Only a few years ago if you had a problem with someone it’s likely you bitched about it to your friends, and then either had a face-to-face or forgot about it altogether.
Now thanks to the Internet you can moan on Facebook and send mean tweets at regular intervals and basically turn a small tussle into a very public ongoing war. It’s something we see all the time. If it’s not Kirsty Allsop and Alan Sugar throwing stones, it’s Julie Burchill and Lily Allen chucking some very nasty and personal insults at each other.
As a blogger and journalist you learn to grow a thick skin and accept that some people will hate what you are saying. Most of my ‘spite’ mail makes me laugh, however, when I read last week that Alice Pyne – the 15 year old with cancer behind the now infamous Alice’s Bucket List – was being inundated with anonymous nasty posts it made me despair.
Apparently some of the posts have been so malicious that her mother has had to add a warning on her daughter’s blog that they will trace the people saying cruel things and prosecute every single one of them and rightly so!
It’s time all of us realised that what we say online has consequences and that we can’t just say whatever we feel like whenever we want under the guise of ‘It’s our right’.
In the same way we can’t hurl insults as we walk down the street, or call someone up and put them down, we shouldn’t think we have a right to be vile just because we feel like it.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about withholding freedom of speech but simply about thinking before you click. It’s something most of us should be doing when we’re online and something we should be passing on to our kids in the light of cyber bullying.
So what do you think? Should we be careful about what we say or is it our right to say whatever we want? Let me know.
Deal of the day: