My least favorite school years by far were the ones spent in junior high (that would be 7th and 8th grade, for those of you much older or younger). Everyone was going through adolescence together, with all sorts of changes happening in our bodies and our brains. We were on the way to adulthood, seeking our identity and starting to form and express our unique opinions on the world around us.
And of course, we began to express these opinions about the world which was nearest to us, our fellow students. Junior-highers were (and still are), judgmental, catty, shallow, nasty and malicious about the pettiest things. Some of my classmates were vicious with their comments and actions. I don’t think this rite of passage has really changed much over time.
There was this kid Andrew, who found my weak spot and embarrassed me in front of my peers at every opportunity. I hated it, but I couldn’t stop his insults. Looking back, I should have just punched him hard, right in the face. I didn’t, because I was told it would be “put on your permanent record”. Which of course, was a big lie. There was no record, and what existed was by no means permanent. Of course today, with databases and government surveillance, I do probably have one.
Those junior high experiences are so traumatic that they stay with you for a long time. Around 20 years later, I heard that Andrew had tragically died prematurely. And my reaction was:
I’m glad Andrew’s dead.
He was a mean, rotten, S.O.B.
He was an awful person who picked on me, but he won’t pick on me or anyone else ever again, because the bass-turd is dead.
I wonder where he’s buried, so I can go take a wizz on his grave.
Ha! Just kidding. I wouldn’t hold that much of a grudge for that long! C’mon, everything I just expressed was just a joke. Well, everything after “I’m glad Andrew’s dead.”
But the great news is we all moved beyond that vicious immaturity and became pleasant, responsible adults. Well, most of us did. Some people never matured out of this life-stage. They are the people who are the mean, jerks today. They are the people you avoid, the people your old classmates talk despairingly about, and the people who upset you the most. With that bad attitude those people tend to not go far in life. Many times, when people ask me what’s wrong with a person, my reply is “He/she never advanced beyond junior high school”.
But now there is a force, an irresistible evil force. Pulling people back, back to their immature junior high days. Causing them to relentlessly spew all matter of callous, catty, hateful judgmental comments on anyone and everyone throughout the world. Yes, I’m referring to social media, and more specificallyTwitter.
Somehow, someway we have reverted back to being 12-years old, with all of the immaturity that comes with it. We feel the need to be critical about anything and anyone we choose. We are extremely judgmental and petty and everyone is up in everybody’s bidness, and the results are not pretty.
We are swimming in a cesspool of judgements about how people raise their kids, what people wear, how people look, what people do and what people say,etc. Just like junior high!
Look at the hideous thing she is wearing!
Wow, that kid is really fat – and look at his hair!
Can you believe she said that about Kathy?
I think Jeff is such a turd, don’t you?
You have 350-pound guys tweeting that the lousy shortstop should have been able to make that play, when they can’t even exert enough effort to get off the couch. To this I say: “Hey you! You are an authority on Cheetos, not playing major-league shortstop. So why don’t you tweet about Cheetos instead? Hey, I heard they just came out with a new flavor!
You have women offering scathing criticism about how awful that bombshell looks in that dress. And oh, those shoes! I’m guessing these fashion critics are wearing flip-flops with their hair all pinned up. They couldn’t look as good as the women they diss if they spent three hours a day in the gym and spent $30,000 on cosmetic surgery. Regardless of what she’s wearing, she still looks hot, so why not keep your catty thoughts to yourself? And now, about that trip to the gym …..
And these Twitter wars eventually result in everyone calling everyone a pooppyhead…
Tweet: You’re a poopyhead
Response Tweet: Oh yeah? You’re a bigger poppyhead
Second Response Tweet: Really? You’re in the Poopyhead Hall of Fame
You see? Twitter and other outlets have made us all return to the halls of junior high school where we can hurl mean spit balls at whomever we choose. And this temptation is pervasive. No one is immune. If we continue on this path, someday even the President of the United States may exhibit this very same type of behavior! Wait, what? Oh yeah ………..
Full disclosure: I am so dog-gone important that I have two, yes two, Twitter accounts. One personal, and one professional. It is a crushing blow to my ego that after eight years, I have just 288 followers on my personal handle. My professional account has a whopping 275 (ooh, it’s a race). But I don’t tweet much. I guess I just have trouble putting down my thoughts in shorts bursts. Perhaps I would gain more followers if I called more people poopyheads.
Seems to me most of these Twitter-critics should be spending more time on improving themselves instead of looking for deficiencies in others and then tweeting about it. If you have everything in your life running smoothly and you have enough spare time, tweet away! In other words: Get your bidness together before you worry about other people’s bidness. But then, if you have your life under control, there is really no need to make petty judgements about other people, is there?
I realize I myself have made some judgements in this post. You may disagree with them, but if you do, you are just a, just a … super poopyhead!