It's time for over-60s to set an example

Calling people idiots, gossiping and ganging up as a group on a person with a different opinion to yours.

No, it’s not a children’s playground.

In fact, it’s a social media page full of grow adults who have children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of their own!

We’re sad to see the amount of bullying and anti-social behaviour arising on social media these days amongst over-60s.

It seems almost daily we’re called on here at SAS to deal with name calling and nastiness on our Facebook posts. What starts as discussions on just about any subject, can soon turn into a thread of dozens of comments of grown adults fighting over the simplest of things.

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I mean, come on, we’re all adults everyone! Surely we can have a discussion about Trump, about Hanson, about race, religion or our society without attacking each other.

You might not agree with someone’s comment. But that doesn’t mean you need to call them an idiot, a leftie, a racist, a moron or bring their personal life into it – and sadly, yes, that’s an example of some of the recent behaviours many of you may have seen on social media amongst people over-60.

It’s not just here at SAS of course. It’s all over social media. It’s the one friend on your page with strong political opinions, it’s that comment an older family member makes to you… or a comment you make to a family member.

We used to just think that bullying (and in particular, cyber-bullying and trolls on social media) was a behaviour endemic to our grandchildren’s generation – dismissing it as an issue amongst the millennials.

But now it seems that’s a behaviour learned from our generation, passed down to our children and sadly passed on to their children.

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In a time when free speech is a topic of conversation, perhaps we need to remember that free speech comes with another responsibility – the responsibility to think before we speak, and think about what constitutes bullying behaviour.

Remember the old sayings – think before you speak or if you haven’t got anything nice to say don’t say it at all?

Well, maybe it’s time to put those into play again.

Have your opinion, share your opinion, but do it in a way that’s respectful and pleasant.

There’s a lot of things that we don’t like or agree with in today’s society, and we shouldn’t be adding bullying to that list – it’s bad enough amongst our grandchildren’s generation!

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Bullies shouldn’t be welcome in any community or generation, especially a generation like the over-60s who should know better.

The Baby Boomers are the generation who are becoming increasingly isolated, who are stereotyped often as “old grumps”.

Perhaps it’s time we all set an example, broke the stereotype and showed our grandchildren that bullying and degrading others from behind a computer or a keyboard is poor form.

Tell us, have you been a victim of bullying as an over-60? Why do you think there’s so much anti-social behaviour amongst over-60s on social media these days?


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