Monday, January 27, 2014

The Perils of Posting

The Internet is wonderful - it allows you to reach out and share your thoughts and experiences with thousands of unseen readers. The Internet is terrifying it allows you to reach out and share your thoughts and experiences with thousands of unseen readers.

As much as I like blogging I guess in a way I am blessed that I have an infinitesimal readership..or is that a curse? I usually blog about music - jazz and sometimes what I'm reading, food I've eaten, things I've baked, movies I've seen, books I've read
and places I've travelled to, stuff I've bought..all seemingly innocuous and I haven't received any negative feedback per se...knock on wood. It's therefore surprising to read about someone like Vanessa Bruno here in Toronto who was cyberstalked due to her blog and threatened with violence - and not just violence to her - but those around her which is extra creepy.

Heather Mallick - who is one of favourite columnists, in a recent Toronto Star column wrote about anonymous haters responding to her columns - though she is blessed with not only one but several cyber creeps and I believe also good old fashioned postal stalkers.

I bemoan that fact that because the internet provides usernames and anonymity it seems to give license to those wackjobs who feel it is okay to threaten bodily harm through their keyboards. I'm willing to bet that a number of these people would not dare to say to someone's face what they have the audacity to type.

I for one have no hesitation about attaching my name to feedback or comment..but then it may also stem from the fact that I haven't written anything paraphrase  Thumper said to Bambi.."If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all".  I would much rather someone be blunt to my face than be false and insincere. Many of our favourite quotes from the likes of Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw to Dorothy Parker are because those individuals had the guts to say to someone's face what was on their mind.

As with many modern conveniences it seems sometimes that civility has gone by the wayside. I was chatting with friends recently about the phenomenon of texting and personal space and courtesy - so many are walking around texting or listening to their ipods  that they appear oblivious to people in their path or their vicinity and also dangerously oblivious to oncoming traffic while crossing the street.

Where am I going with this? I guess I'm hoping that those nasty individuals out there hiding behind their screens are shamed by other higher minded folk. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion but no you are not entitled to frighten, stress out or imperil the recipient. Please choose light instead of darkness. Thank you.