Civility

The Bartman Incident is a controversial play that took place in 2003. During the 8th inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship, Luis Castillo hits a fly ball towards foul territory. Cubs outfielder, Moisés Alou, reaches out to catch the ball. At the same time, Steve Bartman, excited to catch a fly ball disrupts the play. The Cubs went on to lose the game and then the series–continuing their 95 year World Series drought.

Bartman had to publicly apologize for the incident. He had to change his phone number and received many death threats. Why? Because in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget civility. The Cubs were still up 3-0 after the play occurred. It wasn’t Bartman’s fault that the Cubs allowed 8 runs to occur afterwards.

You know, I wasn’t a fan of Rush Limbaugh. It’s well documented that he said many racist, xenophobic comments on his radio show. After he died, the memes came mocking the person.

And it wasn’t just with Rush Limbaugh. We saw it after the explosion in Beirut and with the kangaroos of Australia.

No subject is off limits on the internet. Over time, we become desensitized from what we see. It’s no wonder that discourse on the internet has fallen apart.

We don’t treat each other with civility behind a user name. We wouldn’t dream about saying the things we say to people’s faces.

Much like leaving a concert, once we see someone jaywalk everyone else decides to the same thing. Permission was all we needed. We don’t like to think as someone who would jumps off a bridge when we are dared to but we are more susceptible to peer pressure than we like to think.