We are all sensitive now

We are all sensitive now
Fecha de publicación: 
23 October 2023
Imagen principal: 

For some time now, I have been concerned about human behavior, which often has little to do with social behavior, especially in certain contexts and through digital platforms. I do not know if you have noticed here a common ground for rude, impolite, mocking, self-sufficient, offensive, angry reactions without basis, or too biased, or with argument, but lose weight when stated these ways.

I am referring to the way we express ourselves in online forums, comments on publications or posts on social networks, to that trend to take everything personally, to assume each criterion as a destructive criticism and to defend ourselves with aggressive reactions, in most cases, unjustifiably.

I can compare what happens here with a battlefield. And I constantly ask myself, why do we behave like this? Wouldn't it be easier to behave politely or, in some cases, let what bothers us go because life is what it is? Oh no! We do the opposite. We just get angry and throw stones on others because our opinion is absolute and, suddenly, we want to educate others. We believe we are all-knowing, but our image actually deteriorates.

As it is a subject that interests me and unnerves me with equal intensity—because I don't understand it—I almost always choose to study it passively. I would like to contribute weighty judgments, but until now I only evaluate the scenario to characterize it, weigh it, and my reaction remains the same: abandon any virtual space where I do not feel comfortable.

Firstly, I thought that this action was led by people’s irritation. We tend to behave this way when we are overwhelmed with emotions. We are humans, so it is not a sin. It is not right, but we sometime answer back fiercely due to our human impulse.

Due to people being irritated because when we are like this we tend to let ourselves be carried away by the emotions of the moment, and this is not a sin either, it is human. It's not right, but sometimes impulse makes us formulate bad responses. It happens to everyone, right?

Then, I realized we should not be unstable all the time. Aggressiveness may be the result of a larger phenomenon that has to do with the possibility offered by anonymity on the Internet, or the fact that we do not interact personally with the person on the other side of the PC.

At first, I also believed that those who were intolerant on social networks were also intolerant outside of cyberspace, and this may be so in many cases, but it is not generalized. I know good people, well behaved and measured, who transform their behavior on the internet!

It looks like the show of domestic and stray dogs with a fence in between. However, once the door is open and they meet face to face, they just do not bark. They just look at each other!

It happens very often that comments get heated. They escalate quickly because composure is easily lost. Why are we so susceptible and everything bothers us? Where does so much sensitivity come from that makes us believe every phrase we read or hear is personal?

On the Internet, we can find any personality: people like me who just read and move on, those who post their hearts out, the narcissist, the academic... and the troll, the hater. I think that many people love confrontation, argue, which amuses and emboldens them. However, it is not about repressing the power that we have to be able to say what bother us or what is good for us, but we shall improve the way we state things. On many occasions we use an egoistic, categorical, despotic intention, and we offend, we question the word of the other in an unhealthy manner.

I think it is wrong to hide behind a screen and rely on false freedom of expression to justify this bullying. We are free to say what we want, yes, but not by minimizing and undermining the other.

Sometimes in the supposed power we have to express ourselves, we hide disrespect, and we spend our life hurting people, believing that the only valid concept is our own, and that someone else's is totally questionable. What gives us the right to cross that personal barrier? Why do we have to engage with the intent to hurt?

I believe and defend that we must accept the difference in criteria. Truth is relative, and when we are certain of an error, there will always be an appropriate way to communicate it. It is not necessary to humiliate, diminish, make others feel bad, and much less should we demand that they think in a certain way. It would also be good to learn when to move on from exhaustive debates. It is not always worth it and choosing that option is wise.

Furthermore, let us also think that the interpretation exercise is very complex and sometimes we understand the other way around no matter how much Spanish literature you have read. We may even change the tone the other person wanted to use.

These are all valid theories. By no means we shall embarrass our fellow human beings. Let's not be rude, sullen but positive; let's cultivate empathy, let's work on tolerance. Let's learn a better way to let go what is bothering us, and it will bring us peace of mind. Let’s embrace dialogue, not confrontation. Let us not forget the capacity we have to debate in a civilized manner.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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