Why Are People So Vicious Online?

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    • #44293

      Have you ever participated in a post where at the least comment you got flamed? Not just your garden variety “Oh my sleeve’s on fire!” but a wholesale immersion in radioactive waste? On occasion it has happened here on the VM forums, and fortunately both we monitors and members are quick to cut it off. However, it’s not that way on many, many other forums and comment arenas. The one thing I have found is that online, people are quite vicious.

      I guess the feeling of safety sitting in one’s home at the computer gives many of us a ‘Godlike’ sense of being. Here on the VM forums I’ve found the ‘God’s’ often get ‘brought down to Earth’ regularly. Little things like basic civility are more and more difficult to find online. You would think with all this ‘social networking’ crap, people would be more ‘social’ online. On the ‘Net I see people say things to others that honestly would get them killed if they did so face to face these days. I also see much of this new ‘Social’ behavior bleeding out into the real world.

      Weird thing is it seems on many sites, the more you try to be reasonable and keep a civil tongue in your figurative head the more ‘trolls’ as they are called, come out to bully. I grew up in environments where if you couldn’t back your mouth up, you kept it shut or someone would do it for you. I guess online people feel that they are safe and become ‘keyboard commando’s’ because they think no one can get to them.

      So yeah, you can avoid commenting or participating online. Unfortunately though, this is the new ‘discussion arena’. In this ‘democratized’ environment anyone can say anything anytime they like. Which on the one hand is great, (ergo this rant) on the other it’s disturbing because things like simple manners (which are there to keep people from wanting to throttle you) are eroding because of it. We now live in a time where the VP’s of 2 administrations get caught on camera using the ‘F’-word (one blatant, the other inadvertently) and a congressman can call a US president a ‘liar’ to his face in a national forum on national TV. Where does that leave us?

      I swear I have derailed more potential acts of violence with a simple, ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘pardon me’ or ‘are you okay’ than I can count. But that was one on one in person. Online we can’t use the usual visual an auditory tools to judge someone’s actual intent. Many times on these very forums I’ve had to state in no uncertain terms my actual intent because the only thing the ‘offended person’ had to go on was their immediate interpretation of my written words. However, I find it equally strange that since we now have all these ideas, concepts and opinions written down or viewable (with ‘rewind’ no less) we would take more time to actually read and interpret them. Almost nobody does that. Here’s the weirdest thing about all of this; why is it when someone comments negatively about something you wrote true or not, you have the same ‘fight’ response of adrenaline upon reading the comment? When you really think about it, that’s just dumb.

      In the real world, the difference between a discussion and an argument is how long it takes before a fight breaks out. Online many of us swear and use All Caps and bold letters as if shouting, and I’m sure the odd vein is sticking out from somewhere it shouldn’t as we angrily tap or thumb at a keyboard or number pad. That too is just dumb.

      As a moderator and member, I do appreciate how VM has these forums set up. There have been a few members I have disagreed with on a number of topics and no doubt will again. However, as time has passed I have also had fine discussions with said individuals and have agreed with them on occasion as well. It is in my opinion our civility that makes one a pro and most important a human being. God forbid, we’re all never going to agree on everything, but we should at the minimum agree to be civil.

    • #185520

      Some nonsense rambling thoughts, opinions and observationsif you will,hereabout this subject. To start with, I have no answers, but in short “Mean People Suck”…

      I toofind it hard to understand why the anger in many just oozes out at the slightest breeze of disagreement. Or the apparent immaturity of others to, rather than discuss their differences, challenge the parentage, upbringing and mental capacityof the one who has a different opinion then their own.

      But I also find it disturbing that people tend to forget what opinion really means. They would rather argue or otherwise attack you then let you have your own opinion of things.

      My casual definition,

      Opinion; a personal, subjective statement of thought or belief based on ones emotional and personal interpretation/analysis of facts they have observed/experienced about a topic or issue.

      I have scouted through many YouTube how-tos and when going through the responses of other viewers, thereare attacks on a persons appearance, the way they talked, or some-such other nonsense that had nothing to do with the content of the video. I do not understand how they felt the need to post such a comment on a form that, by its use and definition, allows people to showcase their individuality to others. Its as if their emotional insecurity with themselves is sohigh that they have to hurt someone else to make themselves, somehow,feel better while flaunting that insecurity for all to see.

      In some defense, I have found that it is hard to “hear” the inflection and annunciation of an other’s words in statements when you just read them. That it depends on your immediate frame of mind when you see those words stating something different to what you believed can impact how you have interpreted them.

      If we just let them have their opinions without jumping their tree, we would all be in that civil mode. When someone shares an idea, we have the ability to choose totake it as one of our own or let it be without having to throw it back down their throats.

