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Why Are People So Mean On The Internet?

I just had a rather negative experience on Facebook and so I'm taking a moment to write about it here. I don't spend much time on Facebook personally, but I do use it for my company's social media updates, so I happened to be scrolling along and came across an interesting meme. There was a discussion happening in the comment section - so I left something that seemed really benign. Like, really harmless.

And someone immediately came to drag me for it.

Now, I didn't leave this comment on some random stranger's post. I left the comment on that of a friend's page. And then one of their other friends left the incendiary remark meant for me.

My first question:

What makes anyone think it's okay to immediately attack a silly comment that was not offensive or calling out anyone in particular?

My second question:

Why the fuck does anyone think that it's okay to do that to someone's friend on their own post?

I'm over here reacting to a funny pagan meme about Odin being part of the "Santa Claus" myth - spoiler alert: he's not - and so I casually said something like: "I would argue that only the early imagery of Santa Claus could potentially be related to Odin as they are both big, beardy dudes." 

Unbelievably benign, right?

Maybe overly simplistic and if that had been the gripe, I would have readily agreed.

But no, this person instead came at me for my limited knowledge of both Saint Nicholas and Odin. Their reply was snarky and made me feel small. Like, why do that to a complete stranger? This is exactly the kind of interactions that make those of us who are socially anxious and awkward NOT want to put ourselves out there and interact with strangers. At all.

This is why some of us go into serious hermit mode.

The Takeaway:

Please, please, please consider your tone when you draft a reply to something. Please, please consider that you might be reading the tone of a comment or a post incorrectly and then reply in a non-constructive manner. Please, please, please always ask for clarification before jumping to a text-based ad hominem attack.

***Blooper Reel: That Whole Facebook Interaction Actually Made Me Cry.***


  1. well I'm sure your question was hypothetical but the answer is: because they're assholes :D and hiding behind a screen makes it way too easy to say rude things to people, things you would never dream of saying to their face.

  2. Some People are pure assholes and that's the reason. They like to bully people but don't you worry about that shit. Ignore them or if you would like, tell them to fuck off.

  3. People seem to do this because it's often easier than being mean to someone's face. I haven't encountered much of this since thankfully most people are nice, but when I have, it has always brought me down.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style


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