Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why so Glum?

Chum. Why so glum? I don't know how else to put it. It's glum, negative, not good. Whatever. All of it.

I need to know what it is in people that makes them so negative. Online.

Have you ever read a comments section on any article - either from a news source shared on Facebook or directly on a news source site? People are immediately venomous. Completely ignorant too. Not to mention a total lack of grammar and correct spelling. I may not have the best grammar in my writing here, but it's my blog, and it's definitely coherent. Everything is also spelled correctly. Regardless of the technical stuff though, it's the sentiments shared. Discussing people and picking them apart like they are examples of perfect humans.

I started thinking about this last week when I saw an article about a prominent local couple who are accused of doing something illegal and embarrassing. It's all alleged right now, but it's pretty clear they did it. They're Jewish. Well known, wealthy Jews. As Jews, you hate it when others Jews break the law in any way. Money crimes, murder crimes- doesn't matter what the crime, when it happens, it's a blight on my people. I like to call it the Joel Rifkin/Bernie Madoff effect.The Jews are hated enough globally. And we all know the stereotypes about wealth and entitlement. We don't need anyone adding any grains of truth to those stereotypes. So of course if the story is true, these people are complete douches. Worse than that. I don't know what to call them. But the comments section of the online local paper- cue the anti-Semitic remarks. The sad thing is that I KNEW that was going to devolve down that rabbit hole. Maybe night right away, but enough comments down, sure enough, there they were. And people put it out there, loud and proud, like there is nothing the slightest bit deplorable about it.

If I were this couple, I'd have to move. Far. At least out of Bergen County. How do you recover socially after that? How do their kids move on? Small town scandal has always occurred, but there wasn't this open season on the internet to drag it out and make it worse. I have to think that just knowing people were skewering you all over the internet is a complete nightmare. Of course they could've avoided it by not doing the crime. But I'm just not sure what the public flogging does that would help the situation in any way. Does Joe Schmoe's thoughts on the topic, while he's home on the toilet, hopping around online, shed any extra profound light on the topic? I think not.

It's always the same people too. If you see someone constantly complaining on your local Facebook group, just do a quick search of their name. I guarantee you will see a plethora of other comments made by them on various sites, across numerous stories. Never anything positive or happy. Or check out their Yelp reviews- strongly skewed to the negative. Not only is it sad, but I would like to see their reaction if they were the ones being torn apart.

I could write a whole blog just on Yelp alone. If there is a devil, it lives in Yelp. It gives crazy, disgruntled people a voice they shouldn't be able to use. Yelp the same thing as with the online newspaper/blog article people who just go on to unleash their fury. We have one bad review and it's from someone whose only other review is a complete hatchet job on a restaurant. That says a lot to me about a person when the only have negative reviews. That is a person who can never be satisfied. I'm still wondering how I can go to his boss or company and review his performance. Because I have A LOT to say.

I just don't know when people got so mean and angry. Or is it just that they have a forum now where they have a little power? What happened to communication? To taking an issue up with someone or a small business, on the phone or face to face, before just running to the internet to blast them and possibly ruin their business? People are completely losing the art of conversation. Or having the ability to have productive confrontation. I'd say nine times out of ten, if you come to a small business with a legitimate complaint and do it in a nice way, you'll get your desired outcome. But, run to social media, and nine times out of those ten, I'm done with you.

As far as the news commentary- there is also a mind-numbing lack of reading comprehension that just adds to the ignorance of it all. I've read comments over five times before I even understood what the person was trying to convey. If you're going to try to eviscerate someone with words, at least sound like you know what you're talking about.

I can't even be bothered trying to have an intelligent back and forth with people in comments sections. I've had to stop reading them all together. Especially ones about parenting. People are way too defensive. It turns into a bloodbath. And the bottom line is- everyone should just be asking themselves, before they post- "Do I really care?". I bet the answer, almost one hundred percent of the time, is a resounding NO.

As far as "reviews"- I've been making a conscious effort to write positive posts on Facebook and Yelp about small businesses that I find and love. It costs me nothing and it might help them get some business. I have no ulterior motive. Just want to share some positivity. Yet, you can post something positive and there is always someone to come in and pee in your cheerios. These kind of people have to find a fault with SOMETHING. Even if it's something really minor, it's like they can't let it go. It's like they think they're Simon Cowell and been given the authority to critique down to the last detail. Totally not the point of the post and beyond infuriating. If I put out there how great a retail store was when I stopped in, and everyone is agreeing, don't agree only to say "It's great but the floor was sticky one time when I went in there..."

I don't need to write poor reviews. If a retail store, restaurant, service, sucks at what they do, that will speak volumes for them. It will speak enough so that I don't have to do it for them.

I'm pretty sure everyone was taught as a child- "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all". Apparently, this one needs to be re-learned as an adult. I've definitely made my share of snarky comments over the years on message boards, but I would never try to purposely malign someone's business. I think that's what someone like a Yelp Elite forgets when they give someone a three star review for virtually no reason. A reason that has nothing to do with their goods or services.  Small business owners are people just trying to put food on the table for their family. They don't get a paycheck from someone else. And those people I referenced above, living out their nightmare of a ginormous mistake in the press, they still have children that have to see this press. The public bashing is just wholly unnecessary. Karma will get them. As will a judge and jury.

Before writing your next scathing public review, or nasty comment in a comments section, think about your endgame. Your motivation. WHY are you doing this. Maybe you just need to go for a run, get in some retail therapy, or hug your kid.

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