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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why Are People Nastier On The Internet?

Here are some theories I've come up with. (Note:I do not claim to be an expert.)

  • The anonymity:What would you do if nobody could tell who you were? Many people seem to answer that by acting like jerks. If I meet you in real life, I can guess your age, gender, mood, height, location, etc. Online, I have no proof, just your word. And since you could be anyone, anywhere, all I can do is shoot back a sarcastic reply.
  • They're talking to just a screen:At least, that's how many seem to act. Some think it's because you feel less empathy when you can't see the person. It might also have something to do with the fact that you can't punch someone in an email.
  • It's instant:You can write a response while you're still boiling mad and haven't stopped to cool down.
  • It's free:With a letter, you have to pay for postage (and the envelope and possibly the paper and ink). An email or comment is free of charge.
  • Others are being jerks:Personally, few things annoy me more than the obnoxious and just plain mean things people will post online. And I think that, ironically, this is why some are rather passionate in their responses.
  • People are just obnoxious and cruel by nature:Can't forget the most cynical answer.

So did I cover everything? Or is there something I forgot to add?

© 2013 by M.R.R.

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