Thursday, January 21, 2010

Decorum: Internet Protocol Redefined, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

I am not very internet savvy. My girl, Coca CoLo, asked me if I wanted to contribute to her blog and I thought, hey it’s 2010 I should jump onto this information superhighway since it appears to be the road to the future! So, now I’m learning all kinds of cool new things. I’m new to the blogosphere and as I click around this strange world, I am shocked to find that it can be a seriously hostile environment.
While there is lots of information out there to exchange and plenty to learn, sometimes message boards and discussion threads can get a little out of control and abusive. People feel that they can actually attack someone personally just because they disagreed with or were annoyed by something posted on a blog? Is there no internet protocol? I have to wonder if some of these sharp-tongued folks would be so mean if there was accountability for the things they say. If commenting weren’t anonymous, if you had to call me a f*cking insipid b*tch to my face, would you?

Maybe I am sensitive or naive, but where I’m from criticism is usually meant to be constructive. People actually apologize before telling you what they honestly think, if they feel it may be hard for someone to hear. Anger and profanity are inflammatory and do not make people want to listen to you. In my world, simply saying that someone is “nice” is a big enough cue to signal that a problem needs to be corrected. Some may call this sort of criticism on the sly “fake” or “passive aggressive”. But at least it’s done respectfully and without the express purpose of denigrating. In my experience, the outcomes of disagreements are better and folks are more willing to keep an open mind when they aren’t being cussed out by someone they don’t even know. So can we remember that we are talking to fellow human beings on these blogs and there are right and wrong ways to make a point? The golden rule applies on the playground, in the classroom, in the workplace, at home, and in cyberspace.

[Image via XKCD]

1 comment:

  1. The internet allows people to be stupid faster than ever before.


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