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As a corollary to the cyber flounce musing of yesterday, I remembered reading this article online, and wondering how on earth it was considered “news”:

Faceless communication online or over phone

often turns nice people nasty

No shit, Sherlock.

I mean, honestly, are we just noticing this? As far as I can tell, most people who have been online more than a few months know it—and if they don’t see it in their own behaviour, they see it from other people with whom they interact online.

Let’s take our old friend Vicious Rhinoceros, for example. I’ve read that people who have actually met her in person have a lot of trouble relating the nice-nice face-to-face person with the VR online persona.

My favorite line in the article, though, is something a few of us have been saying for a while now:

“People need to recognize that they just can’t send out these blogging responses and e-mails and expect their anonymity to be preserved. It probably won’t be. Recording devices are everywhere and Web 2.0, with its user-generated content, greatly amplifies the Net’s power to expose and publicize.

“It also archives forever.”

No! really? 😉

1 Comment »

  • Lorraine
    March 4
    2:51 am

    I’m generally a lot nicer online than in person, and definitely a lot less confrontational. I have strong opinions and in RL I don’t hesitate to express them. However, it gives me the jeebies that anyone can keep what is said online forever and that everything is being tracked.

    Also, because I don’t know anyone in RL who reads romance, I don’t want to say anything that will offend anyone or get me banned from a site I enjoy. I’ve been dissed and bagged on my whole life for my preferred reading materials, so I love having places to hang out, (like this) with people who also love the genre.

    In RL when something aggravates me I make little or no attempt to hide it. Online however, I just let it pass. So much of my conversation is nonverbal, so without the nuances of body language, tone, etc I’m hesitant to communicate my annoyances. I generally stay away from complex issues for that reason.

    Plus, with employers googling job applicants these days, one really should be careful about what one says when posting under their full name.


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