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This week, I’ve discovered the underbelly of the internet’s anonymity. It’s ugly, folks. And it’s odd how it came to light simultaneously in two separate communities…. almost like all the nasties of the world came out from under their rocks and accessed the internet all at once.

The first battle was infertility/adoption vs. people who don’t believe in either, or who feel entitled to share their often uninformed opinions. The Baltimore Sun published an article on infertility, and below are a couple of the comments. I’m not posting links, but my inner pot-stirrer couldn’t resist including some examples… un-freakin’-believable.

In the comment below, the writer suggests to infertile couples that they adopt an animal instead of doing infertility treatments:

If they’re leaving it in God’s hands to carry the pregnancy full-term, then why did they choose to have science intervene to get pregnant in the first place? Perhaps infertile couples should get a clue and take their infertility as a sign that they weren’t meant to have biological babies. Then they could pour the same amount of time, money and effort into adopting a needy kid or animal.
These people are incredibly selfish.

And here’s another…. apparently, infertility is God’s way of telling couples that they’re not “meant to breed.” Breed?!?! Such a lovely choice of words:

Well, if a baby is going to solve all these people’s woes then I feel bad for the kid and all the pressure that’s already being put on it. Sometimes nature, God, whatever higher power you believe in is trying to tell us something, and I think that something is that not all humans are meant to breed. The fact that we are now obsessing over getting preggers and blogging about every neurotic thought or medical procedure speaks volumes about how empty some folks lives really are. We are not on this planet just to procreate, and parenthood is not going to solve all these people’s problems in life. It’s kinda scary and sad.

The second battle was weight-loss vs. fat rights. Yes, there’s a group of people who are fighting to combat discrimination against the overweight and promote self-acceptance. And there’s another, more commonly known group of people who are trying to shrink themselves. The ensuing clash was not, not, not pretty.

This was one of my favorites:

By reading your previous comments I can see why you are divorced AND why you just went through a crap break-up. Maybe you should try and be a bit more POSITIVE and not harp on others that are happy. You rudeness and sarcasm is a cover up of your OBVIOUS unhappiness and to be frank, I feel sorry for you. Skinny people are happy and they are miserable, and over-weight people (or ‘fat’ as you so rudely say) are also happy and unhappy BUT the way that you are is just plain miserable.
By the way, you are right, anyone with eyes can see you are fat BUT they can also read that you are miserable, mean, rude, and annoying.

And here, the writer has done some research about their target and uses past posts as ammunition…

I’m guessing you were the fat, mean dork in high school. You were that girl who sat in the corner and scowled at people all day long, primarily the pretty, popular girls that knew what they wanted in life. The ones that had ambition, something that you clearly lack after reading the quotes on your page. You have a lot of quotes about exercise and losing weight, which you OBVIOUSLY haven’t inspired you to move much further than your refrigerator door. You’re the socially retarded person that at 31 years old can count her friends on one hand…with fingers to spare. You have to PAY people to drive you home!?!?! Seriously??? I guess you were a hit at the second bar. Bet they were thrilled to see you come back.
This is what I have to say. If you’d like to be a fat, miserable, ugly, mean, socially inept, lazy loser that feels compelled to rain on someone else’s successes that’s fine. Be prepared to hear exactly what people think about you. If I were you I would invest my time in striving to be the best person I can be. You clearly chose another path.

The utter disrespect shown by the writers is astonishing and disheartening to me…. the freedom and wild abandon with which they hurl very personal and hurtful insults at someone whom they’ve never met. The words are damaging and truly injurious, as if the writers have forgotten that there are real people on the other side of those computers. And it’s very unlikely that these people who feel such liberty to verbally crush others would actually say the same words in real life.

Disagreement, conflict, discussion – these are the things that help define us as individuals. No, it’s not particularly fun sometimes, and it can cause such a rift that congenial relationships are no longer easy or even possible. But ultimately, we’re all here trying our damnedest to do the best that we can with what we have to work with. Our cultures, societal norms, childhoods, beliefs, opinions, truths, environments, innate personality traits – they all play together to make up who we are and who we’ll become.

Come on, people, where’s the love?!?!