I am so tired of the negativity that seems to be permeating every corner of life. The increasing possibilities of connection through technology have given many people the ability to rant about so many things. Not a day goes by without some bad news that often has no basis in fact. The goal appears to be “if you say it, they will play it” and you just might get your 15 minutes of fame.

As you go through the news channels, you’re apt to see a lot of angry faces spewing opinions laced with statements that resemble schoolyard taunts. There seems to be no respect among the participants as they try to outdo each other with their vitriolic rhetoric. The political campaign often feels like I’m watching scenes from the movie “Mad Max.” Civility has gone out the window in deference to being able to just say whatever you want. There used to be filters in place that helped to create moments that enabled people to ask themselves this question “Should I say what I’m thinking?” As a friend once said, “You are allowed to have an unexpressed thought.”

Where did that thought process go? Yes, it is still there for a majority of folks but I fear we are losing ground and we may have to create a zoo that contains this segment of the population. At this point I am starting to believe that the animals have more respect towards each other.

I have many thoughts I’d like to share with some people that I have issues with which would help to give me a mind cleanse. But, parents, grandparents, and the good sisters of St. Joseph made sure my lips stayed sealed more often than not. Somewhere along the way that seal was broken by parents who indulged their children to excess in all areas of life. The media portrayed kids as young as five or six being sarcastic to their parents. It became “cool” to hear “backtalk.”

As the years went by, “backtalk” turned into “trash talk” and more. Movies and TV have become more “in your face” and now it is not uncommon to hear four letter words on most stations. The birth of email, Facebook, texting and Twitter has increased the ability to say anything you want and often it can be done anonymously. The increase in dialogue that vilifies individuals, organizations and government is creating an energy of anger, discontent, and aggression.

We are a source of energy. Our words, our facial expressions, our body language can influence those around us. When a group of individuals continually spews negativity it can actually affect mental and physical well being. I am not advocating for mindless optimism, but we are on a downward cycle of pessimism which is not serving our best interests. Isn’t it time to reverse the trend? Or should we all start shopping for outfits befitting a Neanderthal culture?

— Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.