Nearly all blogs get negative comments at some point or another. What I do not understand is why people cannot be civil with their comments. Were they never taught manners? Or, do they just not care? And this is not a phenomenon with just blogs, where people can be anonymous through the technology of the internet. I have come to realize that some people just seem to be angry at the world and take that anger out on whoever they can. These angry people should realize that striking out with their anger is not productive. Disagreements and debates are healthy for all of us to see different views, but does someone have to be so vitriolic in their criticisms? Why can't a simple I disagree and this is why I disagree not be sufficient? Instead, these people often attack and attempt to make their attack personal. A good example of this comes from a recent blog post "What Is Your Christianity Used to Justify?" on the blog for Believe Out Loud. I have noticed that many of the more harsh criticisms come from people who comment on my posts about Christianity/Religion and those about my opinions of Queer Theory. I have my opinions, and this blog is a place for me to write about them. I always welcome comments, but why are people not able to give their opinions in opposition without turning to attacks?
I also see it more and more with students. They have a distinct lack of courtesy when speaking to people in authority. They are often rude and think it is cute and funny. I find nothing cute or funny about being rude. I have one student, whose family is fairly wealthy, and she is one of the meanest people I have ever met. She is the epitome of a "mean girl." Such people are so inconsiderate of those around them, that they actually think that the world revolves around them alone. With my students, they will one day have a rude awakening. They will find that manners really do matter, and that simple, random acts of kindness can go a long way.
I have often talked on this blog about the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated. For me, this is not a hard concept. The nice guy may not always finish first, but I urge all of us, including myself, to work harder each and every day to think of those around you and with whom you interact. The simplest acts of kindness can make someone's day. It shouldn't be that difficult to give someone a smile, to hold open a door for someone, to ask someone how there day is going, etc.
My main question is this: where has chivalry and manners gone? Why is rudeness considered en vogue today? Are we really that self-centered as humans? Where is Miss Manners?