think this is worth sharing with their readers.”

While granted his retort has its own caustic taste, the point he makes is sound. Ragging on or publicizing someone’s angry vileness hardly serves any valid purpose other than to perpetuate the problem.

Ironically, a few minutes later I found another online posting by another local journalist.

Sean Connor posted what is titled ‘Tips for Men.’

For the sake of space I have deleted a few but give some thought to this advice:

Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.

Be conscious of your body language.

Stand up to shake hands and give a firm hand shake .

Nothing looks more badass than a well tailored suit.

Never hit anyone unless they are a direct threat.

Learn to wet shave.

Shave with the grain on the first pass.

Compliment her shoes and open all doors. It is still considered polite.

Brush your teeth before you put on a tie.

Never wear a clip-on tie.

Call your parents every week.

If you aren’t comfortable fake it. It will come.

Keep a change of clothes at the office.

When you walk look up and straight ahead, not at your feet.

Nice guys do not finish last. Boring guys do.

Find your passion and figure out how to get paid for it.

Learn personal responsibility. Bad things happen, it is your job to overcome them.

Do what you need to do because complaining will not speed it up or complete the job.

Never stop learning.

Don’t change yourself to make someone happy unless that someone is you.

If your are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong room.

Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.

Never lend anything you cannot afford to lose.

And I will add another six:

Smiling is contagious so see what kind of positive energy you can spread every day.

Keep smiling every day because not only does it make you feel better but it confuses and annoys the hell out of folks who do not like you or wish to remain negative.

Lose graciously win humbly.

You ALWAYS have a choice. In everything you do or experience you ultimately make a decision. The choice may not always be easy, but you always have one.

Forgive yourself, once you have filed the lesson learned.

Let death sit on your shoulder and be your adviser.


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