I’ve always been skeptical of the adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
It just seems too absolute for me. There are times when saying something that’s not-so-nice is appropriate. Like when yelling at the football players on TV that they’re chumps and even I could have caught the ball. Or when you’re pushing a baby out of your bagina, cursing the man who put it in there. Or if your internet stops working for no DAT BLAMMIT reason. Those are valid reasons to say something that’s not-so-nice.
The internets have brought out the worst in people. With the anonymity of the series of tubes to hid behind, there is a sect of the population who feels it’s OK to insult and walk away. It’s not OK,
There are entire blogs devoted to negativity: the negativity of parenting, the negativity of others, and the negativity of negativity. It all exists, and the perpetuation of criticism leaks into spaces where it’s not welcome.
Criticism is OK. To disagree is OK. It is NOT OK to make critical comments and just walk away.
Imagine shopping in your grocery store, minding your own grocery-buying business, and someone came up to you and said, “YOU SUCK!” then walked away. Wouldn’t you want to know why you suck specifically? Is it because of the food you’re buying? The clothes you’re wearing? Are you taking up too much space in the aisle? Is it because you’re actually sucking on a lollipop? I’d like to ask, “WHY do I SUCK?”
Unfortunately, some people on the internets don’t feel an obligation to follow through on their declarations of your suckage, and if they do, the reasons are benign and unfounded. So then you’re left with an incomplete thought of why exactly you suck compared to the accuser. And that totally sucks.
How about some constructive criticism instead of blanket insults? A little, “I read what you’re point making, and I’d like to offer my opinion of the situation.” Or, “I like what The Rock is cooking, but I think I know of a way you can improve it.”
Think about what you put out to the universe. Negativity begets negativity. Being an unsubstantiated jerk is not OK.