Social Media…The Ultimate Showcase for Male Stupidity

In the past two days I’ve been called a “p/c pussy,” “spineless coward,” and “faggot” through social media platforms for acknowledging (not stating agreement or disagreement with) the opinions of certain minority individuals in America. The people I specifically commented about had said and done some things that I did not personally agree with, but I did not take that as an invitation to openly slander them in a public forum. Heck, even in person, there are some things we should probably just keep to ourselves, however valid we may believe our opinions to be. Apparently the people I’ve been observing missed that lesson in Kindergarten.

Whatever the case, I have to say that mostly I feel bad for the guys posting the inane, poorly formulated, unsupported and just plain stupid comments I’ve been seeing lately. Social media is surely one of the greatest community-building arenas in the history of the world, while at the same time being one of the lowest forms of communication ever invented. The anonymity and distance provided by the keyboard/touch screen allows people to stoop to new lows in human interaction.

I truly believe that the man who made the above comments would not have done so in person. He was agitated and likely felt challenged to support his position against “attack” from someone (me) who voiced an alternative opinion. In thinking about how this all relates to manhood, I realized that aggressive, unsophisticated, vulgar language may be the only way some men feel they have to protect themselves in the digital space (money and physical intimidation are not options here). When someone like me comes along and does not play the escalating game so common and seemingly essential for many men establishing their sense of masculinity, they aren’t sure what to do (F*** you! No, F*** you!!! F*** your mother!!!! and so on).

Maybe we need to do a better job as a culture of providing boys/men with appropriate expressive (even agitated/emotional) language to use in public discourse. Is this an artifact of the digital communication culture? A consequence of the 160 character communications of Twitter and texting? Are we now just going to use brief grunts and insults to communicate our ideas? I hope not.

It’s a shame that so many men stoop to this level, giving the rest (majority?) of the civilized, secure, and otherwise strong men in the digital space a bad name. I’m sure it happens, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a time when I saw a group of women digitally duking it out. Seems to be more of a guy thing. (NPR recently discussed a humorous related study exploring why men typically sweep the Darwin Awards.).

Let’s fix this. Don’t escalate. Be respectful. And if a man challenges you with insults, show greater strength by walking/clicking away. It’s not that he’s beyond help. You’re just not the person that going to change his mind and his life over Twitter, Facebook or the comments section of a blog/article. Stay confident and classy out there, men.

*Photo obtained from http://www.ads-ngo.com/tag/legambiente/

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4 thoughts on “Social Media…The Ultimate Showcase for Male Stupidity”

  1. The comments that were written (by the other person) were vile Robbie. I just hope that they were reported to facebook and taken down. You have to draw the line somewhere. I thought what you posted back was actually pretty diplomatic, under the circumstances. I guess that’s what happens when we ‘turn the other cheek” (like we’ve been taught). You are still such a class act!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Melinda. I’m obviously far from perfect, and I definitely THOUGHT of other things to say in reply. But the whole point of any argument gets lost when we resort to name calling. I looked back at the post/comments this afternoon and the second comment from the unhappy gentleman had been removed by the owner of the initial post. Justice, in a sense, I suppose.

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  2. Hey man, it is all good. Welcome to the world online and it goes both ways. We are all guilty. A politically correct commenter tried to “professionally” in a sarcastic tone bring my hypermasculine views to the ground. Did I care? Yeah. Reason why? Because I must of said something that had an impact on him so much that it moved him to write down an essay on how I am deluded. My reply towards his email was, “thanks for sharing,” which infuriated him even more. See..we are all guilty no matter what side of the fence. Hang in there man and continue to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mavellian. My final reply to the guy was “Thanks for further proving the point. You make me smile.” I’m guessing he wasn’t too pleased about that, but I didn’t get to see his reply. It got deleted before I could see it. Probably means it was in line with his earlier comments. Mavellian, you definitely have some polarizing views, and I appreciate your ability to keep things insult-free in the comments. Some people seem unable to just talk about the issue and feel the need to make everything unnecessarily personal.

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