Politeness ‘virtually’ disappearing


By Sue Curtis



For a long time, I’ve been concerned about the erosion of civility and courtesy in our world. I don’t see it so much in day-to-day, real-people interactions, although it is starting to creep upward, in my opinion. It drives me a little bit crazy when people don’t remove hats at sporting events for the National Anthem, or in restaurants.

It continues to distress me that people in our neighborhoods litter wildly. There’s such a lack of respect for our gorgeous country. It seems “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” are more infrequent these days, too.

Some manners may be eroding, but it’s worse in our virtual worlds. Social media has taken rudeness to a high level and I don’t like it at all. Part of the problem is that so many social media sites allow for anonymity. You don’t have to use your real name, so one can post any nasty thought that comes to mind. There are no repercussions or consequences (although some sites have, of late, taken to removing such negative comments or blocking the user).

Recently, I was made aware of a blog that exemplifies my concern. It is a blog that supports Ohio State sports and anyone can “register.” Names on this site for commenting are things like “Bucssupporter” or “Buckeye123.” Your comments appear under this name and folks who read what you post have no idea who or where you are.

On this site, people can post questions and others can answer. You might read something like “what do you think our chances are for next year’s football championship?” or “do you think we should be playing a zone defense?” and anyone who’s registered can weigh in. Often, these comments demonstrate our fears, worries, and hopes and are pretty innocuous. Sadly, sometimes, they get nasty.

Last week, a member (Buckey1976) posted a simple question: “Why do some of you choose to live in cold areas?” He received a lot of responses about family, work, and the beauty of four seasons. Then “NorCalBuckeye” began to post snarky comments. He posted 20 of them over a 36-hour period, bragging how he had the perfect place to live, a great house, a pool, wonderful recreational activities, and superb wine. He stated that anyone who lived in “cold areas” was stupid, that Ohio’s four seasons were all crappy, and compared living in California to “dating a hot girl” and living in Ohio to “dating an average girl next door.”

At this point, I took umbrage. This was too much, especially since I’m an average girl next door. I’d like to discuss the errors of his thinking with him. The reality is that I can’t do that, since I have no idea who he actually is. Meanwhile, he can go on being snarky and trying to make others feel small.

If all he does is post comments on his computer all day, just how much of his so-called “great life” is he actually enjoying? Maybe that’s just my take, though. What do you think?

Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.