    • #185521
      Grinner Hester

      Anonymity brings out the smack talker in cowards.

    • #185522

      This forum has been pretty civil in my limited experience. I’ve been burned on Youtube here and there but I always figure it’s some 14 year old with hormone problems.

    • #185523

      I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round…….. but surely some folks could do better. Anonymity of the internet probably adds to some of the bravado and high-powered, high-handed egos certainly play a part as well. For all the “expert, know-it-alls” who like to down someone, they should reminisce about the days when they, too, were learning “how-to”. Like mamas and grannies throughout time have always said, “if you ain’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say nothing at all.” Alas, modern society is drifting away from the “good ole days” and the manners that come with good raisin’.

      Now since I am new to this editing stuff, I am absolutely certain I will be asking some pretty low-level questions for most folks, but I am willing to “take the heat” as long as some quality people post some responses that are trying to help me. I guess I will have to wear my asbestos suit and try to survive the fire.

    • #185524

      Funny, Southern, we all pretty much started at the same level, but some really develop a resentment and attitude toward those just starting out. Like maybe they entered the world with one hand on a camera and the other on a computer mouse.

      Most prima donnas and et al are usually dealing with deep senses of insecurity finding the only way they can justify their sense of superiority is to attack, belittle and put down with no ability toward empathy or kindness. Bitter, mean-spirited people exist, I just wish I didn’t have to witness them or their ways – on-line or off.

    • #185525

      I agree Earl – My major source of income is not from video but from computers and while I’ve been doing it professionally for 33 years I find that in that arena as well some folks think that their little kernel of organized chaos they call knowledge is so special they refuse to share it.

      I’ve always felt it better to spread around what little I’ve learned so more folks can benefit and we can all discuss that and ALL gain from the experience.

      Same for video – I started out where everyone else does (at the bottom with limited skills and knowledge) and with reading, discussing, and most importantly, doing I have grown to where I am now – What purpose does it serve NOT to help others? I can point to several things that benefit me as well as those I help by sharing the wealth (ok, in my case the few pennies).

    • #185526

      My motto is “All information must be shared.” I got that from a developer buddy of mine years back and have lived by it ever since. I went to film school in the early 90’s, but have spent mycareer as new media designer. Recently, I have returned to video and now find I have a lot of catching up to do. I guess I can only hope people are as kind in helping me along my path as I was for others in the web arena.

      Undoubtlingly, someone will feel threatened or too high on their horse to talk to the “little people” in the business, but in my experience the ones who give freely of their time and knowledge tend to be the most knowledgable or skilled individuals in their respective fields.



    • #185527

      Wow, 100% on the ‘Yes’ vote. I also wasn’t aware of people getting flamed for posting their ‘how to’s’ on the ‘Tube. That’s just silly. Now I do admit it does get annoying on occasion to constantly see the ‘What Camera Should I Buy’ popping up like weeds in your victory garden, but that’s what this forum is for. So I just let someone else answer it when I don’t feel like it. It’s that easy vice going through all the trouble of flaming someone for it. Now if the same person keeps asking the exact same question after many people have given them solid answers, then yeah they need to be called on it.

      What gets me is when someone online asks for information and you give it to them, they get torqued because it wasn’t exactly what they wanted to read. When I disagree with someone’s info I’ve been forcing myself to not go into ‘argument mode’ and look up the info from a reputable source (that can be done online quite easily now) and either show them their inaccuracy or concede their point (I hate being wrong, but will admit to it.) I guess my ‘Northern Grannie’s’ lessons in manners stuck to some degree.

      I wholeheartedly agree with the lines about “smack talking cowards”, “Prima Donna insecurities” and “spreading around information” which I thought was the whole purpose of the ‘Net. My question is; Are people so frustrated with their lives that it’s a release to revert to a petulant child online? When I get ‘spun up’ a nice session of pounding the stuffing out my heavy bag puts me back on an even keel. When I’ve gotten ‘into it’ with someone online in a ‘virtual argument’ there’s this unsatisfying feeling of frustration that lasts for days that in my mind is damned unhealthy. Yet, it would seem there are many people who ‘thrive’ on ‘internet mayhem’. These types seriously remind me of the weenies who instigate the schoolyard brawl but take off running when the first punch lands.

      So who are these people anyway? They all can’t be “14 year-olds with hormone problems.” Or is it that nowadays people get ‘their kicks from being ‘masculine reproductive protuberences’? If someone can’t give or take information without getting bent or turning into a keyboard commando then I’d have to agree that they “Suck”. Amazing to me how funny and sad this is at the same time.

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