Recently, I had a very difficult experience on Facebook.
“The lowlife scums and trolls like you…” — This is what she wrote about me. This was just the beginning of her many messages, followed by even nastier words from her sister in-law. I unfriended and blocked both of them from my friend’s list. They are now gone from my life, forever.
She threw major hate, as well as personal insults. I’m sorry I didn’t know her state of mind before. In fact, I didn’t know her at all. I do not have time or energy to deal with such toxicity back and forth. But I’ve saved all her messages for future use.
She was angry not because I ever wrote anything personally insulting or demeaning to her (I never do it), but she thought she represented the 1% and that I was championing the 99% with facts and force. In a way, I am happy I got to know her kind. These people exist, and they can harm you, or affect your sanity.
The intensity of her vitriol was shocking. Never seen anything like it in my seven or eight years on Facebook.
Facebook etc. have given us permission to be harsh, arrogant, crude, obnoxious, filthy, demeaning, and hateful. Anything goes. There is no pause for civility. There is no self-monitoring. There is no filtering. Someone who was your friend yesterday suddenly decides they don’t like you anymore, and therefore, can insult you in front of your loved ones, friends, students, supporters, and well wishers. Even though you have never used a single disrespectful, personally hurtful word against them.
Of course, you can think about them twice, and unfriend or block them, but the words have already been said, and seen by thousands of people. They have made you sick, and you didn’t plan on being sick because of insults from sick people you didn’t know were sick.
I mean, really sick.
When people personally insult you on a public forum like Facebook, and post hate messages, what are they trying to do? They are trying to dampen your spirit, and create an environment that makes your friends, family, students and well wishers doubt about your worth.
Most would not want to get into this sort of verbal violence. It’s no different than throwing bombs or shooting guns on the street so that everybody stays at home.
Their hate was shocking.
Reporting in sadness and hurt,
Brooklyn, New York