When did we cease being kind just because we are online? I’ve noticed a rather sad trend on social media.

I follow a number of feeds or pages or whatever they are called. I Love Westies, This Cat is Chonky, The View From My Window, Older Artists and Beautiful Tablesettings, those are my main ones. And many, many people start off a post with “I know I’m not as talented as most of you, but please be kind” or “ this is my first time posting, please be easy on me.”

People will put up a photo of their dog or cat, perhaps dressed in Christmas outfits and feel compelled to say “no, I didn’t leave this on him (or her) it’s just for fun.”

To me, it’s very sad that people need to do this. Yet, I know why they do. Especially on the artist’s posts and the feed that features people’s gorgeous “tablescapes.” There always seems to be some troll who doesn’t want to support, compliment or encourage. Instead they want to critique, often cruelly.

One newcomer to the art site posted a painting that was her first attempt to ever paint. She’s 82 years old. While the majority of us commended her on her effort, there was one nasty person who told her she needed to find another hobby, saying she brought the standard on the site down.

Why? Just why would anyone be so petty and mean? What did this achieve other than hurting an older woman? Was the woman a great artist? No. But why would some kindness have hurt a thing?

I’ve seen other artworks in which people tell the artist not to bother, to find a craft page instead of an art page or to quit using such nasty colors.

On the beautiful table settings, there are incredibly lovely, creative tables set with gorgeous or cheerful china, tablecloths and centerpieces. People show their finds of china and crystal bought at thrift stores and junk shops, too.

Sure enough, this morning I saw a table set with Dollar Tree lemon china. I bought some myself this summer. It’s cheap china, but the design is lovely. And the poster had done a wonderful job creating a sunny, pleasant luncheon table.

There, among the compliments was this: “I guess you can call me a snob, but I think this type of tableware is bringing down the quality of this site. Don’t post crap.”

Again, why? Don’t want to look at it, scroll down! Good grief, are you trying to show how sophisticated you are? It’s not working because what you said was very, very tacky.

People criticize when people dress their pets up in outfits. They criticize what toys are given to animals and how they are trained or treated.

Is this because people can be rude without having to look others in the eye, face to face? Is it because we don’t personally know people on social media and can take anger or frustration out without consequences?

I don’t understand why anyone would enjoy tearing someone down instead of lifting them up? What pleasure is there in being insulting and ugly to some who are proud and happy with something?

I’ll say this, though, my Back Roads of Texas feed is devoted to a wide variety of photos taken within the boundary of the state.

So far, I have seen not a single ugly, critical comment. That makes me proud.

But I would really like to see all the trolls out there being small and mean take a lesson from that!

There is no need for cruelty or unkindness to people you don’t even know.

Nanalee Nichols is a former newspaper owner and a resident of Deport.

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(1) comment


Good thoughts.

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