It’s interesting that many of today’s online sites provide a “feedback mechanism”. A prominent example is TripAdvisor. It has both the mobile App and desktop version. Anyone (literally anyone) can be a member for free, and be a keyboard warrior. Imagine, an ordinary citizen given the power to “review” his/her most recent visit to a destination!
Imagine, a site that provides you the power to “rank and recommend” these places you’ve been to (from airlines to restaurants to hotels to tourist destinations), provide feedback to other visitors and earn imaginary “badges” and “ranks” as reviewers! Excellent idea and review reference when this site began, and while it still is a good reference, let me tell you why it may have been more biased in spite of the fact that they have a review process before your review is “published”.
The avengers (no pun intended here) appeared. Yes. You read it right.
How many times have we felt the urge and motivated to write a review NOT to help people but instead write about how terrible our experiences were just because…
We wanted revenge.
Vengeance is an interesting side of rudeness. Danny Wallace (in his book “F you very much…”), points out bluntly that
Ordinarily, what civilised human beings desire is justice. If someone kills your dog, we want justice. We don’t want to kill that person’s dog…But if someone is rude to us, it’s not justice we immediately think of. We want to shove their rudeness straight back in their stupid rude face. We want to show strength. Fight. We want them to feel the way they made us feel.
I mean, yeah, I get it! If you scroll down among, say, the top hotels and read the reviews, many are authentic to a large degree. Then there are the outliers. Those who’ve posted “warning” signs and disappointing reviews just because…
It was their anniversary and they didn’t get upgraded…(duh?!? Since when was announcing your anniversary a right for a room upgrade?)
The room was tiny and they were 3 people who occupied the room…(uhmmm yeah, didn’t you read the room size specs when you were booking? It said 12sqm!)
There was a lot of noise because of the repairs in the hotel…(well oftentimes if you go through the hotel website, you’d see an announcement on repairs being made at the date of your stay, but NO…you needed to go through some cheap site to cut back on costs and didn’t do a thorough research by cross referencing the actual website of your hotel!)
And I can go on and on…with these “just because” scenarios. What I’m trying to get at is that revenge is only a keyboard away. With downloadable free mobile Apps, it’s something you can manage at your finger tips even while you’re sipping your margarita on a beach where the lifeguard looks awfully fat and the kebab is awfully bland!
Social media is today’s snake pit. A world where good and evil co-exist. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are receiving the top rants and vengeance posts.
Revenge is everywhere. And it is natural. As Wallace points out,
…to not want it is weird and it has ever been thus…but this is a deep pot of unattractive emotion we’re stirring. Most of these acts of rudeness-revenge are done from the shadows, the results of which aren’t seen or witnessed, but just imagined and enjoyed. Within each of them is a deep, sad feeling of powerlessness.
If you’re rude to two people, chances are one of them is now plotting to get you.
The scary thing is that we really do believe that revenge is a dish best served cold. We wait. We plan. We relish. And afterward, we are secretly proud. We also have the ultimate excuse: they were rude to me.
And I get it when my friends and colleagues want to “plot” back against those that have caused hurt. It is never easy to walk away from a place of pain. The more painful the event, the more difficult to forgive and forget. The degree of revenge is proportional to the pain, if even in our imagination. That’s why the hurt is not only physically but mentally and emotionally draining.
Yet revenge is never the answer. Karma will take its course.
…and it will be sweeter watching from the sidelines how the enemy has crumbled.