I'm Tired of all the Noise on the Internet

06/25/2015 06:22 pm ET | Updated Jun 25, 2016
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I'm tired of all the noise on the internet.

It's exhausting.

I'm tired of clickbait. I'm tired of "controversial" posts and headlines that start with "Unpopular Opinion!" as if that's a selling point, and I'm tired of "Open Letters" where people complain about the person who offended them at the grocery store. Why not just say something to the lady in the grocery store?

I'm tired of all the noise on the internet.

We spend a lot of time here. Why do we insist on making it so unpleasant so often? Why are so many people out looking for a fight?

We have real battles to fight. I know I do. I'm sure you do too. Like me, maybe you have a parent with cancer. Or maybe you have a spouse who just lost their job, or trouble paying the mortgage or a child with a disability. No matter who you are, I bet you have something real to deal with.

You know what's not real? Fighting with people on Facebook about breastfeeding and helicopter parenting and why it's awful for your kids if you stay at home with them or work outside of the home or whatever.

We can't all possibly have an opinion on EVERYTHING. Why not reserve the voicing of our opinions for those things that we actually have a real opinion on? Not an "opinion" that we just made up on the spot and decided to throw into the ring because 8,000 other people on the internet had one.

NO NO NO. Enough!

It's a waste of our collective time, and it's a waste of our collective energy. We have real battles to fight. There are real injustices and real social issues to be passionate about. There are real children at home who depend on us, and who are learning how to be good people from us.

To everyone who comments on articles: real people - many of them moms and dads just like you - write these articles. And they read the comments. What seems like one giant anonymous space is not anonymous at all. Whoever wrote the article that is getting bashed will most likely see the comment that you leave on Facebook. Comments saying that the author is a terrible mother and that she should lose her kids over her opinion and on and on and on. It's easy to forget that that is a real mother - and most often not a terrible one - who is probably doing the best she can, just like you are. Maybe the tone didn't come across as intended. Maybe you disagree on the issue. It is still a real person who has feelings, just like you do.

To my fellow bloggers: Let's set a nice tone. Let's share articles that say something substantive or that are really funny without being mean. We can continue to write satire and we can continue to have thoughts on topics that we care about. Of course. But let's write things that touch people in a way that can add to their lives, or let's engage in a discourse on a social issue that we really care about instead of writing knee-jerk reactions to every trending story on our newsfeed, whether or not we actually have something valuable to add to the conversation.

And let's knock it off with sharing articles that are the equivalent of throwing a grenade into a room full of people just to see what kind of havoc can be wrought up for "engagement."

Let's stop being intentionally polarizing.

Why should we do this? Simple. Because people are reading what we write. Because we have a platform. Because we can add to a positive culture or we can choose to manufacture crisis after crisis with our opinion posts. Because we can stir up discontent for the sake of page views, or we can choose to do something either more positive or more constructive in this space that we inhabit.

And because we all have real battles to fight.


Liz Curtis Faria writes the blog A Mothership Down, where this post originally appeared. You can also connect with Liz on Facebook.