Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Becoming Type-A On The Internet

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for people to argue on the internet? Sometimes I read through website or blog comments and wonder who those people really are. Some of them get really intense.

I think it gets very easy for people to bicker, argue and gossip when they are being anonymous.  There is a website that my students often get on and cyber bully each other. I got on there once to see what they were talking about and it was the worst thing I've ever seen.  You pick your geographic location and log on as any name you want and can say anything you want. It is like the world's biggest gossip/slander/anger site I've ever seen.  Adults get on too and join right in talking about people in the town, who has done what and with whom.

There are even sites where you can discuss local hs sports teams. From what I've heard, it is also anonymous (if you so choose) and has a lot of back biting. As if hs athletes need that.

This all came about because of a comment I replied to on a popular Christian blog I follow. I don't like to stir stuff up (well, not on the internet anyway!), so I thought really hard about if I should say anything, and if I did, what I should say. I only did so because the original comment was about how bad the Twilight movies are for girls and how there was no reason for the characters to be going around shirtless in Washington.  

WHOAH... hold on there. There is a very real and legitimate reason for that and I just had to explain it (if you want to know, ask). Then someone replied to my comment saying the books are the source of the problem, but I could tell that neither one of the ladies who had commented negatively had even read the books, so I had to comment back about how the books have nothing sexual in them and parents should read books first if they question if it is acceptable reading for their kids or not, probably not suitable for pre-teens...blah, blah, blah. 

Now, all the comments on that thread were very calm, no name calling or yelling involved (no all caps - internet yelling), but that is probably because it was on a Christian blog. However, that made me think about how that thread could have gone on some other site.

Have you ever been involved in an online (anonymous) argument? Do you think people are more likely to argue behind their computer screen than they would in person?

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