My aim, simply, is to not be a douche. I love the quote “Do no harm, but take no shit” (I saw that on Pinterest, no doubt incorrectly attributed). If you’re thinking of leaving a mean-spirited comment on a brand’s Facebook page, realize that you’re not going to topple Walmart’s multi-billion dollar business with one angry rant. You’re probably just annoying someone much, much further down the chain (i.e. the community manager). Angry at telemarketers? Chances are, that wasn’t their first career choice, so cut them some slack. They’re just trying to pay their rent, just like the rest of us.
I saw a woman at the grocery store the other day give the cashier a lot of grief because Los Angeles recently banned plastic bags, so you now have to either bring your own or pay ten cents for a paper one. Did the cashier have anything to do with this? Did she sit in on the city council meetings to lobby for that new law? No, she’s probably more inconvenienced by it than the customers are, because she has to deal with every self important idiot asking to “speak to the manager.” The cashier is just a regular person, who’s probably trying to feed her kids.
(Not to mention that the law is good for the environment–but I guess that’s not worth the mild inconvenience for some!)
So in short: don’t be a douche, but speak up for yourself if you’re on the receiving end of said douchery. It’s for the common good.