Why so mean?

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  1. Cowards hide behind their computers. I don’t think most of them would be as cruel face to face because they couldn’t get away with their actions. I’ve been deleting comments from friends, even real life friends, on my personal Fb wall and writer’s page. I’ve banned a few people. Yesterday, I heard a mother snap at her daughter to ignore her brother’s rudeness. She didn’t correct the rude brother but snapped at the polite daughter who asked her stop the boy from spitting chewed food at her. No wonder we’re in such a mess these days.

  2. Hope says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you there. Cynicism is not about being mean. The examples of being insulted after asking people to change subject, or the nasty comments about the girl with progeria are straight up trolling. There are some people who are so affected by trolling that they end removing themselves from the Internet; it is thoughtless behaviour at best, and bullying at worst. Yet our best defence to it is the same thing you decry above: cynicism, here defined as a feeling of distrust. When someone writes a comment like “you’re a twit” then either you can take this to heart as accurate assessment of your personality (I really hope you didn’t) or you can consider the motives of the person who said it and realise they’re probably just an idiot wanting to wind you up. That’s cynicism protecting you by painting the other person in the worst light. When cynicism goes wrong are occasions such as someone offering you a free hug. I never accept the offer: what if they steal something from me? There I’m possibly being unfair and too cynical on the hugger! However, a healthy level of cynicism is what stops us falling for scams or being duped or even, when someone has let us down many times, being hurt again.

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