I had barely said Hello when she began to scream at me. Foul language, shrill tone, very impolite. When I finally got her to calm down, she explained that the bill had been delivered to my stables, not me. So I explained to her that I had never received the bill in question but would be happy to clear this issue up by writing a check immediately and sending it in the mail.
Given her anger, I braced myself for a big sum.
She barked that I owed her $35.00. THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS…
All that anger and craziness and unpleasantness for such a small sum of money.
A small incident? Perhaps. But I am afraid encounters like this are a sign of the times.
Behind the wheel of the car, shopping in stores, traveling on planes and conversations over the phone—no place is immune to impoliteness and rudeness. The smallest issues trigger people off. The slightest mole hill becomes a mountain.
Why are people so grumpy?
Well, for starters, times are tough. Tougher than they ever have been.
People feel stressed about money, isolated (according to a recent Sky News report, isolation is now considered nothing short of a silent epidemic) and anxious for the future.
But if people are getting nastier and nastier to each other offline, how does that affect our interactions online. And in particular in social media? Because social media is all about BEING NICE– -it stands for openness, transparency, sharing and listening.
How will this work? Will the ill will in our ‘real’ lives ultimately spill over into our virtual, social lives? Or will social media be the only place we can seek relief from the unrelenting strain in relationships?
My guess is that it will be a little bit of both.
What do you think?