Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Little Bothered

An anonymous person left a comment (or two) today that I felt was rude and unnecessary. The same statement could have been made in a more civil manner, but the person chose to express them in a tone that was belittling.

I spent some time drafting a reply to this comment, but decided to delete everything instead - including the post in question. It just seems so much easier to just ignore everything.

I wonder though, at the anonymity of this person. Does the anonymity of the internet allow more people to be rude? Without having to meet the person face-to-face every day, without any actual consequences to the things we say to someone else, do we feel it is "safe" to express certain negative sentiments we might not be comfortable saying to our family, our friends and colleagues?

I will be wrong on this blog, because I do not have the advantage of a professional copy-writer or a fact-checker. When I am wrong, I would appreciate it if someone could point it out politely and patiently. We all live by the indulgences of others afterall. The true yardstick of a person's education and cultural refinement is not what music we listen to, or what books we read - but rather, how we conduct ourselves, the level of respect we give to one another.

Why an isolated incident offends me so much is because while I have been blogging for three years, this is the first time I have ever had a visitor that I found deliberately rude. Until now, I have been lucky, I guess.


Ana S. said...

"The true yardstick of a person's education and cultural refinement is not what music we listen to, or what books we read - but rather, how we conduct ourselves, the level of respect we give to another."

Exactly. Something like this would have bothered me too. And I think you're right, some people use the internet to express the kind of hostility they supress on a daily basis.

I've been lucky with my blog so far as well. But before I started blogging, I was a part of a few music related communities where personal attacks and rudeness happened every day. People seemed to believe that being sarcastic and unnecessarily unpleasant equalled being "cool". Which was why I left.

I think that ignoring this kind of thing is the best strategy. Hopefully it won't happen again.

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth - I guess some people take some things a little too personally. But there's being passionate, and there's being a jerk. I feel sorry for people who enjoys putting down other peopleto feel superior. Our sense of self-worth should not be built on belittling others.

Anonymous said...

the best things is to just ignore them. if they couldnt understand you, there is no need to clarify. perhaps they are having a bad day or just simply need to grow up. it will kind of bother us for awhile. Take a deep breathe and let it go. i too draw write some nasty letter when someone pissed me off but delete them all at the end. release and let go. better that way, there is no need to scrop to their level. you got lots of ppl who love you for who you are. quietletters ; )

Carl V. Anderson said...

I certainly think the internet, anonymity or not, allows a person to react in ways that they may not or would not do 'in person'. Even if a person uses their name there is still a degree of anonymity to it in that the person can essentially run in, lay down their opinion like gun fire, and run out never to return or read a response or whatever. There is no way to gauge whether or not they are even really listening to the argument or point or anything. The door is open for rudeness and callousness on a level far and above what would happen in face-to-face interactions.

And then there is the ease with which a person can be trying to be polite and thoughtful and still "say" something that comes off as rude or wrong or insensitive, or isn't what the person really 'meant ' to say but they didn't go back to re-read before hitting 'submit'. That adds an entirely different nuance to conversing online.

It is a potential minefield that, quite honestly, I am surprised doesn't bite us in the ass more often.

I've certainly let my temper get the better of me in a few instances over the last several years. I always feel like shit afterwards and am very apologetic, but that doesn't change the way I feel about what I did...and it is out there for all to see.

I've also held back sharing well thought out, polite, but other-side-of-the-fence responses on certain issues simply because I refuse to post anonymously and yet don't want to incite that person, or all those on the issue who disagree with me, to bring the 'fight' over to my blog.

Although these relationships can be and are truly wonderful...I think the up side is so much bigger and brighter than the down side...there is still a great potential for cultivating stupidity and anger and hate on the internet.

darkorpheus said...

quietletters - Thank you, I did try ignoring the troll, but a part of me is finding it hard to let go, because it's so grossly unkind.

I need to learn to work on this somemore.

Carl It is precisely this - that people can just do a hit-and-run and think there is no consequence to their actions. There is no opportunity to learn from the consequences of their mistake. So they continue with their ill-behaviour.

There will always be people who disagree with us, or who are expressing views that we find ignorant and prejudiced. Somehow we learn to communicate with these differences and often, that involves learning something known as self-restraint and empathy. A lot of these internet trolls don't get to learn these crucial skills.

Doc Martian said...

i've had a lot of jerks on my blogs. one time i had like 50 of them post crap on my livejournal... so i posted all their ip addresses and emails to a newsgroup. they got spammed. lol!

darkorpheus said...

Doc - OMG! A part of me is just laughing at how you took revenge on those jerks. I'm almost tempted to ask you to teach me to do it. But that would be bad karma, so I better not.

theduckthief said...

One of the first things I learned about the internet is that it's full of lies and jerks.

You were perfectly within your rights to delete the post and ignore the comment. It's your blog, your little piece of the internet and as far as I'm concerned you can do whatever the heck you want with it.

I think the internet allows people to be more open but also more vicious because they don't have to confront anyone face to face when they say something insulting.

It says a lot that this person posted anonymously.

Doc Martian said...

i believe that the old klingon saying of 'revenge is a dish best served cold' means you should take revenge if that dish is served to you warm.


honestly, most people i leave to karma... but revenge doesn't necessarily mean aggression. picture a suburban housewife... she knows the gal in the couple of friends invited over has cheated with her husband... but she doesn't make a big deal about it... she just lets the dog in the house... the dog with muddy feet that loves to jump up on people. i mean a couple apologies and everything is smoothed over... but the hubby still has an image of the other gal with mud on her butt and the wife has had a good giggle that really did no harm. that's when it's best. revenge ala laughingstock. ;)

darkorpheus said...

Duck Thief - It seems the troll's sole purpose was to insult - and I wonder what kind of person does that?

And the posting anonymously bit - I did wonder for a second if it was someone regular who decided to post something bitchy. But I hope not.

See what this troll is doing to me?

Doc Unfortunately for these hit-and-run troll, I can't track them down. This is why I am a little peeved - that I can't confront them at their own blog or whatever.

Must learn to let go.

Anonymous said...

don't worry! you're a wonderful person with many friends who love you dearly. I'm sure you'll get lots of goodbye gifts and farewell parties now you're leaving singapore. if you are a warm, loving, gentle, patient, loving, good, kind, generous, etc etc person, and you practice it in thought, word and deed, who cares what others think? smile! - on behalf of the better Anonymousii :)

darkorpheus said...

Anonymousii - Thank you for the very kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

I've gotten some jerky comments before too. Sometimes I just delete them other times I just ignore them. They always make me a bit grumpy but then I just shake it off and let it go. I think the internet does allow for more people to be plain mean, but this is your blog and you can do what you want and delete comments that are mean. Don't let it get you down!

darkorpheus said...

Stefanie - You get trolls too? But you're the embodiment of civilized behaviour!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I try to be civilized :) Yup, I get trolls too. Not often but one stops by every now and then. There was one who made a mean comment on an Emerson post of all things about a month or two ago. I debated what to do about it and in the end deleted the comment.

darkorpheus said...

Stefanie - Just curious, did the troll actually have something to say about the Emerson post. From the tone, do you think it's the same person or are they legion?