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To think that people forget that there's a real human being on the other side of the screen

(34 Posts)
BaldCape Mon 15-Jul-19 23:26:46

I've lurked about on various websites/forums for years. I've read the arguments, spotted the trolls, seen the bullying.
Aibu to believe that some of these nasty, spiteful comments are only made because it's easy to 'forget' that there's a live person reading this nasty shit, as it's done via a screen and keyboard?
Some of the things I've read are abhorrent. Vicious and ignorant at best. I refuse to believe that this is the way gen pop speak to each other irl. So why is it acceptable online?
This has probably been asked before, and in a much more articulate manner (apologies).
What are your thoughts?

JudgeFlounceRedRugBlah Mon 15-Jul-19 23:29:22

Gen pop?

BaldCape Mon 15-Jul-19 23:30:43

Sorry, general population!

familycourtq Mon 15-Jul-19 23:30:43

Yes people forget, or don't care. See also driving where people behave in a way they wouldn't in, say a Post Office queue. What is your point/AIBU exactly?

BaldCape Mon 15-Jul-19 23:32:08

Point: tha t the y wouldn't behave this way face to face.

ChardonnaysPrettySister Mon 15-Jul-19 23:32:56

It’s not acceptable online any more than it is acceptable in real life. If you find something that offends you then you have the option of reporting it.
Easy.

HTH.

DanielRicciardosSmile Mon 15-Jul-19 23:33:27

@JudgeFlounceRedRugBlah General Populace I think.

To be absolutely honest, a lot of the time I think people forget there's a real human being standing in front of them (just ask anyone who's worked in retail etc) so it's not so surprising it's more commonplace online. Just as depressing though.

ginghambox Mon 15-Jul-19 23:33:32

What are your thoughts?

familycourtq Mon 15-Jul-19 23:39:45

Point: tha t the y wouldn't behave this way face to face.
I see a lot of people making that observation online. Frankly I think it's meaningless - the fact is we aren't face to face. A lot of people wouldn't behave the shitty way they do on the roads if they weren't locked inside their own metal box but that's just how it is. Why is online special? Why do expect people to act as if they were face to face with you?

pigsDOfly Mon 15-Jul-19 23:41:12

I think a great many people are truly nasty. In rl most of them have to rein it in a bit, or even a lot, because that's what society requires.

However, online, sitting behind a keyboard they can be themselves, and be as spiteful, abusive and as bullying as they want without the risk of any consequences.

I think a lot of them are only too aware that there's a real human being on the other side of the screen.

isittooearlyforgin Mon 15-Jul-19 23:55:02

I think that people can reply to people from the perspective of their own agenda and back story, projecting their own issues onto another’s story which sometimes makes their comments unnecessarily harsh. Other times it’s for their own entertainment. More tolerance is required and a dash of kindness especially when someone is at the end of their tether. Occasionally being to the point can be useful if someone is being particularly unreasonable

Purpletigers Tue 16-Jul-19 00:02:56

I think people can be more honest online and we’re not used to honesty, especially face to face. Eg friend calls their child a bizarre name
in a face to face situation you smile and say “ that’s lovely “ when you’re really thinking “ holy feck why just why ?” You can do that online and I think people value the opportunity to speak their mind sometimes .
It’s not always that people are being nasty either it’s just that in real life they’re pretending to be nicer than they really are .
We ask questions online but don’t want to hear the truth . If you’re happy with the names you’ve chosen or decisions you’ve made then the opinions of others shouldn’t really bother you . You read it on here all the time .

VenusTiger Tue 16-Jul-19 00:03:55

A young girl 16/17 told me to f**k off today! My DS is 6 was with me....... I was so shocked I didn’t speak and walked away. When I got home I was fuming!
I wonder if the younger tech/social media generation are learning that if you can get away with this kind of behaviour so easily online, that you can in public too.

VenusTiger Tue 16-Jul-19 00:07:52

@pigsDOfly, interestingly, does that make those people cowards?

