Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say

Hey Internet troll, didn’t your mother ever share this little nugget of wisdom with you? If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Don’t write that statement off as the saying of an overbearing parent.  This old adage applies to your adult life too, and that includes all the negative shit you write on other people’s photos, videos, and posts.

I posted a photo from my Fall Rejuvenation shoot yesterday.  It’s a picture of me posing on the stairway into a subway station with one hand on the railing and the other holding a duffle bag.  As with most of my posts and photos, the online community I’m connected to was almost overwhelmingly positive.  But there was this one person on Google+ who wrote “A Lil feminine looking but ok.”  Does that bother you to the point that you felt so compelled to express it publicly instead of keeping your misspelled thoughts to yourself?  I know it doesn’t seem that mean, but when I’m accustomed to floating in a sea of positivity, negative comments (no matter how mild they may be) really stand out.

Of course, I naturally clicked on her profile to see what she posted and how people responded to her.  As expected, she had no profile picture.  Instead, her thumbnail was of a quote from Bible scripture.  Pretty much every post she had on her page was a quote from the Bible, photo of a soul food dinner, or repost of a meme about the dangers of homosexuality.  Not a photo of her face or body to be seen anywhere.  It’s always easy to publicly judge others’ appearances when no one can see you.  If I had to guess, I’d say you didn’t feel comfortable posting pictures of yourself on social media because you’re having a really hard time getting that last twenty pounds off based on all the fried food you’ve been cooking up.  So you’d rather hide in your house on your laptop taking your anger out on people who have more strength, courage, and creative ability than you do.  I truly understand.  Those who mock others do so out of ignorance.  And I don’t think there’s anything in the scripture that condones you making negative comments online. Though I’m sure you’d be the only person who knows what those posts say as it looks to me like hardly anyone is reading them.

I think Robert Pattinson summed it up best when he was recently asked about the negative and racist comments directed at his fiancé FKA Twigs. “I think it's because most normal people are not commenters – I've never met anyone who's left a comment on anything. It's just demons who live in basements.”  Exactly.

There’s something about the veil of the computer screen that gives you a newfound confidence.  You can say whatever you want because you don’t have to look the person in the eye when you’re saying it.  You don’t have to face accountability or consequence for your actions, which is something brave people do on a daily basis.  And you probably think you’re brave because you’re going against the grain and sharing an unfavorable opinion.  But guess what? You’re anything but brave.  You are the personification of the word coward. 

I was ultimately prepared to fire off a nasty response, but instead, I deleted your comment.  I don’t have the time or energy to become embroiled in a battle on Google+ with a person that I can’t see.  Believe me, I could absolutely obliterate you to the point where you’d never want to post on social media again.  But your stupidity throughout the rest of your life will be justice enough.  Keep posting anonymously, girl.  One day, you’re going to encounter a person who won’t take things so lightly.  And we’ll see how your handful of followers let you fall flat on your face. Oh, and I may or may not have reported your profile for hate speech.  Best of luck in your future online endeavors.

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