When you are feeling mean….

just grab your tablet, iphone – whatever – and send someone a nasty email.  Apparently this will make you feel better about your own miserable self.  I guess something about unnecessarily putting someone else down will elevate your self esteem.  That’s the only reason I can think of.

There are loads of examples of this sort of conduct – most recently some delightful Global TV viewers saw fit to send in nasty critical emails to the Global TV Morning News team.  As you may know I have worked with Global TV for 19 years now and know the people well.  I was shocked at some of the emails.  If you missed this – here it is.

The power of the email/tweet/post is undeniably strong and can provoke strong reactions – especially in stressful situations – like travel.  Yes, although travel may be exciting it can also be stressful when the weather doesn’t co-operate, hotels don’t have the right room and flights refuse to depart the terminal on time.  That every-handy smart phone comes to the fore – as we can see from some of these examples of tweets from the tarmac –

“Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.”
This from a South West passenger – guess what?  The flight attendant (Kimberly S) picked up the tweet and ordered him off the plane.

And then there is Michael O’Leary – the boss of Ryan Air.
 He is controversial at the best of times and when he took to twitter he raised a whole storm of mean comments such as –

“Were you born an arsehole or has it progressed throughout your life?”

And when O’Leary tried to use his legendary sense of humour (or sarcasm) to deal with stupid questions it just got worse….

One questioner asked: “Is there any truth in the rumour that you plan to charge passengers for each inhalation they make after take off?” The chief executive responded instantly with: “Hi Beth, great idea. Have a team workin’ on it as we breathe!” The riposte read: “I thought you might like that one you money-grabbing bastards”.  (Not that this seems to bother O’Leary.)

It’s a big debate in society today – cyber bullying and all the rest.  Where do we draw the line?  There is a delicate balance between having a bit of fun – and being just downright mean.    So let’s keep it light people!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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