Why are people such jerks?

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Between the stink of politics, private citizens playing stalkerazzi via Reddit and just all out bad behavior by people who should know better, I’ve been thinking about jerks a lot lately.

Then I read this piece by Ebony’s Michael Arceneaux, and wished people would take his advice.

Take for instance the video of the belligerent 25-year-old woman who was ultimately assaulted by a Cleveland bus driver. It didn’t take long for people to identity both her government name and her Twitter handle. Once people did, her mentions consisted of one crude joke about her beating after another. Feel however you want about the incident itself, make your jokes if you must, but why go out of your way to directly be hurtful? Why did she need to hear these things?

I am not trying to police other people’s sense of humor. No one is completely absolved from guilt with respect to sometimes going over the line. Even so, while I personally can’t get a laugh out of watching a woman be hit by a man, what truly baffles me is why people went out of their way to find her for the sake of further taunting her.

The same can be said of similar attacks done on anyone with notoriety – namely celebrities. Some stars do indeed play an active role in antagonizing others with their tweets, yet more times than not it’s innocent bystanders. Like, you can enjoy or not enjoy Brandy’s album, but neither stance should spur you to make some direct quip to her about a tragic traffic accident she admittedly continues to have trouble with.

If you’re not a fan of Kim Kardashian, so be it. But unless you’re her gynecologist, she doesn’t need your direct analysis of her vagina virtually. And seriously, the woman who was hit on the bus doesn’t need you and yours trying to chin check her once again via computer or cell.

We’re all entitled to our opinions, but not everyone ought to necessarily be subjected to them in such pointed fashion. This is particularly true if that opinion isn’t so much a point-of-view as it is some kind of “joke” intended to hurt someone else to boost one’s own profile.

What does behaving like a prick all-day, everyday on Twitter do for these people? It won’t make up for whatever social awkwardness that happened earlier in their lives. There’s always the chance you might upset the wrong person crazy enough to find you offline to handle it. Worse, it gives you the false idea that being mean is synonymous with being funny.

Read the whole thing here. I agree with Arceneaux. Why are so many people feeling so free to get their jerk on? I know the Internet has given many the freedom (and anonymity) to let their inner ugly out. But why? Does it make them feel better about their own lives?

I just don’t get it.

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