Yes, You’re an A-Hole for Policing Spelling and Grammar on Social Media
If you complain that social media is toxic because of toxic people then stop acting like a jerk online.
Unpopular opinion: Yes, you are an asshole for policing spelling and grammar when you get pissed off because someone disagreed with you online. Yes, even if that person is as horrible as they come. Or wronger than wrong. You’re still an asshole.
When someone disagrees with you online, and you ignore the meat of what they are saying and go straight for their shitty punctuation — that makes you an asshole.
When someone makes a joke online, and you’re offended by it, instead of reaching out and having a private discussion to suss out why the joke is problematic, you go straight for grammar and call the author an idiot. That makes you an asshole.
When you refuse to scroll on by a post you dislike so, you leave a condescending comment about spelling. That makes you an asshole.
When someone sends a tweet with zero punctuation and uses online slang for shortening words, and then you swoop in to tell them how uneducated they sound. That makes you an asshole.
When anyone — literally anyone — makes a political statement and you can’t fathom how to disagree respectfully or intelligently so, you go for grammar and spell checking in place of real debate. That makes you an asshole.
When you post memes and status updates and fill out your bio’s with words like “kindness,” but you feel super cool with leveling people over their shoddy spelling. That makes you an unkind asshole.
When you waste life picking on others online and then act spiritually wounded because someone spell checks your ass in your own comment section. That makes you a hypocritical asshole.
When you take screenshots of online fights in which you or your friend — or even AOC (yes, I went there***) uses grammar and spelling to belittle someone else. That makes you a wannabe asshole.
Here’s the thing, internet assholes. When you decide to anoint yourself as the spelling and grammar police of the internet, nothing you say matters. Why? Because when you spend your time mocking people for how they typed out their ideas — no matter how awful, complicated, weird, out of left field, whatever — those ideas may seem to you, you aren’t adding anything to the discussion. Instead, you’re dismissing an opportunity to express an opinion and opting instead for changing the subject to bully someone you don’t like.
When you act like the grammar police, you show everyone in the comments section that your wit doesn’t extend much further than a snobby insult. That makes you an asshole.
Instead of choosing to be an asshole online, try one of these strategies instead:
- Don’t comment on posts you don’t like.
- Report abusive content instead of commenting on it.
- Block and delete people online who engage in assholery.
- If you can’t block someone because that might complicate your life, try muting them.
- Maybe just don’t go online today.
No one person can clean up the internet and make it a civil place. But every person who goes online can and indeed should try their best to be respectful and considerate. If people are dragging their assholery to your corner of the internet, then delete and block. And for hot damn sake, don’t drag shitty behavior to anyone else’s page. No matter hows badd there spell and grimmer are.
*** I love AOC, but her spelling correction on Greene in that now-infamous tweet exchange was cringe-worthy and beneath her. Instead of going high, AOC went low. That made her an equal asshole to Greene at that moment.