An epidemic is spreading.
It’s not the flu; although this malady is equally unpleasant, lacks an effective vaccine, can be contagious, and indeed triggers the urge to vomit. It’s entitled “meanness.”
Some argue the cause is social media.
No less than President Barack Obama stated that social media is destroying our discourse. As much as I respect the former president, I disagree. What’s demolishing it is that social media provides a platform for the coarse, boorish, cowardly ilk to hide behind a veil of partial anonymity, giving them what they perceive as permission to air without repercussion anything they desire to anyone they want. What one would never say face-to-face is — to them — considered acceptable in the cyber landscape. Sure, humans have harmed one another since Cain and Abel, but Cain couldn’t hide behind a cloak of technology and do so with impunity.