Things have changed. Those days we were told never get into a stranger’s car and never meet anyone from the Internet. Today we use the Internet to summon strangers to our house so that we can ride in their cars!
The Internet changes behavior. Not all good.
Impulsivity and aggression are traits enabled by the internet. Accountability is not required when you bang away with a keyboard, separated by millions of physical miles from the subject of your ire (imagined or otherwise).
With eye-contact deemed unnecessary, the net elevates the stupid, the rude and the demagogues; it unleashes behavior that culture, religion and civilization contain; it pushes morons to extreme positions through hostile, impossible-to-forgive denigrations. How one’s personality shifts online is worrisome as such disregard for civilities cannot be rebottled once released. The question is will such obnoxious online traits be transposed offline.
I hope not.
A friend was recently recalling to me her horrible experience of being the victim of cyberbullying.
I am sure if that people who attack her online were to meet her face-to-face, they would not have used the words they used in their online attacks. They wouldn’t dare. Only cowards hide behind keyboards and hammer away.
Revenge is a dish best served cold; I told my friend. We can go about it six ways from Sunday.
In the meantime, ponder on these words by Lois Mcmaster Bujold and be inspired by them: “Have you ever heard that phrase, ‘Living well is the best revenge’? Where I come from, someone’s head in a bag is generally considered the best revenge.”