Why are we rude online?
Recently I read an article in the Wall Street Journal, Why We Are So Rude Online and I found it very interesting. Basically what the article is saying was "Anonymity is a powerful force. Hiding behind a fake screen name makes us feel invincible, as well as invisible."
In general,we are perceived as being rude online.We tend to voice our opinions without havin much to worry about how others'feel since we don't have to deal with their facial expressions.In a facetoface conversation,we tend to gauge based on others'expressions and we d adjust accordingly.But facing the faceless computer,no way!
You have already answered your own question. Being rude online is much easier than confronting someone face to face, which many of us would be glad to do to stand up for our beliefs. But, many also hide behind the computer screen and cyber bully and wouldn't dare say it to one's face. This to me is cowardly.
Some people, not all, are ruder on line because they think that they don't have to worry about face to face confrontations.
When you write on line, you are writing to an unseen and mostly unknown audience. Since so many people use pen names you have no idea who they are. They could be neighbors or co-workers. However, because of the anonymity Hub Pages and online writing sites provide, you are free from the restraints that come with good manners and accepted behavior that you probably display on a daily basis to your family, friends and co-workers. I have always used my real name when writing. My hometown is listed in my profile. I would not be hard to find. Others would be more difficult to find and thus, even if you ended up living on the same street you may never know each other, so the social restraints I referred to disappear and the anger and rudeness come forth. I find that one of the disappointing aspects of internet writing. I have a quote I often use. I first heard a politician use it. His remark was, "It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable." We should all try it and most likely, all of us, including me, will fail now and then. I know I did. I offered a comment about a Hub question having been asked just a few weeks earlier. The author of the question did not see the need for me to mention that fact. He was right. I was wrong. I was only making an observation, which at least one-person thought was not needed and therfore rude. He never said it was rude, but I think it was. I apologize. He accepted. We all just have to try harder. You do not have to be rude to get your point across to your audience.
Normally I avoid it because I like you or I want to impress people etc. However, on the Internet, if you say something stupid I will let you know. It's not cowardly to want to save face IRL, it's necessary. We are only truly free to do what we want here.
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