Why do people take precious time to be horrible to strangers?

I got my first hate video posted to YouTube a few days ago. It was in response to my post, “Compassion vs. Condemnation.” For any of you who haven’t read it, it talks about the abortion debate.

In my naivete, I’ve felt that this little space of mine on the web doesn’t interact with too many out in the world. I mean, check my stats! But that’s ok. I’m not here for cyber fame. My blog is my little space to let out the many thoughts and ideas I have on many topics. And truthfully, in the middle of the state of affairs in the United States, this is a valve that releases a lot of steam in the pressure cooker of my brain. On that note, if you need to release steam, please find the valve you need. We all have to find ways to process.

But back to the topic. I received a couple of emails last week through the “Contact” page on my blog. I was chastised for my viewpoint, told to repent, and threatened about my job. I replied to this person that it was not that their place to call me to repentance and that I would not be threatened.

A couple of days later, I saw another message. This one had no copy other than a YouTube link. For a second I was excited thinking, “oh, maybe someone has a resource for me to check out on my post from the night before (Desi Dilemmas). So, I clicked on it.

Was I shocked to see an entire almost eight-minute video that included job-related photos, and screen shots of my Twitter account; sections of the “offending” post blown up and out of context, where the creator proceeded to shred me. Of course, curiosity got the best of me and I read the comments. One highlight? I was called a special agent of Satan and an emissary of him. That’s just lovely.

As I processed this; sharing it to my “tribe,” and receiving the exceptional care and wise counsel one receives when they belong to a group of the best people on the planet (find yourself a tribe—however small it is), what struck me most was the creation of the video itself.

How much time did this person spend scouring the internet for anything he could find on me? And when he stumbled upon a poorly worded Twitter post on Bill O’Reilly from 2010 (you read that right), did he cackle with glee to find something he believed would damage my reputation? He had to take some serious time to go through ten years’ worth of Twitter posts, to find every mention of me and every picture available. And the video itself was graphically solid, I have to say. So, to create graphics from my photos, from my blog post, from my Twitter; then to film the diatribe, and then edit and post it, that represents a solid investment of time and resources. And for what?

In the time spent creating a piece of media designed to tear down a total stranger, this guy could have gone out and fed a few hungry people, sent encouraging messages to people who are struggling. Perhaps he could have cleaned up trash from a littered city street or volunteered at an animal shelter. He might have donated a dollar or two to a disaster relief non-profit or even to a legitimate organization that supports his point of view. He could have read books to the blind or sponsored new storybooks for a classroom of first graders. The point is there is a lot of good he could have done for the world in the time he took to make one unkind video.

I’m always blown away by mean comments people make to influencers on social media. Comments I’ve read run the gamut from just annoying to horrific. And I’m always struck with the question why? Why does a person feel the need to say something mean to someone they don’t know? What do they hope to accomplish? If it hurts feelings, those feelings heal pretty quickly. But most often, hate posts and videos don’t accomplish what the creators wish for them to do, so why do it?

I much prefer to like/love posts that make me laugh or want to learn more and scroll right on by the ones that raise my blood pressure.

What would the world be like if there was more scrollin, less trollin?

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