Man oh man everybody just calm down! What is it about facebook that turns ordinarily level-headed people into raving lunatics? To paraphrase our great poet Ludacris, we got a lot of folks who are “a lady on the street, but a creep on the web.” (Sorry Luda this blog is family friendly).
I’m looking at you, partisan political grievance guy, in your face judgmental guy, and most especially you Mr. snarky, inflammatory comment for everything guy. I’m not even going to mention racist guy, everything sux guy, explicit guy, controversial social issue rabble rouser, or desperate, poor taste humor guy; surely even you know you’re the pits.
This is a call for civility for all purveyors of negativity out there. All you dealers of divisiveness, merchants of malice, issuers of insults, haberdashers of hate… enough. Try a new look. What does nastiness accomplish (Janet Jackson, The Nasty Boys + Mike Mussina’s knuckle curve notwithstanding)? Either remove yourself from the fray, or do your part to squash unnecessary, unproductive animus.
Now, at the risk of sounding like the tell everyone what to do guy, I encourage you to sound the conch shell of justice, and rally the world’s people to unite around this goal of calling people back to decency.
How do we do this? One nearly foolproof conflict-diffusing technique is the “Boyz II Men Wedge” (BIIMW). Nothing douses a heated political debate on the verge of turning ugly like a little “Motown Philly.” Or if you find yourself in the middle of a smug thread about Predestination, a link to “I’ll Make Love to You” should do the trick. That’s a real denomination uniter.
Of course there are many ways to cool the fire of a cyber shouting match. The people of planet earth are not proficient at much, but we have meticulously documented the antics of cats and other animals. Have you seen the one where that monkey in a cowboy costume rides on the dog? The principle is similar, but the BIIMW is probably the most potent, and most effective at shaming people into not taking themselves seriously.
So the next time you find yourself in a heated online battle, when the provocations and personal attacks start to fly, just remember you can always go back til the water runs dry…