We hate to say it, but we’re not overly surprised to see our beloved state on this list. 

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly when the shift in attitude began, but something in Idaho has definitely changed in the last twelve years. At least in Boise. When we moved here, everyone we met was warm, kind and welcoming. People were quick to tell you about their favorite places to eat, recreate and shop. We weren’t afraid to post something humorous on social media, because most people would get it. 

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It’s not like that anymore and that’s sad. Now rather than being embraced as a positive new addition to our community, people who moved here are told “we’re full” or “go back to where you came from.” We dread posting anything even slightly funny on social media, because of cruel keyboard warriors who take everything literally and leave nasty comments on everything we post. (Seriously, those comments ping our smartwatches after hours while we’re trying to relax with our families. How would you like it if people did that to you?) 

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Behavior like that has earned Idaho a less than glowing reputation. MoneyWise shared a list of states with the reputation of “housing the biggest jerks in the United States” and Idaho appeared as the 10th least friendly state in the country. The ranking was largely driven by the fact that we’ve been named the second-worst city in the country for rude drivers and the fact that we are terrible to people in the service industry. 

To illustrate how rude Idahoans are to service industry workers, they cited an incident at Penny’s Pit Gourmet Burgers in Rathdrum. During the height of the pandemic, the restaurant's management made a Facebook post about entitled guests who felt that they didn’t have to follow occupancy rules laid out in the state’s re-opening plan. Part of the post read:

"YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND ANYTHING FROM US. This is a worldwide pandemic, for crying out loud have some decency, and understand we are doing our best with the hand dealt to us at this time. We have the right as business owners to deny anyone service who treats us like crap. I'm tired of having to make these posts, this year has been the worst of the WORST. I think it's time we take some time off for a camping trip to escape the angry mobs"

Closer to home, Big Jud’s experienced something similar after the City of Boise rolled out its mask mandate. They shared this story in hopes that people would not berate their servers, many of which are teenagers, over something they had no control over. 

Idaho is better than this, but the most unfriendly, hateful people in the state keep finding themselves in the news.  Earlier this year a U-Haul Full of White Supremacists was arrested for conspiracy to riot at a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene. Swastika graffiti keeps showing up in Boise. The latest incident happened as recently as July 25.

It’s human nature to disagree with each other, but why be so outwardly hateful? Do better. The next time you think about posting something mean or angry on social media, stop and ask yourself “Why am I doing this? Does this really need to be shared or is it something I can keep to myself?” 

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
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If you’re the person who overreacts to a creative headline like “Boise’s Unique New Bagel Shop Will Make You Feel Like You’re in New York City” by ranting about how we need to appreciate Idaho for the wonderful place it is and to stop trying to make it like all the other places people have come from…you may need to step back from the computer. The restaurant serves New York-style bagels. That’s what the article was about. Relax. It’s JUST bagels. 

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