How Not To Be An A-Hole

I think Chuck Wendig has a really good post here on how to behave on the internet. 

A lot of people should read that and memorize it. I mean, I believe people are entitled to their opinions, for sure. But every time I go to places like Yahoo or Facebook, my blood pressure rises. I’ve actually taken to avoiding the comments sections on a lot of social media. It can really make your faith in humanity take a hard hit if you read those things regularly.

Social graces have apparently been ditched in favour of the ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ finger-wagging, spittle-laced shouting that certain denizens of the net practice every single moment of every single day. It’s exhausting and incredibly off-putting.

So to avoid becoming an angry mob of one, I try as much as possible to never write anything down until I’ve thought through it for at least a half hour. Still,  that’s not always enough. Sometimes, when something particularly gets my goat, I will actually type up a damning message, replete with sarcasm and logic and all that offensive stuff. I might even type it up in the reply box below the offending post. Then, when I’ve read it over and made sure it says everything I want to say very clearly–I delete it and go to another site, like Cracked.

Makes it feel like you had your say, but without actually having to engage someone who will probably not appreciate your point of view anyway. Just like that, hellish back and forth avoided.

Of course, I’m not perfect. I have posted a few times when it would have been better to just say nothing, and gotten properly yelled at for it. But I don’t think I’ve ever just gone off the handle and started calling names or burning bridges. Though heaven knows I’ve definitely used a block button or just stopped reading certain people’s comments.

And you know what? My blood pressure is just fine for all that. So my advice on how to behave on the internet? Avoid the negativity. Full stop. You’ll live a longer life and get to NOT be an asshole.

And who doesn’t  want that?

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