Rules of Engagement: Online Civility

Josh Fleming did an excellent post over on the Ad Mavericks blog about online civility. I’ve seen friends hurt by things that others are casually posting online.

It’s frustrating to see hurtful things posted on facebook. So frustrating sometimes you have to let that person know that you are offended or shocked. By doing so you’re usually told you are trying to take away their freedom of speech or blowing things out of proportion. Just as they are free to let the world know what should be private business, people are also free to disagree with views posted on the internet for the entire world (wide web) to read.

I’d like to give e-props to all those people that don’t let hurtful posts stand. As nasty as some comments get, your heart can be warmed by one passionate comment from the opposition.

I’d say a good rule is to keep your intolerance to yourself. Don’t agree with someone’s religion, lifestyle, race? You should work that out in private.

The internet feels like it’s own universe where people are unaware or don’t care about how their behavior effects others. It’s so easy to post a link and not think about how that link is going to make other’s feel about you or how you’re letting people know you feel about them.

Some people will use the excuse of “it’s just the internet,” but it stops just being the internet when it’s people that you know. I’ve had people post nasty comments on my blog. Letting me know how unfunny I am and the like. It stings, for a second. In the grand scheme of the things that are said on the internet, being told I’m not funny is no big deal. I don’t see a point in informing me other than to make me feel bad, but I can live with it. When someone that you know and have respect for posts something hurtful it shakes you to your core. When they refuse to respect the fact that their words are hurtful, you can’t get over it in a minute. It’s not some anonymous internet entity. (That doesn’t make anonymous jerks okay. Don’t get me wrong.)

So, those are my (not the couch, Kasey’s) feelings on internet civility. Just try not to be a jerk.

And this is all from my limited adult view of the internet. I can’t imagine how hard it is out there for kids and teens. Everyone just take a minute and think before you post.

If you’d like to learn more about this there is an event this Thursday, IT’S FREE, at Jasper Winery from 5:30-8. They will certainly have more thoughtful things to share on the matter.
More details can be found HERE.

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