Engaging With The Internet Can Be Hazardous For Your Health
2010 seems to have kicked off with a bit of a blogging bang (and not in a good way). Not only did I manage to cause a bit of a shit-storm myself (which in retrospect was a little bit akin to a 10 year old hitting a hornet’s nest with a baseball bat and then crying when he got stun) but then Matt (from World of Matticus) revealed that he got shafted over by Blizzard, an event only to be followed quickly by the ol’ chestnut that is the Tobold vs Syncaine rivalry (to put it politely). Fortunately the latter has come to a close and everything seems to be returning to a sense of normality in the world of the Interweb. Perhaps.
I was just starting to relax again when I was cruising around the cyber streets of Netville and I found some rather impolite feedback to a comment I had posted on a blog the other day. It was very mild really and didn’t offend me but it did make me wonder what the heck is happening to the Internet. It seems like as it’s growing it’s becoming an ever more hostile environment absolutely lacking in any restraint whatsoever. Or maybe it’s just that I’m noticing it more for the first time. Or maybe we’re just becoming more thin-skinned to abrupt feedback. Or maybe I’m just developing a new found knack for pissing people off.
I can honestly say that I’ve barely written anything, anywhere that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face in real life. Of course, in real life I can inject humour or sarcasm or subtly into my tone making it apparent what I mean and how I mean it and I can’t do that on the Internet. I have to rely on you guessing how I mean something and that doesn’t work very well.
I’m far from perfect but still, I don’t think I’ve ever just blatantly called someone an idiot or a dick (or worse) on a forum or in a game over something they said. I don’t think that way and I tend to not get emotional about people’s personal opinions. Yet this type of thing happens a lot on the ‘net and I can’t decide if people honestly think and behave that way in real life or if they only do it because of the protection that the anonymity of the Internet provides.
Either way, the Interweb seems to be a pretty strange place to reside these days and whether it’s in blogs, forums or within our favourite MMORPG, there always seem to be some drama going on, always, without any exception, over something incredibly petty. And if don’t think these cyber arguments are petty, I’d recommend you buy a ticket to the sunny destination of Haiti. I believe it’s selling a discounted lifetime subscription to something called perspective.