Tuesday, September 27, 2005

internet drama

I find it very interesting to read internet drama between bloggers, forum members, discussion group participants, or even email correspondents. It's a weird medium to express opinions sometimes as you don't have the ability to read someone's body language or tone of voice. Things get misconstrued or misunderstood much more easily than if the argument was happening in person.

I think, too, that people are much more likely to get down and dirty (in conversation) on the internet than they are in person. Time is on your side. When you're speaking over the phone or in person quick wit and snappy responses are your only choice. When you're arguing in cyberspace, you have the luxury of penning your words, editing them, using a thesaurus, or fact checking. When you don't have to look the person in the eye or see them everyday it's much easier to throw around derogatory remarks. The aggressor can hide behind their computer and so gets the satisfaction of breaking someone down without having to pay any real life consequences.

Personally, I've found myself in a few heated discussions over the internet. I belong to a yahoo group of strong, independent, smart women. We always share our opinions and sometimes we disagree. Usually though we keep it respectful and under the umbrella of sisterhood. Through that bond, we are lucky to have the opportunity to express who we truly are at the core without too much judgment. There are other forums I visit occasionally where the disagreements are of a much different nature. Usually, I am an observer. I wonder what makes people fly off the handle and take their disagreements to a level of personal degradation. I'm a peace maker and so often have a more mild approach to difficult situations. But, shouldn't respect transcend technology?

I personally believe that every human being is entitled to basic respect from others. Regardless of your beliefs, your past actions or crimes, your economic status or race we have a responsibility as human beings to co-exist peacefully with each other. We don't have to agree and we don't have to be friends, but we should conduct ourselves with a modicum of respect. There is so much negativity in the world, why propagate it? I just feel like those who aggravate just to aggravate sometimes are missing out on the broader picture of possibilities. They might not be inherently bad people, just negative. I'm so thankful that I've come to realize the role that positivity plays in my life. I focus on keeping a positive attitude, on seeing the good in people, on finding opportunities for success. When you get too bogged down in the negative, you miss out on a lot.

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