I had a bit of hiatus from some of the sites, blogs, pages and so on that I regularly follow over the weekend. And not because any of them said or did anything nor was I feeling exhausted from being constantly connected to information - but rather I had 'comment rage'.
I had started following the facebook pages of the asylum seekers on Nauru and I was sickened by the comments and abuse being hurled about by people. For a bit of light relief, I clicked onto a story about Adele's new baby boy and I was appalled by the horrid comments about her weight and her pregnancy. I went and read some articles on a news site and couldn't believe the nastiness people were dishing out about people so spectacularly bereft by the unexpected loss of a child.
And these weren't dedicated trolls. These were one off comments mostly by people expressing their opinion and moving on to spread their poison elsewhere. And it genuinely distresses me that people are so nasty or so defiantly apathetic and with so little thought. So inured in their life approach of not caring that they can smash people down with a careless comment or two and then go about their life probably not even giving the horridness another thought. Yet they put their names and faces to it and leave it there in cyberspace to be read and reread by hundreds, thousands of others. Casual nastiness is no less damaging or hurtful then sustained and deliberate nastiness.
By the end of Friday I was agitated - genuinely and considerably agitated - by the negativity I had absorbed through the comments sections. And I wanted that to go.
Change begins with I. I truly believe that. I try to maintain the rage in a proactive and useful way by talking about issues, standing up for what I believe in, not being a passive bystander when bigotry or nastiness is perpetuated but I had the weekend off.
And probably nobody noticed but I'm back, fired up and ready to try and change the world one small suburban step at a time.