Have you ever been scrolling through your timeline and come across an inspirational or touching story that truly moved you?
I'm certain you have, whether it was the story of someone overcoming incredible odds to thrive or the local news station reporting a breaking story. You're feeling connected, empathetic, motivated to do better.
But then, you read the comments.
You know it's not going to be good; it never is!
Akin to a steaming trash pile in 90-degree heat, there are undoubtedly commenters picking and pulling at every last thread there is to be found—as if they're on a pedestal that's situated higher than any of us could hope to ascend.
Now, I'm not talking about commenters bringing problematic points to light and sparking productive conversations. I am all for that type of business. That's 100% what 100% of us should always be doing, because accountability and self-awareness in any climate is a top priority.
No, I'm talking about those that go out of their way to comment on things that don't affect them in any way—not to try and understand, but to revel in negativity.
"That hairstyle is so outdated."
Cool, don't style your hair that way if you don't want to.
"She should really cover up. That dress is so revealing."
It's 2020: Let's let women wear what they want without judgment, m'kay?
"If they were smart, they should have done [this] instead of [that]!"
Well, it sounds like you know what you'll do if you're ever faced with that situation.
"I'll just never understand why some people ______."
Maybe, ask? Wild idea, I know.
It seems as though for some, social media has become some type of shield, protecting those who use it from real consequences—making it easier to share opinions that are uncalled for, uninformed and (often) plain mean. Things people would never say to someone face-to-face.
We simply must do better.
If you've ever caught yourself being one of those commenters, challenge yourself to go out of your way to share something kind and positive with someone in your life—or even a stranger you don't know! Perhaps sharing this with others might cause some to look within and ask themselves:
"Do I do this?"
Instead of thoughtlessly throwing negativity around like it's confetti at the Super Bowl, perhaps these folks should consider stepping up and getting involved with those already working toward positive change.
You never know: You could actually better your community—and the world, if you're lucky—long after ALL our hairstyles have gone out of style.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.