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11 July 2006 @ 07:52 pm
What do you think?  
I'm curious and would like the opinions of my friends.

Do any of you think that the anonymity of LJ or the internet in general causes or permits people to behave callously or indifferent? Is rude behavior so commonplace that it's just shrugged off now? Are people devalued into nothing more than a series of letters and a 100 x 100 icon?

Just curious.
Su: tatzukiralphiere on July 12th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
I'd like to think not. Although I think it can be easy to injury people without intent - but in my experience if people talk about their feelings it usually gets ironed out. Personally I like when people point out my rudeness, and tell me that I've been hurtful so I can make it right.

Friends are friends, regardless of the medium.

Does this help?
Mark: comic cloud sadboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
Yep. Thanks, Su Bear!
(no subject) - turtleinashell on July 12th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ralphiere on July 12th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
athosian on July 12th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
Do any of you think that the anonymity of LJ or the internet in general causes or permits people to behave callously or indifferent?

Sometimes, yes. Anonymity can be great in many ways, but it does make it easier for people to be rude or hateful without suffering any social consequences. I think it's been that way even before the Internet, back when BBSs were just starting out.

Is rude behavior so commonplace that it's just shrugged off now?

I'm not sure about that. People can still get called on rudeness, and certainly get banned from LJ communities or mailing lists, for example.

I think it's more that people who have been on the Internet for a while come to realize that a flame war generally isn't worth it, so instead of arguing overtly they either ignore or ban the rude person. There are ways around banning for people who really want to be obnoxious (e.g. re-join under a new username), but that's a lot of effort.

A related note; it takes some time to learn that communication over the Internet can go wrong. It's easier to offend someone accidentally with something you write in plain text than something you say in person, where they can take your tone of voice & body language into account. People have learned this, and saying "that seemed very rude" will often lead to an apology. So in some cases people are less quick to take offense.

Are people devalued into nothing more than a series of letters and a 100 x 100 icon?

Not at all! You can get a real sense of personality from following an LJ or mailing list. For example, from LJ I know that you're a friendly, adorable sweetheart. ^_^ <3 <3 <3
Mark: comiccuriousgeorgeboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for such a thorough breakdown of things, Athy! YOU are a sweetheart too, y'know!
A.M.: mellowultimategirl on July 12th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
The anonymity may be a factor for some -- instead of a mask, they hide behind a screen, and derive their 'bravery' from that.

But, then again, some people are just asshats no matter the medium.
Mikemickey0801 on July 12th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
I couldn't have said it better myself!
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mickey0801 on July 12th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - erskie on July 12th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - teknodave on July 12th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - erskie on July 12th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Dennis The Homophobe Slayeryep_i_am_dennis on July 12th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Hmm, see me, I know people have their own problems and their drama, I found it annoying to see people on my friendlist knock down others who go through crap and write about it in their lj, if you don't like Drama, then ignore it. Some of us only have lj to release the energy on. I got pissed when I see someone pratically call the person a low life becuase they don't want drama in their life. That's great, but, unfortunly drama is part of all of our lives ,and we all deal with in our own way. I think people need to realize that and get over it.

Mark: guy Charlie head tilt arm crossboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
Hi, Cutie...and thanks! *smooch*
(no subject) - yep_i_am_dennis on July 12th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Treed1979a_trick_mind on July 12th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
I think that when people can remain anonymous, they feel they can comment on things in good or bad ways that they probably would never address in real life. I suspect that is just human nature. For some, it gives them a chance to be more supportive than they might otherwise be, since they are still at least an electronic arm's length from others. And for some, because of that electronic arm's length they feel that they can get away with rude, snarky comments and even start flame wars.
Mark: guy Travis cardsboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC)
That's true, Tim...I guess it works both ways...I didn't think of that! *hug*
turtleinashell on July 12th, 2006 02:24 am (UTC)
YES! ... lol. Sorry for shouting, but I'm SO dealing with this problem right now. Somehow, if some people know you "only" online, then it's ok to ignore your messages even if it's an important question. Ok, that's just the tip of the iceberg, but I better stop here or it will just go on and on and on and on and... oops! See what I mean? lol. Ok, maybe this isn't exactly where you were going, but it's my primary frustration at this point in time anyway. Thanks for asking. hehe.
Mark: comic Ichigo poutboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Yep...feeling invisible is no fun!
TeknoDave: Yahooteknodave on July 12th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
No. Some people are only allowed 60x60 icons.
Mark: gay RoboBitchboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
LOL! *Spanks Davey*
james__sndchasr on July 12th, 2006 04:06 am (UTC)
does seem that way sometimes sad to say. I try to be the same person on and offline. whether that is good or bad I'm not sure. im sorry to hear if you have encountered someone like that online.
Mark: ai-loveboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
James = Good!

St. Rougarougogoangelgunboy on July 12th, 2006 05:25 am (UTC)
no. what it DOES do is allow misunderstandings to escalate because there's no face to face interaction. what it DOES do is seduce people into a belief that something public is actually private, and it buffers a person from the immediate consequences of his or her actions. the IMMEDIATE consequences only, mind you. my dad used to say, "never commit anything to writing that you wouldn't want to have brought in evidence in court." of course, my dad also once said, "never get a tattoo where a judge can see it," and he was unable to say the word "panamanian" correctly....
anyway, no. an internet relationship is still a relationship and is therefore dependent on the needs and time of the people involved. some people are just more available than others. some people are needier than others. some folks like their privacy, and some folks have demanding RL lives. some people's main social interaction is online, and some people like to spend time with their kids. the distance that the internet puts between people may foster misunderstandings and make them harder to resolve, but i wouldn't say it causes them. since you asked.
*nods wisely*
Mark: comic cloud paradiseboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
Well said, Gabe!

Even when IMing with someone misunderstandings are easy...you are working without facial expressions, body language and voice tone!
lomelinde_sama on July 12th, 2006 09:07 am (UTC)
The fact of being behind your screen and your keyboard breaks some barrier that are firmly in place when you meet someone face to face. It's easier to transgress the rules of polite human interaction, because no immediate retribution will come to you if you do. It's up to everyone of us to police ourselves and remember that behind the screen, there is another human being who can be hurt by our words and actions.
Mark: comic Naruto seriousboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Very true, D! If I ever get out of line, you tell me, okay?!
Aurélienorey on July 12th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
Here come the wishy washy european comment. :) It depends.
Some people hide behind the fact that online acquaintance/friends are not real cause there's no physical relationship, but there's still true feelings behind. On other hands, other people give a lot of credit to online friends (read me) and I can say that they get bent over and screwed in a really painful fashion.
It is hard to not get what can be expected from others but I guess that happens in real life too :(
As for being rude, it's prolly cause guys like you who are so nice and sweet are targeted by those asshats referred to earlier. But just point them out and i'm sure you'll have ana rmy on the ready to kick their asses. Nobody better be rude to you. :)
Mark: gay qaf hot hugboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwwwwww! Thank you, Orey!

How is my fellow viking doing? You've been scarce around these parts, hon!
(no subject) - orey on July 12th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - orey on July 12th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - orey on July 12th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - orey on July 13th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 13th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ex_applehead554 on July 12th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
I think it really depends on the person. I've met some people online that I consider good friends even though I've never met them in real life.
As far as the icons go, in actuality they're meaningless.
Mark: gay torsoboywondermark on July 12th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Meaningless maybe, but they CAN be fun!!
(no subject) - ex_applehead554 on July 12th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on July 12th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)