The Digital Age of Embarrassment

Last Sunday the Billboard Awards were on and one of the major events of the evening was Chris Brown lip synching through his set. Why, I don’t know? I assume a lot of singers do it. Especially if they’re running around doing all kinds of dance moves and acrobatics. Anyway, I read an article the next day about some celebrities taking shots at him on Twitter about his performance. I read the tweets and they were nothing I’d consider worthy of any concern. To me, they were neither mean or particularly funny. Among these was one from, this model, Christine Teigen. Here it is:

“Why sing, when you can dance?”

That’s it. I doubt Chris Brown really cared, but his fans . . . WOW. They spent the next few HOURS tweeting the most awful things to a girl they know nothing about. Some of them probably even never heard of her until that tweet. She let the tweets speak for themselves and retweeted everything, but once she’d had enough, in a serious of tweets she said this: Warning: colorful, but justified language ahead.

“You guys are too young for this shit. Too fucking young. How you can even form these sentences at someone you don’t know makes me so sad. Don’t throw around the term ho, cunt, slut. You’re women. WE ARE WOMEN. and don’t ever think a man can fucking control you. Seriously. this isn’t your fucking job. Stop being psychotic. Be strong women. Listen to opinions without spewing pure maliciousness. I’ve had comments ranging from ‘kill yourself you stupid HO’ to ‘gold digging cunt’ [to] ‘get a fucking job,’ etc. Because I don’t like [Chris Brown]? I like some of his music too. YOU can like it. You CAN. But WHY the insane hate and ‘team’?? Why can’t you just CHILL THE FUCK OUT? In all seriousness, and this has been entertaining, I’m so disturbed. What are you even doing this for? Some good music and dancing? Good god. DO BETTER.”

On the one hand, I’m in agreement with Christine about being sad and disturbed, but on the other, I like that the internet has made it possible to see who people really are.

I’m not one to take words lightly. I think everything we say, says something about our personality. And some people have a really shitty one. I mean, what’s going on in a person’s head when they can spew hate to someone that’s done nothing to them? It’s hate on a whole new level. It’s hate disguised as having an opinion.

Ashley Judd was recently in the news because rumors were flying all over the place about her good looks being the result of plastic surgery. She hasn’t had work and handled the situation like a lady. She also spent time talking to people on Twitter about it. Well, one person tweeted something really nasty about her looks and made sure to @ Ashley because she’s dying for attention. Ashley did respond. She asked this person, point blank, why she felt the need to say something so mean to her. The response was basically the I’m entitled to my opinion cop out, which tells me that this person is a coward as well as mean-spirited. Most people don’t have the balls to stand by what they say and on top of that, it’s like the internet has completely wiped people’s consciences. Behind the screen they’ve got this illusion of anonymity.

It doesn’t exist.

Who knows who’s out there reading your words? What do those words say about you? Would you mind if your family read what you said? We need to ask ourselves these questions every time our fingers touch the keyboard.

We live in an awesome time where we have numerous outlets to express our thoughts and connect with new people, but it’s not a license to tear others down with hate. Let’s make the effort to “Do better.”

3 comments on “The Digital Age of Embarrassment

  1. One of the things I like about myself is that I’m genuinely nice. So it’s really hard for me to understand why people are mean to each other. And the internet has made that so much easier! One time I saw an argument on AOL about whether or not you should use free range eggs in a certain recipe. People were being nasty to each other over EGGS. I wonder if people really think about the fact that once you say something on the internet, you pretty much can’t unsay it.

    • Ugh. Sounds like a bunch people who just like to argue. I think without an actual face staring back at you, we can get fooled into thinking we’re safe and can say whatever we want. Not true.

  2. Great post. Everyone should strive to do better.

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