Facebook bullies

Facebook bullies

Nathan Stapleton

Facebook bullies

Annie Clarkson

One of my Facebook “friends” recently posted another of his insightful thoughts on the “wall.” It read: “I laugh at the large people in the health food aisle.”

He misspelled aisle, of course, as each of his posts contain misspellings of any word more than three letters.

Well, my friend, perhaps “large people” shouldn’t live in glass houses either, but the saying actually goes “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

During the Christmas season, the general tone of each daily post of this Facebook philosopher was religious, compassionate and philanthropic. He reported he was busy reading the Bible and asked his Facebook friends to dump their problems on him and he would help solve them. He was out to save the world.

So what happened to my “friend” between his religious enlightenment and his insensitive remarks a few weeks later? Perhaps someone laughed at him when he was in, say, the library, a spelling bee or a Mensa meeting.

In this case, my rant has nothing to do with the ridicule and discrimination suffered daily by “large people.” In a few years, the author of this insensitive comment will find himself the proud owner of a large beer belly and the subsequent object of someone else’s ridicule. Sadly, almost half of all Americans are considered “large people.”

The problem is my Facebook friend is not alone in his desire to publish hurtful remarks. When someone publishes an opinion in The Chart or The Joplin Globe, inevitably, some anonymous writer will respond, usually online, by attacking the intelligence or integrity of the opinion writer; rather than just voicing an opposing viewpoint in a civilized manner.

I don’t know how anyone has the courage to publish an opinion, knowing the insults and verbal abuse that are sure to follow. I disagree with much of what I read and I think bad thoughts about some people but I don’t publish them, that is, until now.

All evidence to the contrary, I don’t mean to be a hypocrite. I apologize to my friend for calling him out on what he, no doubt, thought was a comical irony. His comment, after all, was not directed at me specifically. My resolution, therefore, is (1) to be more respectful of others’ feelings, and (2) to lighten up. So if he promises not to laugh at me when he sees me in the health food aisle (as if) I promise not to laugh at him when he becomes the 48th President of the United States.