Welcome to the Internet- You May Now Start Acting Like a Tool!

You know you want to act like one.

I think I am losing my faith in mankind.  My love affair with Facebook seems to have faded to a resentful, bitter relationship where I just feel trapped.  I want to leave but I just know HE can't live without me. 

You know what I am talking about.  You literally can't say anything on the internet without some idiot freaking out about their hurt feelings.  For instance, I shared a beautiful photo with a quote the other day.  The quote was this one:  "Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.”and was attributed to Howard W Hunter.  (Upon researching it, I believe the quote was actually in a statement made by the first presidency of the LDS Church and not attributed to one distinct person.  More later on how it is awesome to make fun of religion.)

Yes.  Somebody got ticked that the word "mankind" was used. 

No, they never went to college and learned about how in the English language the term "mankind" typically refers to all people.  (I remember being worried about stuff like that when I was like 16, but then I grew up and had  pay bills and worry about real stuff like eating.) These same people are also really ticked off about all romance languages and how they assign gender to random things like casserole and beans. 

So instead of just seeing a pretty picture and reading a nice quote that in essence says that being a mom is freaking awesome and as close as you can get to being like God, they got mad.  Also, somebody got mad because the baby was wearing a HAT.

HEAVEN FORBID that a baby wear a hat.  I mean who knows what could happen!  EEEEEKKKKKK!!!!  Never mind that the baby was all wet, may very well have been in a cold room (laboring women get hot and this was a new baby) and as a very small child can lose heat very quickly, never mind all that.  The important thing to do in this situation (that you are not actually in because you are just looking at a picture) is this:

A) Get offended.
B) Make a comment.
C) Be excited because everything you say matters.
D) Get more excited if it starts a fight on the internet.
E) Do a happy dance.

I am ashamed to admit that I made a few snarky comments back.

Yes.  I did.  (Head hung in shame.)  I "may" have said a few things about how  people who make comments like that are actually joy sucking leaches that make me want to throw my computer off a bridge and live in a cave where I can't get my eyebrows waxed anymore.  (And let's be honest folks, getting my eyebrows waxed is right up there with warm showers on my "things that make life worth living" list.  So you can imagine how upset I was.)

I am kind of disappointed in myself.

But who am I kidding.

It's the INTERNET!  Everybody can act like a tool!  Even me!

Everybody now has free reign to act like a jerk (preferably in public) at any given moment.  Also, sharing stupid opinions like they are facts is ENCOURAGED.  (Yes, I join in on the fun.  I can admit that I think my opinions are awesome.  Other peoples...not so much.)

Yes, internet jerkiness has risen to new levels in the recent past.  It is an exciting (if you are a harassment lawyer or just an old fashioned bully) time to live in.  I have even had an old "friend" start trolling the sites of my current friends telling them what to do and basically acting like she is in charge of everybody and everything because she happens to (yay for her!) exist.  Being on the internet automatically makes you in charge of the world!


It's cool people.  Don't call the police.  Don't let it hurt your feelings or upset you.  There are no rules of common decency on the internet.  You are welcome to be the absolute WORST version of yourself.  In addition, other idiots will be happy to join you in your idiotness.  You can all do a big idiot party together where you get angry and make comments.  It's something special that around here we call a "Facebook thread". 

Sure, your mom may have taught you to be kind and stuff like that.  She may have told you to not say bad words in front of others or to avoid sensitive topics like religion, money or sex in a public place.  Your mom may have told you to only speak if you had something nice to say, otherwise, to  just keep it to yourself.  (Listen closely now.)  But in internet world- THOSE RULES DON'T APPLY. 

Around here on the internet you are actually ENCOURAGED to be as big a jerk as possible.  Sure, in the real world with real people who have, you know, feelings and faces, you can't act like that.  But on the internet there are actually no feelings and people aren't graded on things like kindness and decency, they are rewarded for being gifted in the art of "pot stirring" or "making others angry". 

So go ahead.  Talk about cutting off a penis or spanking.  Make fun of somebodies religion.  (Always a fun one!  I learn all kinds of fun things about my very own religion from people on the internet who have never actually MET a person of my religion or talked to them or read any of our beliefs.  But they know more than I do, and they learned it from a Facebook page!)  Act like because you thought it it must actually be a scientific FACT.  (This may actually make you money.  Just remember- GLUTEN IS THE ENEMY.)  It is important to also frequently be superior and condemn people who disagree with you as "judgemental".  (Never mind the fact that you are being judgmental when you act like YOU are the judge of everything and the determiner of all things worthy and good in the world.  Believe me, nobody will notice your hypocrisy!)  It is also important to act like your kids are perfect, your house is clean and your abs are flat.  (Remember- it is the internet so you can say whatever you want about yourself and since most of these people will never actually meet you in real life, everybody believes the lies!  How awesome is that!?)

Yes, go ahead and act like a tool.  On the internet, that is just the way to be.  You will be super popular.  It's kind of like 8th grade only you can put a fake picture of yourself up and pretend it is you.


PS- I apologize to everybody who read this thread.  Yes I was talking about you.  No, I didn't mean it.  That is why I said it on the internet.  And yes, I know that gluten is in fact the enemy.


AmandaRuth said…
Can I give you a hug and tell you how AWESOME you are?

; )
Mama Birth said…
YES. Not sure I deserve one though!
Cherith Melody said…
Hey Mama Birth,

Unfortunately the internet lends itself to bullying... there's no face in front of you.. no visible emotional reaction... it takes away responsibility. I'm sorry I sent you that long message six months ago about how upset I was about my csection because I felt that you hadn't been real enough about birth. LOL I just needed to vent my deep hurt and disappointment that after everything I'd done to try and prepare for a good birth it had all gone wrong. Thank you for working so hard to inspire women to birth naturally.
paule said…
Interesting that you should bring the newborn hat as I had this conversation today. I could find FIVE reasons NOT to put a hat on a newborn. When you know them all, you might want to jump on the bandwagon and do the research. Here they are:
1. Interferes with bonding - research pheromones, the sense of smell which interferes with oxytocin production, which interferes with physiological third stage... ( Oh wait... Was that three reasons?!?)
2. In case of head injury, the head NEEDS to cool down. Here's one quick online research, but there's much more out there... http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/a/SB10001424127887324504704578410483353736480?mg=reno64-wsj
3. Physiological third stage cannot be messed with. Mothers need to bond with baby for it to unfold well and safely.
That's enough. I bet you'll find tons more reasons when you do your research...
Mama Birth said…
P- it isn't really about the hat. Do you get that? It is about enjoying something as beautiful and not picking it apart for what is wrong with it (especially when you aren't even there and don't know the situation in particular). It is about thinking that because you have a keyboard you have a right to tell other people what to do in any given situation. It is about being respectful of things that other people do differently.

And realistically- I can't believe that a hat is really that big of a deal. (But thank you for insinuating that the only reason I said that is because I am in fact ignorant and haven't done my research. Sheesh.Know better- do better, blah, blah blah. Do people realize how condescending that sounds?)

But it isn't really about the hat. Obviously people can make a big deal out of anything from a word to a hat to religion and that which is sacred to another. Bah. It makes me sad. But probably not as sad as these people make themselves by finding something wrong with EVERYTHING that other people do.
Who needs enemies when you have friends like that?
aniC said…
I knew you were lds!! :)

The internet is just so fun, isn't it!? A wonderful place to come and pick people apart. Stuff like this is exactly why with as much as I LOVE writing, and think it COULD be fun to be a famous blogger, I just don't think I could handle it. People are just mean.
Paule - you *may have missed the point of this utterly awesome, true to mama forum, essential post.