A cartoon about a dog on the Internet goes to show you never know who is on the other end of the line. There are many good people in cyber world, but there are also a lot of so-called “dogs,” too. They will manipulate you and tell you anything. Because they are behind a monitor and not face to face with you, they say what they like. They can insult, criticise, hurt, and stalk.
These people have this warped idea that because it’s on “the ‘net” it is not “real life,” and its ok to verbally harass. I agree that many of these social websites are not real life, but I do not agree its okay to insult, stalk, and harass others just because you are not face-to-face.
I have been a member of quite a few social websites over the years and I have seen how situations can quickly escalate and often out of nothing. One cause, which is apt to happen on instant messaging and comments, is the lack of vocal tone and expression in the written word. Sometimes, something you say — often an innocent remark — whilst laughing and joking, can look quite harsh and even insulting when in type.
Another cause I have found is the relationship between nationalities. We do not all have the same sense of humour. Us Brits, well we often insult one another; we say it in jest. Try saying the same thing to an American and believe me it can be easily taken the wrong way. One only has to view British comedy shows on Youtube to understand what I mean here. Likewise, something innocently said by an American to a Brit can sound quite blunt when viewed in type. Before you know it, what started out innocently grows arms and legs with bells on. Other people’s online buddies join in, and an all out war of insults and harassing ensues.
What can we do about this? Don’t assume everyone you meet has the same sense of humour. If there is any doubt, please stress you are saying something in jest, often you can just add an “LOL” (laugh out loud) at the end of your phrase, but use this wisely because some will assume you are laughing at them. Think carefully as you leave a comment and type an instant message so that it cannot be misconstrued. Instant messaging and comments on these sites are designed to be fun, and not insulting or designed to create drama.
You will still find there are some “dogs” in cyber world who seem to get a high from insulting and creating drama for others. By and large they are few are far between. You meet these in real life just as much as cyber life. Sadly, these people fail to realise that insulting, harassing, and stalking others on the net is just as evil as in real life. The thoughts are there and these negative thoughts can harm others just the same. One day they will realise this, for there is no escape from Karma. It is also a sign that denotes insecurity, jealousy, and immaturity.
You know you should always treat others how you yourself would wish to be treated. If we all did, this world — be it cyber or in real life — would be so much happier, don’t you think?