Are the days of etiquette long gone in the Webiverse?
You watch period movies about the 1800’s (or even 1900’s) and you see gentlemen tipping their hat as a lady walks by. You see table dining done with a napkin on the lap. You see all sorts of proper manners being used in the good old days.
Nowadays, we think of those sorts of things as snobbish people being uptight.
I’m not the most graceful individual, and am quite actually a jerk at times, as I can be crude and obnoxious in certain company. But I try to know my limits and boundaries, being attentive to what company is present, and using discretion.
Actually, a lot of people are quite obnoxious in general, especially online.
It seems you can’t post anything without someone saying something negative. It doesn’t even matter what it is. It can be an article, a picture or a status update.
- You have the one that is just plain rude.
- You have the one that wants to be off topic.
- You have the one that will always disagree.
- You have the one that wants cite and source.
- You have the one that will cuss you out and unfriend or unfollow you.
The computer makes someone feel like they can be more candid in their rudeness, especially if you don’t know them personally. And even if youdo know them, they still say things that they normally wouldn’t say in real life conversation.
But this attitude becomes rooted in who you are—this negative trolling—and it eventually comes out in your personal interactions.
So how do you deal with these types of people?
Online, I try not to “feed the trolls.” If I post something that needs backed up information, I will occasionally post links to the evidence, especially when dealing with statistics and facts.
I try to keep my memes and cleaver photos to a minimum. Everyone shares these. They’re eye-catching, but rarely fuel a productive conversation. Half of the time, the quotes are out of context or just blatantly incorrect.
If your status is complaining, people who complain about it should be expected. I try not be attention-seeking, but I do try to do status updates that are either funny, reflective, or a serious update on what’s going on in my life.
There are posts all over social media about bad news: poverty, racism, rights violations, religious nuts, local and national murders, and the like. While some are worth knowing about, and maybe even passing on to others, you can possibly be adding to the apathy and discouragement that some already feel about the world in general.
I’m not saying to stick with the cute cat videos, but consider what you’re sharing and saying on social media. Consider what you share and say in person. Not every horrible event should be celebrated. Not every car wreck should be photographed. Not every disability should be gawked at. Not every post should be mocked.
Not everything in the world is bad. Not everyone is rude. But behavior is a habit that can formed Online and continued on in your real life interactions.
Remember: kindness and compassion can be just as viral.
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Photo: Getty Images