One of the most common advantages of the internet (at least to some people) is its anonymity – allowing cowards from all over the globe to say things they would never dream of saying to someone’s face. I’m speaking of course about social media and in this case the “Comments” field at the bottom of any web page (including this one).
Hurtful, hateful things which leave me shaking my head wondering what possible satisfaction would anyone receive by posting down-right rude and sometimes inappropriate comments for millions of people to read? I wonder does it make them feel more powerful in a life void of control? Does harshly criticizing another human being somehow ease their own insecurities?
Case in point. This morning I was reading a popular entertainment website and came across a post highlighting Jennifer Love Hewitt’s introduction on the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds this fall.
One of the first “comments” posted read, “here we go, she’ll play a pretty, unrealistic 20 years old woman again, with her disgusting face & sagging body: Jennifer you’re very ugly, really overweight and a really bad actress.” I posted this exactly the way it was written so forgive the grammatical errors.
Look, I enjoyed Hewitt’s performances in Party of Five (okay, I had a crush on her), I Know What You Did Last Summer and Ghost Whisperer – and probably will on Criminal Minds. In truth, I’m not sure I really care about any celebrity enough to critique them online – especially when I’m so far from perfect that I’m the last person who should be making such statements.
And maybe that’s the point.
Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist, “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
Somewhere along the line society has convinced itself that they have every right to criticize the way other people appear and how they choose to live their lives. Some might say that celebrities bring it upon themselves, and maybe that’s true. But I guess I’m still not sure I understand why anyone feels they have the right to play tabloid reporter over the internet, about anyone.
Regardless, can we please just leave Hewitt alone! Unless of course you’re a card-carrying member of the “I’m perfect club”. Oh wait, that doesn’t exist.