With the hate. No wonder so many of us have anxiety and depression and want nothing to do with people. Every single encounter has a chance to erupt into an argument, and possibly escalate to violence. Everyone is on the edge, everyone is insanely opinionated, and a lot of someones are self-absorbed and entitled.
I blame the internet. No, it didn’t start those feelings, but it certainly made us more comfortable with letting them out. The internet, social media in particular, is even better at loosening inhibitions than alcohol.
It’s been there, but I’ve been noticing it more and more with certain groups I belong to. I’m not talking like gun enthusiasts or political or religious groups. I’m talking something as totally innocuous as a Black Cat Appreciation group.
You heard me. Well….read me.
I joined because, duh…I love cats, and black ones in particular. I thought, well, this should be calming, scrolling through looking at cat pics, because isn’t that what the internet is for? Reading humorous kitty anecdotes, posting pics of my own spoiled darling…you get the idea. And what I’m about to describe happens in almost all groups, but I picked this one as an example, and a most unlikely source of angst.
There are rules. Every group has rules. Do people actually read them before joining? Apparently, not all do. These are straightforward: don’t post adoption listings from kill shelters, no self-promoting, no abusive/argumentative behavior, don’t block the admins, don’t look for vet advice, no pics/videos of violence towards kitties, and no dogs. A lot of these are pretty standard rules for any group.
You may not agree with them, but if you want to be in the group, you abide by them. Simple, right?
Yeah, like anything is that simple. People post absolutely moronic questions, like will their black cat be upset if they get a grey cat. (I have to believe that’s a troll because if you’re that stupid, you shouldn’t be online, period.) Someone posts something about having kittens, and no matter what the original post says, forty people will leap up and scream about getting the cat neutered. Someone else will look for medical advice, often for something pretty serious, because they can’t afford a vet, and 30% will tell them to go to a vet, and 30% will scream that its against the rules, 30% will try to offer some kind of advice, and 10% will offer genuine empathy. And then people will rise up and scream at the posters who said it’s against the rules to HAVE SOME GODDAMN EMPATHY FOR THE FURBABY. And on, and on, and on.
Worse are the ones who wish actual violence or death on others. Cripes, when did this become okay? I’m an animal lover, yes, I prefer them to people, particularly cats, but while I want to see abusers punished, I don’t post that someone should pull out their fingernails or flay them alive or any of the insane shit I’ve read.
Maybe if there was a little more empathy in the world, and less screaming and misdirected rage, there would be less animal abuse in the first place. I am legitimately stunned by the crap I see in this group alone. Better yet, the idiots who announce they are leaving because <insert specific outrage here>. I don’t know if the actual post, or the responses, are funnier (and sadder).
I haven’t left. I stopped reading most posts, except the rescue stories which are really heartening. Mostly I look at little kitty faces and sigh and then hug Spirit (he must hate what this group does to me). But I have left groups before; I just go, no announcement needed.
My point…who are you mad at, really? I know the insanity in the current administration contributes a lot. Rapists going free because of idiot judges, women’s rights being whittled away, concentration/detention camps (and the quibbling over the names)…this is all some seriously scary shit. And we aren’t going to defeat it by tearing each other apart.
We have to stand together and attack these horrors as a united front. So before you act on that surge of rage some post stirs in you, think about who you’re really angry with. A stupid post and an unseen face? Or is it more, the inanity of all of it?
Stop the hate. Please, please, please, stop it.