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Internet Cruelty – A Social Experiment

Yesterday, on Facebook Ronda Rousey posted an NPR study. It was a content headline about reading in America. When you clicked the news post it was an “April Fools” joke to prove how people don’t read the content, they just read the headline and post all willy nilly without actually knowing the content. This is an interesting social experiment but I decided the more important one was the one that I would complete using this story.

So I played along and posted how I felt about reading in the United States. I posted an article from this blog about reading which had to do with E-book’s vs. Physical books. I posted about how our Youth in the United States is quickly out-reading our older population. They are actually looking for news and learning while adults are doing exactly what this study suggests they are doing. Read the title, make a comment, have an opinion. I added that students have to be able to identify between real articles and real news vs. click bait, and biased news content.

By commenting and doing exactly what the article was trying to prove I uncovered something that is a much bigger issue in the United States. A much bigger issue on Social Media. My social experiment identified hypocrisy, ignorance, and cruelty without filter. I was met with massive insult. Below are just some of the things that were said to me.

You’re a stupid fool.
You Look stupid, read the article.
You’re ignorant.
You’re a F^&*($# moron.
You’re really high up on yourself.
You’re narcissistic.
You’re a F*****G A*****E
You’re dumb!

These are just a summary of the 100+ comments I received over a 2-day stretch of time. I am not going to call people out personally and I have deleted the comments so nobody is attacked personally. What people didn’t realize is while they were attacking me I also received quite a number of “likes” in agreement as well. What people didn’t realize is that while they were attacking me, they refused the read the article on my blog further supporting my theory.

We have become a pretty cruel society of people. We attack each other online for no reason. We call each other stupid, and dumb among other words. We force people to feel bad about themselves. We force people to feel hatred, anxiety and socially incapable. What I have learned over my years as an educator (Still New) is that students are very open to constructive feedback and open to professional debates where ideas are shared. I have also learned that adults are not so open-minded. I have learned that ideas-people will be attacked relentlessly much like I was on Ronda Rousey’s page! Many adults feel as though their ideas, and thoughts are the truest and purest thoughts available and refuse to bend for anyone.

In all of the ranting and verbal thrashing I received I spoke nicely, defended my position with facts, data and enlightenment followed by well wishes. Not one fact was challenged and it only lead to further verbal attack.

Society I don’t know what has happened to us but we have a long way to go to come back from where we are. I remember when Ronda lost her bout. She was pretty down and out as someone who has been kicked down the ladder a rung would and should feel. I am sure many of you feel this way every day at work. I remember reading the cruel comments all over twitter, and other social media sites attacking her after her loss. What you are doing is hurtful and cruel. It is time for a wake-up call! I saw the same thing when Nancy Reagan died. We can all be better people but it starts with realizing where we are going wrong and determining how we can fix it. I truly do wish you all well and wish nothing but happiness and love for you all! Your Turn!

About Joseph Serviss

Joseph Serviss
My name is Joe Serviss. I am a Northerner who fell in love with the South. A resident of North Carolina for 3 years and serving the community as a Business & Finance teacher at Jay M. Robinson High School... READ MOREl

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