Kobe’s Divorce and People’s Reactions

20 12 2011

Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms make all our lives more convenient and, in some ways, more efficient. Twitter, in particular, is an exceptional news aggregator, networking resource and promotional arm. Yet there is one major downside I’ve identified with social media: it shows the worst side in folks, at times.

Take Kobe Bryant’s recent divorce announcement, for example. It was reported last Friday that Bryant and his wife would divorce. She filed for divorce by citing irreconcilable differences, which insinuated that he cheated on her.

Following the news, reported on Twitter by numerous media outlets, an almost immediate wave of snarky comments filled my Twitter timeline. Jokes about Kobe’s past – namely, his 2003 rape case – David Stern’s involvement in the divorce (playing off the Chris Paul fiasco) and other types of humor-riddled tweets were too many to be named and remembered in specificity. It was a typical Twitter reaction to a controversy, as suddenly people feltt as though every subject deserved a comedic retort.

I was discouraged by it. There are times when it seems as though people don’t have any sense of integrity. Not every topic needs a comment. I wish people would have more respect to a situation and keep their fingers off the keyboard.

I know this is Kobe Bryant and anyone familiar with me understands how much I revere Kobe Bryant the Athlete. He’s my favorite of all-time. And I get that people feel as though athletes are so entitled – money, women and attention, in general – that it’s sort of payback to them that we, as “normal” people, throw insults and snarky comments at them whenever something in their life goes wrong. In other words, whenever their lives more closely resemble ours.

It’s our passive aggressive way of letting celebrities know that life can hit every person hard, no matter how much money or glamour they have. But people usually go too far.

If a person is getting divorced (or fired), perhaps folks are better-served by keeping their opinion(s) to themselves. Yes, Twitter is a repository for thoughts. However, it doesn’t mean that it should be used as a dumping ground for any bitter comment any of us might have.

Honor and integrity are words that don’t seem to mean a whole lot to people, especially those of my generation and younger. It’s too bad because some of the people I follow could use more of each judging by their reactions to certain events.

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