I have been a member of Facebook since about 2009. I originally had no interest in belonging to any sort of social media but due to some needs at work I found myself obligated to join and learn about this trend in American Pop Culture. I soon discovered there were several advantages to being on Facebook as it allowed me to stay in closer contact with family members and friends. Additionally, I soon discovered many people who I had known at some point in my life were also a Facebook User. I discovered that there was some validity to social media, although it was still considered as trite and was banned from all computers at work, at least initially.
As time went on, I found myself becoming more involved in various other aspects of Facebook and most significantly, Facebook Groups. It did not take very long, nor did I have to join very many groups, to discover how hostile and unfriendly people who did not even know me could be. I was surprised to discover how easily some could attack me, or others, simply based on the fact that we did not share a similar point of view, regardless of what was being discussed. I quickly grasped that some people were very passionate about their feelings on a particular topic, but what I had difficulty with was understanding why this passion was translated into hostility. People who do not know me as the kind, sweet, lovable old man who I am would quickly begin to attack me, call me vile names, and make allusions to my parentage and heritage. They would make these assumptions based solely on how I felt about one topic or one point of view. I really did not know how to react to thee attacks but I did know that I did not wish to respond in kind. That would have gone against my nature.
I took a step back and tried to find what was best, for me, to deal with these hostile and insulting people. Now of course, human nature would say that I respond in kind. I did not wish to do that. I decided to respond in such a fashion that I could convey my ideas, convey who I am, and do so in a non-insulting and non-challenging way. As I am sure you can guess, that did not seem to have much impact on my verbal adversaries. The next thing I tried was to show them the error of their ways. I took the time to patiently, but succinctly, point out to them that name calling and insulting taunts were not a good venue to convey their points of view. I am sure you can imagine how well that was accepted. I am still struggling with this today. I had no idea what a variety of insults could be hurled at a person based on their political affiliation, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I am, by no means, a young man but in the past several years of Face Booking I have learned an incredible amount of taunts, insults, and challenges. All of this was very perplexing to me.
So I did what I always do when I am perplexed. I turned to Google looking for some degree of understanding of this phenomena. I discovered that people who engage in this type of activity are officially known as “Key Board” Warriors. I do not agree with this term, or the definition. In my mind, a warrior is a person who is strong, brave,a and willing and able to defend themselves and others. Immediately what comes to mind are a soldier or a police officer. Those types are warriors and the truest sense of the term. Whereas a keyboard warrior has no courage, and hides behind the safety of their internet enabled device. I believe a true warrior believes in their position and are will to stand for that position with bravery, logic, and common sense. Something I have not seen much of in those people commonly described as a keyboard warrior.
I reject the term keyboard warrior. I do not think there is such a thing. I think the person who hides behind their keyboard hurling insults deserve a new title. I am from now on going to use this new term, and I am willing to stand up, in public, and say it to your face. There are no keyboard warriors. There are, however, a multitude of keyboard cowards. So, are you a true warrior or are you a keyboard coward?
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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Tom, keep up the good work! I enjoy your commentaries and agree with all you’ve said so far! Hope all is well with you.
Thank you. I appreciate the comment.