Internet Intelligence

When interacting with other people in the real world...having conversations, debates, fun, jesting, arguing...if you have any sort of emotional intelligence & social skills, you can gage a persons reaction - their temperature/temperament per se - by their body language, facial expressions, tone of voice. You have numerous verbal & visual clues at your disposal to navigate your way. When you are interacting with people in real life, you usually don't have to make a lot of assumptions or infer meaning, tone or context.

In the world of social networking, blogging & the like...it is not so easy to navigate a persons intentions, mood, tone & attitude when all you have to go off of is what is written on your Wall or in your Comment section of your blog. That is when, in my opinion, you have to take decorum & etiquette to the extreme.

I primarily read "personal" blogs (a few political ones and hardly any gossip/celebrity stuff). Personal/People blogs are just that - Personal. When I visit, it is like visiting a friend or an acquaintance. You are sitting in someones living room, listening to their life stories, their thoughts, THEIR opinions (which, often times, might just be different that yours), their lives. So, when you chime in and comment on that persons post - when you speak up in their house, offering up your 2 cents - I personally believe that it is common decency to do so with some common sense & decency. Seriously.

Why do people leave comments (and I am talking strictly about personal blogs):
  • attacking the blogger (host)
  • cursing, screaming (in all caps)
  • making it all damn personal, as if the host was talking about you. Unless they called you out and mentioned you by name...guess what...IT AIN'T ABOUT YOU!
  • ...but if it is...perhaps you should deal with your ish. I'm just saying.
  • name calling

You can really disagree with a persons point a view without resorting to name calling, insults & screaming. Why do people behave like that when they know damn well they would not do that mess in real life? I think it is because they got some real issues (passive aggressiveness, a punk in real life - bully online). Whatever it is, its rude.

Now the same goes for the host (blogger)...and it is VERY difficult - even when you know someone pretty well - to not snap crazy on someone when they comment in a way that you perceive is just stoopit or crazy. I have often had to read a comment numerous times before I started tagging that azz and even then, I've gone off on someone and it was not even all that (...I had assumed). I remember once getting into it with a very good friend who had a business/consulting blog - my friends business partner just kept saying stuff that made my eye twitch and set me off. I tagged his azz a couple of times ON THE BLOG and it got out of hand. It took pulling myself up and getting on the phone with my friend to discuss it. It was immediately nipped in the bud and all misunderstandings cleared up.

Internet Intelligence is tough.

It requires skills like patience, thoughtfulness, wisdom and discernment.

This is all just food for thought...bloggers & commenters alike...behave as if you were in someones living room. Practice good manners. Take the high road - and reserve the tazer for those "anonymous" idjits (there are always a few bullies and ignants on the playground).

As for me, I have put myself on a two drink limit when reading and commenting on blogs. Anything over two and I tend to get a bit cheeky. Ummm, cheeky doesn't covey well online. A word to the wise.

This has been a public service announcement. All rights to shank someone with a stolen toothbrush remain reserved.