With the internet so prevalent in our society today, almost everyone has an internet identity along with their actual identities in real life. The guy in school who’s always bullied may be “Superman2007” in his online identity. The strong bully may be “Powerpuffboys” in his online identity. It is so easy to create an online identity that some basic things that we hold dearly in our lives are thrown to the wind in the online arena.
When we hide behind our online identities, we become more daring and outspoken. The shy guy in school doesn’t exist online. Since there is no fast way to check who you truly are in real life, online netizens have no fear of backlash. Unless of course, you publicly declare who you are and create something controversial.
People online are different from when they are offline. Basic courtesy seems to have disappeared. Take for forums, for example, people have started to flame each other, calling each other names like slut or whore (I think my blog will be rated R21 now). You risk being criticized when someone posts a photo of you online. Bimbo, bitchy, you name it, you’ve got it.
Even in responsible adults, the common courtesy vanishes. I’m out of luck recently, to have met with this really irritating man. He started a thread looking for business partners on a traffic business. I did not post any reply and I read the replies other people have given him. Some have questioned his beliefs. He says that traffic, no matter if they are targeted or not, makes no difference in sales.
It is something new to me. I had always believed that targeted traffic is better. After all, you want to attract people who wants to buy your product isn’t it? Thus I started a conversation with him querying his believes and hoping that he will explain more to me. However his replies are short and simple. I don’t really learn much, thus I asked him more questions, gave him more examples and challenged him to explain to me. By challenge I do not mean publicly challenge.
He gave me some more replies, which I was happy to receive, because I felt I could understand his words and gain a deeper insight. However he suddenly replied:
“Good try but you are not going to get anywhere.
You are not the kind of person I am looking for anyway. Why you bother I also don’t know.”
All I did was giving him an example and asking him whether that was what he meant. After all, sometimes things may appear very clear to us,Â because we are the experts. However, it may mislead others so other people may seek a clarification. When I received this reply I was frankly a little angry. This reply is definitely rude.
I mean, if you do not want to indulge me in a little healthy discussion, then you should have said so isn’t it? He told me that its rude not to reply to people’s posts. However, does it mean that its not rude to interrupt a healthy conversation just like that?
His reply to me again was:
“Read the title…
I am looking for partners to work with..I am not into discussing how I do my business or to train you to do my business.
I answer your posts only because it would be rude not to !! ”
Well, yes I know the title and I know he was asking for business partners, but he could discuss this issue with others but he could not discuss it with me? Besides, through our conversation I have never asked how he is doing his business nor am I asking him to train me in his business. It a sheer assumption on his part.
I typed a long retort and posted it. 5 minutes later I felt that this will go nowhere. What is the point? Thus I edited it and told him I was sorry to have wasted his time. If I had published my retort, tomorrow I would be getting another rude shock from him. Its not worth it isn’t it?
My point to all netizens is, if you do not want to discuss things with people, you can tell them. You can say this: “Hi, I am only looking for business partners. Unfortunately I am a little busy and I don’t think I can discuss this issue with you. I’m sorry.” This is more polite isn’t it? If you do this, the person will respect you and tell you that it is ok and he doesn’t mind.
Do NOT, I repeat, NOT, have a discussion halfway and then use a rude post to ask the guy to stop. It does not help.
Let us make the internet a healthy place to live in huh. =)