Becoming a mother is a rite of passage, and with this rite of passage, you get certain privileges. After you enter motherhood, you get to say things like “Eat your vegetables before they get cold,” and “Because I said so, that’s why!” Moms get to say these things because they’ve earned the right. And because I said so, that’s why!
But of all the cliched things moms have said to their kids over the years, it seems that an awful lot of it hasn’t stuck. I wish I was talking about the children growing up today, but sadly, I’m talking about the children who have long since grown up, had children of their own, and perhaps even grandchildren. The evidence of this can be found by looking no further than your computer screen.
As I peruse the comment sections of, well, anything on the Internet that has a comment section (a guilty pleasure of mine), I can’t help myself from thinking, “Where are your mothers?!” When it comes to the internet, a lot of people think that more regulation and better policing of “fake news” is the way to go. Perhaps they’re right. But I think the real problems with this digital world we now live in could be solved if the Internet simply had a mother.
If the Internet had a mother, there wouldn’t be any of this nonsense. Complete strangers wouldn’t be having knock-down, drag-out fights via angrily typed, more often than not, horribly misspelled words with abysmal grammar, simply because they disagree on some trivial topic. You would think the fact that their pictures and actual names appear next to the awful things they say would deter them. Yet an overwhelming number of people still write awful, horrible things about others all because their opinions don’t line up.
It is the complete and total opposite of everything I was taught growing up and what I teach my kids. I can only assume many of the people who write these awful things were taught as I was, and teach their kids the same. If the Internet had a mother, I imagine that a little chat bubble would pop up, or maybe a nice soothing voice would come through the computer speakers, any time someone started typing in a comment section that would say things like:
– Remember to treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
– I don’t care what Jimmy said! You can’t control what he says, but you can control the way you react to it.
– Two wrongs don’t make a right.
– I don’t care if everyone else is saying mean things. If they all jumped off a bridge, would you do that, too?
– I’m not their mother! If their mother lets them say those things, that’s their business! I’m your mother, and I don’t want you talking like that!
– If you wouldn’t say it in front of your parents or at school in front of your teacher, don’t say it at all.
– Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?! (Or in this instance something more like, Do you hug your mother with those arms that are attached to those hands and fingers with which you typed those ugly words?)
Okay, so maybe it’s a little outlandish to expect some all-knowing digital mother to lord over every comment section of the interwebs (although, in this day and age, it’s not all that crazy of an idea). But perhaps each one of us should channel our inner mothers and go through the list of things we were taught, and what we teach our own kids, before we put our words out there. Then maybe, just maybe, the world would be a happier place. And also, because I said so! That’s why!