I feel pretty lucky, I tend to find myself in a lovely corner of the internet. When people complain that their facebook stream is full of awful and ugly things, I'm hidden away in my fluffy online world of support, strength and laughter.
Tonight I was reminded a little how blunt and rude people can become behind the safety of their screens. Or are these people this thoughtless in real life too?
A salon supply company found and used an old colour change photo (above) from Rockalily on their facebook page. The theory behind their page is that professionals can share/inspire/challenge each other and swap ideas and knowledge.
These are some of the comments the picture received (I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but I couldn't help it!)
" I'd never let that leave my salon. Its awful."
"Don't like it horrible and will probably be faded within 2 weeks"
"Eeeeeuw..not keen on this ..sorry"
"That is utterly disgusting"
"Its not wearable, it looks wishy washy....Darling, it isn't wearable, you'd straight away be limited to what colour make up you can wear and clothes come to think of it."
I should have probably stayed away completely, but I felt that the ignorance and rudeness displayed wasn't just towards the colour change, but to people who perhaps embrace a different sense of style. I forgot how ugly and odd these types of hair colours are to some people, perhaps I'm protected by the East London bubble. It sometimes feels more unusual to see standard hair colours, rather than a crazy fashion colour. My mother always jokes that she knows she's nearly at the salon when the whole tube train is full of tattooed people, and she feels the odd one out!
Now of course, the picture received positive comments too, but this blogpost isn't about the colour change, nor is it about whether the client loved it (which she did). It's about how the internet creates a sense of entitlement to share an opinion. I'd guess an opinion that if we were sat in an actual room, they'd politely keep to themselves, or phrase in a constructive manner.
It reminds me of the infamous Milgram social experiment from the 60s, where people were asked to administer pain to a stranger in another room. If the 'victim' was not visible to the test subject they were willing to administer a larger voltage (more pain) compared to when the 'victim' was visible (or even just audible). Out of sight, out of mind seems to be the same principle at work when people lose their manners online too.
Perhaps more people need to be reminded that if they have nothing nice or useful to say, they should sometimes just choose to say nothing at all. The world would be a friendlier place, that's for sure.