More and more, I’m beginning to feel this culture of depersonalised communication (email, blogs, IM etc) is creating a kind of ‘make believe’ that is taking hold of people’s minds.
Yes, people are different in person, and the mode that they use to express their opinions online or via email may not express that person well, but it DOES express their views and core beliefs. I know I come across quite different online than in person, for instance.
However, I feel people think they can spout off any old garbage online and use the excuse ‘it isn’t real’ to excuse inexcusable behaviour. I’ve had my share of opinions online, some of which I regret (especially the mode in which they were expressed), but all of which I stand by.
So here’s what I believe: there are repercussions.
I don’t know how others are, but I distinctly recall the ‘flame wars’ and the irate emails. I consider them reflections of their authors.
I react negatively to these comments and emails, and base my professional decisions on them just the same as I would an irate letter, phone call, or face to face conversation. Above all else, I remember them, and one day I know the repercussions, whatever they may be, will come home to roost.
It seems many I know are forgiving of people’s online rage. I cannot understand how people can trade insults online and then believe everything is fine and dandy in person, at a convention, etc.
I will not do that.
I believe there are repercussions.
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