It is interesting, I wonder if people become like their alter egos... or as you suggest, it’s their real selves lol

Elliebellbell Tue 16-Jul-19 00:10:47

Online abuse on an anonymous forum doesn't mean anything, or at least it shouldn't.

If I posted something here and another user started being horrible to me it genuinely wouldn't bother me because they have absolutely no idea who I am, therefore "personal" insults are redundant because they have no knowledge of me personally.

There are definitely trolls and goady fuckers on here but completely ignoring them does the trick.

The problems start when posters try to "fight back" it's utterly pointless and sad to watch.

Elliebellbell Tue 16-Jul-19 00:16:59

And as we know, a real human is typing but they could have invented an elaborate construct and be lying in every post so in some respects they're not actually "real".

StillCoughingandLaughing Tue 16-Jul-19 00:19:18

This has probably been asked before

At least twice a week 😴😴😴

demelza82 Tue 16-Jul-19 00:21:11

Sadly, I feel that people just don't care and , in fact, often derive pleasure from his they imagine their comments to be perceived

Rachelover40 Tue 16-Jul-19 00:25:01

I believe you are right, BaldCape.

Elliebellbell
Online abuse on an anonymous forum doesn't mean anything, or at least it shouldn't.

If I posted something here and another user started being horrible to me it genuinely wouldn't bother me because they have absolutely no idea who I am, therefore "personal" insults are redundant because they have no knowledge of me personally.

---

Excellent post, a good attitude to adopt.

Sunflower20 Tue 16-Jul-19 00:26:18

I agree with Purpletiger. I think som people are just brutally honest online with no filter or inhibition.

Yabbers Tue 16-Jul-19 00:32:56

I wonder if the younger tech/social media generation are learning that if you can get away with this kind of behaviour so easily online, that you can in public too.

Teenagers swearing at you isn’t a new thing. It’s happened to me, and my parents, long before online was a thing.

Purpletigers Tue 16-Jul-19 00:32:58

I’m much more honest on here than I’d ever be in real life . I’m quite opinionated and judgemental.

FuriousVexation Tue 16-Jul-19 00:42:19

Yes OP, for about the last 20 years.

Have you only ventured recently onto the internet?

Oh god, you haven't been reading the comments on YouTube have you? NEVER READ YT COMMENTS. They will make you lose your faith in humanity and/or the will to live.

For all that - people on MN can be very flippant and sarcastic, they can also be incredibly helpful and supportive and demonstrate "the kindness of strangers". You only need to read the Relationships board to see how much people support posters with advice and help and just a listening ear.

If you only hang out in AIBU then you're going to get a very biased view!

FlamedToACrisp Tue 16-Jul-19 00:43:31

It's partly because in real life you wouldn't have a conversation with 247 random strangers and the piling on of multiple answers saying you are wrong can be hurtful. I've noticed people seem very ready to be offended and insulted by what are often fairly innocuous comments but without a tone of voice or facial expression to lighten the mood these can come across as deadly insults.

Crustytoenail Tue 16-Jul-19 01:02:42

To be absolutely honest, a lot of the time I think people forget there's a real human being standing in front of them (just ask anyone who's worked in retail etc) so it's not so surprising it's more commonplace online. Just as depressing though.

I was going to say something similar. I think that it's because there are little or no concequences of behaviour like that in certain circumstances. You can be as arsey, judgemental, nasty and personal as you like and don't have to accept the concequences of your actions. Certainly true for online , comments might be deleted but that's not really going to affect you a great deal is it? It's the same with people acting that way towards retail workers for instance, not only is there unlikely to be any concequences, chances are that the person in the firing line will take the blame anyway regardless of who's actually being unreasonable because that just seems to be how it is now. I was once made to apologise to someone for not serving them alcohol after time, it was illegal. They called me a fat cunt and threatened to wait for me after my shift - they complained to my boss, who made me apologise. So that person got to behave appallingly, and also made to feel they were totally justified. As pp said, depressing.

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