So my recent “how to spot an archaeologist” was posted on a -to remain anonymous- archaeology facebook page and I received SO MUCH HATE for it! Like a gut punchingly, rip your innards out and burn them amount. I was told I was destroying the future of academia through bad grammar (im sorry i write i without a capital letter on my BLOG where im spewing genius thoughts too damn fast to type i like a grown up im sorry thats just how it is on MY BLOG oh look i missed an apostrophe omg sue me) (im also about to do a phd at cambridge so im sorry but i am the future of academia but i also know how to write an academic paper because im clever enough to understand different modes of media have different languages attached….and pale olive blog speak don’t always abide by no rules yagetmebro)
I was also told i was objectifying archaeologists, encouraging negative stereotypes and basically being a massive evil malicious slug to every archaeologist ever. Oh yeah and that i was just a student so my opinion didnt count for “people who actually make their livings”…. Oh IM SORRY WERE YOU BORN WITH INNATE KNOWLEDGE OF THEORETICAL, PRACTICAL AND HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OR DID YOU GO TO UNIVERSITY AND BE A STUDENT TO LEARN THE STUFF THAT MAKES YOU CLEARLY A BETTER AND MORE VALID HUMAN THAN ME? I’m sorry did you have to pay £9k a year for the privilege of a solid education? And then another massive sum for your masters and phd just so you could make your living? NO i dont think you did, but i sure as hell am so you really don’t get to be a judgemental patronising ‘professional’ here.
I think its just a MASSIVE shame that SO many people find solace in cruelty to others, hidden in the safety of their own homes. Why does it enhance your life to be mean to others and to bring them down? It shows such a lack of self confidence, lack of contentment and lack of security in their own lives that they gotta put people down just to feel better than them. That isn’t how the world should work. You should be buoyant and bring people up to your happiness level, and if they’re not there then you help them get there. Life isn’t as serious as we pretend it is. We should have FUN and take everything with a pinch of salt, take life easy, chill a bit, be calm and collected, be nice, be A DECENT PERSON (cue loads of people shouting about how we need to exercise our freedom of speech, however cruel it needs to be….YES okay in some situations *cough, Trump, cough* we need to respond with vehemence and strength BUT NOT ALL THE TIME. We need to learn when to be tactful and nice and when to bring out the big guns…and bringing out the big guns on someone’s facebook page, simple lil blog, sweet little youtube vlog etc or other harmless activities is not the way forward)
Trolling is not what something we should just accept as part of modern society. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and with the internet…everyone sure as hell does have their own opinion and tells everyone about it (me too I have a bloody blog, I’m not excluding myself). This is very very fine and okay (ooooooh look bad grammar, shoot me). But do we really need to accept people CRUELLY shouting others down just because they want to exercise their right to say whatever they want. Taking offence just because they know they can and thus they somehow should? Even if they don’t bloody agree…they just keep playing devil’s advocate and then start believing it themselves..
Everything can be said politely or with tact. You can say most things without having to be instantly HOSTILE. If you disagree with something and it personally offends every single thing you stand for, perhaps phrase it politely if you feel you must say something. But in life one has to be tolerant, accepting of other people’s opinions, and open to new ideas. If the only way we know how to do that is in the most vitriolic manner possible then how are we supposed to learn about people from different societies, backgrounds, political opinions etc. We need to sort this out. You couldn’t bully people when you were at school so why is it acceptable for fully grown, responsible adults to bully one another behind their screens? It isn’t and we should not let it slide.
It just makes me so so sad. No, that very tame little joke was not personally attacking you and everything your family has stood for for centuries because it was a joke about caps with the word ‘hype’ on them. No you cannot shout at that 13 year old who posted a video of her singing a song on youtube because she was proud of herself and you decide it isn’t suitable for human audience because you think its terrible and you decide to be so cruel you make her cry (BUT YOU DON’T SEE THAT BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’RE SAFE BEHIND YOUR COMPUTER). No you cannot start an argument on a nice lil blog post about how lots of archaeologists are kooky because it is not personally attacking your profession or degrading in any way because I am also one of you, and oddly enough I have a sense of humour and don’t take myself too seriously.
Can everyone just chill out, take a big breath and think about how your comment might affect someone, in real life AND ESPECIALLY on the internet. Just try and make the world a nicer place to participate in and don’t be mean just for fun.
Peace and love