Sometimes I think that Twitter is a bit like a school playground. A typical school playground, if I remember what that was like all those years ago, divided into factions.
You’ve got the cool kids, the geeks, sporty kids, the beautiful people, the successful ones, then there’s the amateur dramatic group, Manchester United supporters, Liverpool supporters, those who hate football, those that hate anyone different to themselves, and there’s the comedians, laughing at/with each other.
In amongst the obvious factions you’ve got your cliques. Groups of people who can belong to any of the above but who come together on account of some shared value or belief or just ‘because’. Linked by linkages. Friends by association. There are the ringleaders, the popular people, those who unite these disparate individuals into a unit.
It’s just The Way things are. We all strive for social acceptance to one degree or another. It’s what we – as a social species – are genetically predisposed towards. We are united in groups large and small for reasons too multitudinous to list.
But when you get groups you get rivalries. Sometimes friendly, other times ugly. And with ugly rivalries comes bullying. Another thing which twitter features just as you’d find in a school playground. Groups of people united in bashing another group or individual.
Now, if you wanna go bash a group that’s fine. You crack on. Either ideologically different to your chosen group identity or for any other reason. Hate feminists, hate capitalists, hate muslims, Christians, republicans, Tories, socialists, communists, Manchester United fans, whatever.
Collectively disparage and dispute any group you choose. Groups are bigger than the sum of their parts. Groups can take it.
But when you attack an individual, when you gang up and pester, prod, poke and provoke another human being; that’s when you’re guilty of being an utter cock. And a loser low life bully.
I’ve seen it and you know who you are, taking it in turns to abuse any number of individuals on twitter as you probably did in the school playground. It’s not big. It’s not clever. It’s just cruel, petty, and nasty. And, you adults indulging in such cretinous behaviour ought to be ashamed of yourself.
So next time you see your twitter pal bashing another do the world a favour and don’t join in. In fact, if you’ve got the cojones to do so, tell them to stop. I know some of you are sheep without a unique thought of your own. I know some of you have so little in your life that the only way you can feel better is to destroy others. But please, think before you tweet. Consider the consequences of your words. Many people are fighting a difficult battle. Some of you engaging in bullying behaviour have fought battles of your own and should know better. Consider the impact of your words before you broadcast. And, you pack leaders, consider how you influence others with your behaviour. Consider some are so obliviously sycophantic that they’ll do what you say without question. As Ben Parker said;
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Use your power for good. Don’t be a nob. x