Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poor choice of words

So a fella gets ripped a new one for posting insensitive comments online. The fact that he is a foreigner is not a factor in this situation because anyone who posts stupid things online is fair game for trolls seeking easy targets to vent on.

The hypersensitivity of the overreaction is more fascinating to me. We are enraged for being labelled "poor". Um, so what? There is no shame in being poor. The vast majority of us do not drive around in Porches, but we still get around town and get our stuff done just fine, anyway. We're resourceful like that.

Besides, we even call ourselves "poor" and complain we can't afford fees, fares, housing, education and food. So we can label ourselves "poor" when it suits our arguments, but we can't accept the same label when it doesn't? Instead, in our online culture we take every chance to shame people who claim to be "rich". Essentially, we are telling people who own nice things to get off the Internet. That's not very nice of us, is it?

His second transgression was stating his desire to "wash [off] the stench of public transport" after his experience with it. We've all thought the same thing ourselves; we've posted the same thought online ourselves; and now we are excoriating someone for also posting the same comment in his own paraphrase? Everybody knows our public transport system is terrible. Online we're so vocal with our complaints about overcrowding; so many breakdowns; such frequent delays... That totally stinks and yet they keep raising fares! TMD!

So we all think the same thing, and we post our thoughts online though in different words, some more prosaic, some more droll, most just shoot from the hip. There is no need to take such huge issue with a "poor" paraphrasing of such a common thought. Let's just take a chill pill and give more room to nuance, off-colour humour, and multiple-entendre. And stop trying to police the Internet for politically-correct speech. Right now, online trolling is more a threat to our Internet freedoms than the MDA. Think about that.

No comments: