You see a lot of chatter online about how easy the internet makes it for people to spout off without consequence, and how many people hide behind an anonymous username to bash, trash, or thrash whatever happens to piss them off that day.
What bothers me are the people who seem to forget they're posting things ON THE INTERNET. This applies mostly to facebook, as people who have blogs do realize that anyone can find their posts, but I see it all over the place. People complaining about day-to-day things, like a crowded bus or slow person in line ahead of them, that make me want to smack the person upside the head and tell them to be grateful for what they have. I want to pull these people aside and tell them "you have access to public transportation, you have money to stand in line to buy something, you're healthy enough to be doing these things in the first place."
I get that a side effect of living in a first-world country is people take things for granted, but I wish these people would realize how ungrateful they appear. I have several hundred friends on facebook and the majority have a balance between positive and negative -- it's only a handful who don't seem to realize how they sound to the rest of the world. I know that with facebook only your "friends" can see what you post, but I'm guessing they present themselves in a similar manner everywhere else.
I don't mean for this to come off as a rant about facebook, and I'm not trying to single anyone out. My point in all this is to remind everyone that the next time a stranger upsets you -- whether they moved too slowly, reacted in a way you didn't appreciate, or committed some other unforgivable social offense -- take a moment and put yourself in their shoes. Maybe the slow person has a migraine and is moving as quickly as she can, or the cranky-pants the next car over is worried about his mother in the hospital. Whatever.
I'm guilty of this too -- I get worked up far too easily over stupid things -- but I don't turn around and blast that person all over the internet. I complain to my husband or a friend and then I MOVE ON. Yes, I occasionally post complaints, but it's usually a general thing and never hurtful. I try very hard to live my life in a way that I won't regret anything and I hopefully won't have to apologize for something I did or said. I know that's a lot to ask of people, but I'm hoping this serves as a reminder to think a moment or two before telling the internet about the latest idiot in line next to you.
(As a side note, I'm not talking about people who complain that they're stuck in traffic, it's the ones who wonder "WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO DRIVE HOME AT THE SAME TIME AS ME???" every day.)