If You Can’t Say Something Nice…


Social media is everywhere- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr, the list goes on. And what does social media do? It gives people a voice, a space in which they can express their views to hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of people at the click of a button. Of course there are advantages to this: never has communication been easier, people connecting all over the world, talking and sharing opinions; the possibilities are endless. But, the one overwhelming negative of social media? The ease in which people can hide behind a computer screen, abusing, arguing, hating.


It’s not a new thing for me to read negative things online; Twitter is full of people attacking celebrities, following them only to write nasty comments on posts and photos, and the same goes for their Instagram. I’m continually amazed by how pathetic people are, wasting their time writing to someone simply to abuse them. Even stranger is the hatred people feel for someone they’ve never even met, someone they’ve only watched on TV or read about in magazines. Honestly, do people have nothing better to do with their time?

However, the thing which I’ve noticed more recently since joining more online forums (mainly groups for expats in Korea) simply with the hope of finding out interesting information about Korea- things to do and where to go- is how many people seem to enjoy spending their time arguing, writing insulting comments aimed to get a rise out of the other members, trolling, oh and also, openly hating Korea and everything about it, despite making the decision to live here.

I’ve seen so many pointless arguments, the most recent example being when someone posted a link which advertised a beautiful, luxury pension. The response? Abuse, because people can’t afford somewhere so expensive that costs around 300,000 won a night. Seriously, it makes me scared to write anything in public ever, for fear of being maimed.

But what makes me really angry are the cruelly insensitive comments I woke up to this morning, fuelling this blog post: the tragedy of the K Pop Concert which left 16 dead, and the consequent suicide which left one woman widowed and children without a father. So how did people react to the news? Surprise, surprise, with arguments. With tactless statements showing no sorrow over the event, just arrogant judgements on what happened. And there were many horribly cold comments which I’m not even going to repeat, pretty much blaming the people for their own deaths. Pretty disgusting.


It was exactly the same after the Sewol Ferry Disaster; at a time of utter grief, people took the opportunity to brazenly condemn the country and attack individuals for the tragedy. Of course in life there are always going to be mistakes made, people in the wrong, and accidents do happen. But really, the day after lives have been lost, is it really the time to adopt an ‘I know better’ attitude and criticise everyone else? Definitely not. People have lost children, parents, loved ones. It’s the time to express your deepest sympathies, and be thankful that you haven’t suffered in the same way. Lastly, if someone you knew and loved was involved, would your reaction be the same?

Whether it’s hating on a celebrity, arguing about the price of a hotel, or ranting about safety precautions the day after a tragedy, it’s just pointless, pathetic, and malicious. It’s fine to debate and express your opinion sure, but when you know that your words could hurt someone else? Don’t write them.




4 thoughts on “If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

  1. Good article Kathryn. I think it’s the old atiguve that people feel bigger when they put others down. You hit the nail right on the head when you asked if they would be saying the same things if it was one of their loved ones involved in the accident. Also, like you said, people feel pretty big when they’re at home behind a computer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that anonymously attacking celebrities is like poking yourself in the face with a spoon, pointless and stupid. I think that after a tragedy people are entitled to ask serious questions of those who have made it happen. That, in principle, is no different from a journalist taking the responsible parties to task. The only difference is in the tone and tenor of the language. Perhaps therein lies the problem. An interesting and well thought post.


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