Last week Mia Freedman was on the Today show and was asked about Cadel Evans. She expressed her opinion that sports people aren’t heroes. That’s fine, she is entitled to her opinion, however what she didn’t anticipate and what I’m sure nobody could have anticipated is not that a large portion of Australians disagreed, anyone would have thought that, but the amount of abuse she would receive for expressing this opinion. A lot of it neither well constructed nor impartial, and with a large amount just downright mean.
I have also noticed on a few people’s facebook pages how often they are publicly humiliated for expressing their opinion. Which can quite frequently be hidden in the guise of a “joke” by the addition of the term “LOL” at the end, or pretending to be nice with a smiley face. This is not OK and is one of the great dangers of social networking and, indeed, the internet in general.
So today I’d like to remind everyone of a very simple saying: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Sometimes it is important to correct someone, especially if they are going around touting something as fact which isn’t. Most of the time it isn’t required. If you are going to, all I ask is that it is done in a civil, polite and respectful manner. There is no reason to get personal, there is no reason to insult and there is no reason to be mean. No excuse. Sometimes I need reminding of this just as much as the next person. So, again, for the cheap seats in the back: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
If you have the time or inclination you can read Mia’s stance on sports people, watch her appearance on the Today show, and view the barrage of abuse here.