Drive-by Rude-ing

You know, whenever I visit someone’s blog, I try to maintain some semblance of civility, especially if I’m visiting said blog for the first time. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so why go out of one’s way to be an ass and ruin your one chance to be considered a nice person? (Plenty of time for proving yourself a genuine ass later, I always say.)

Recently, someone dropped by my wife’s blog and dropped a rude-bomb on me, suggesting she should dump me for another hubby. (Okay, that’s not bad advice, but it’s still rude. Hello! I’m in the ROOM.) It was just a joke, and probably not intended to be a barb, but it still offered me a slap across the face. The funny thing is, this person didn’t even know me, had no knowledge of me, didn’t visit my blog, nothing. Just … poof. It was a drive-by rude-ing*.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but mother taught me if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If I’d lived by that I wouldn’t speak much, but still, the point can be made there’s no cause to say something rude. In other words, try not to miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut. You might benefit from it someday. (Yes, I say things I shouldn’t say all the time. I just try not to say them to strangers about people they might like.)

Then again, there’s an anonymity to the Internet which affords many the opportunity to fly their freak flags and release their inner a$$hole like no other medium has before. Unlike our cars, which provide the illusion of anonymity, the shield of the Internet and cyberspace is real and definitive. It’s difficult or impossible to track someone to their home without court orders and a lot of time. So people feel free to drop the pretense of both brains and courtesy and let go with things they might not normally say in polite company like a pigeon drops crap – without thought or aim.

What is it about people which makes them think there’s no purpose, no reason, to be courteous and polite in pixels as they would be face to face? I’m willing to bet most of those dropping rude-bombs and being caustic pigs on the ‘Net wouldn’t dare act such in real life. Can you imagine our world where people acted like they do on the Internet? The murder rate would skyrocket. (Go ‘head, try being an a$$hole like that in Texas or Arizona and see if you don’t get a lead lobotomy for your trouble.)

How about you, o courageous readers? Do you have the cajones (cojones?) to be abrasive and disregard the feelings of others on the Internet? Do you try to remember there’s a human being on the other side of that cyber-wall reading the things you write? Do you keep in mind how difficult text-only communication can be, wherein there’s no facial expression or body language available? (I fail at this in epic proportions.)

Sound off and tell me what you think. Am I too sensitive and wussy? or should some of us make a last stand for human decency and common courtesy?


* – Had she done a similar thing on my blog to my spouse her comment would’ve been deleted post-haste, joking or no, and her IP banned from my blog. NO ONE insults my family on MY blog – the only one with a right to free speech here is me.

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12 thoughts on “Drive-by Rude-ing

  1. You suck. Your whole operation sucks.

    You call that rude? You’re a joke. Gimme a break. That’s what Canucks use for rude? Get over yourself.

    Basically, if I never said anything rude, insulting or just plain mean, people would think I was a mute.

    I think I have that problem too.

    When random people leave random idiocy on my blog, I just delete the comment. If the idiot left a calling card, I’d retort with some sort of physical beating.

    I do too. I guess “idiocy” is in the eye of the beholder though.

    In my experience, it only happened once, somebody alluded to my father being a person who enjoys performing oral sex on other men. That overstepped the boundaries of common decency. Comment deleted.

    Yeah, see ya with that kinda crap. Who needs it? Wanna be a shithead? Get your OWN blog, I say.

  2. I understand the perils of text only conversation. When it is something serious I try to at least get the person on the phone.

    Which is fine — IF you can. I know most of you here couldn’t be raised on the phone. Let’s face it — would you want me running around with your phone number? I think not. 😉

  3. Is that footnote pointed at your wife? lol

    And anyone else who needs to know they don’t have the right to freedom of speech here, yeah. 😉

    I’m always conscious of my behavior, even when I’m anonymous. And you know what? I still end up sticking my foot in my mouth. Like Bob said, sometimes joking doesn’t come across in text. I didn’t see the comment in question, so I don’t know if that was the case for her, but for me, that’s usually what happens. Sounds funny in my head, hit publish, sounds douchey.

    Yeah, that’s always a problem. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice. Other times it’s clear. Emoticons help, but not everyone thinks the same things are funny.

  4. I have delusions of always being polite. Anonymous or otherwise, I prefer to be polite. If a joke ever fell flat (or broke through a sensibility window) I haven’t heard about it. Of course, some folks take the mildest comment and get offended. I have a student like that. So far people have been polite on my blog.

    I’ve had a few incidents here, mostly with the same user. I’m not hesitant to toss someone into moderation or ban them if they’re repeat offenders. It also depends on what the offense is. I try to be courteous on other people’s blogs and I expect the same in return.

    I’d feel sick if someone thought I’d been rude. Really, I don’t find many circumstances where rudeness is okay or helpful. You get more flies with honey than with vinegar after all.

    As I said to another commenter, rudeness is in the eye of the beholder. Every communication has two aspects: Presentation and perception. At any given time you only have control over ONE of the two aspects. It’s a tough thing because as much as we try in our Political Correctness-choked society, we cannot control how others perceive our presentation.

  5. I don’t understand rudeness. At ALL. On the other hand, my family have always been teasers; whatever else this means, it means I do a pretty good impression of a smart*ss. So if I get really comfortable with someone,and kid with them, I bet I’ve occasionally come across as rude.

    Yeah, GUILTY here of that too. I think I’m kidding. Someone else thinks it’s sexual harassment. No joke; that really happened to me. So I can completely understand.

    On the Interwebs, though, I bend over backwards not to offend. And I’ve been lucky never to have had a jerky comment (spam excepted!).

    I’m really sorry, I’ve replied to this comment about four times and it never seems to stick for some reason. I try to be polite on the ‘Net too, but you know what? I can only do so much; the rest is up to the receiver. 😦 (Which, for the record, I HATE.)

  6. I have new comments set where I have to approve them for a reason. I have “met” some of the most awful people on the internet.

    Interestingly, the most decent people I’ve ever met I’ve met on the Internet. The real jackasses were in person.

    I regard someone’s blog as their home. I wouldn’t go to their house and be rude, so I don’t do it on their blog. If their writing/viewpoint isn’t to my liking, I move on and keep my mouth shut. Likewise, if someone rudes on my blog to either me or one of my readers, their comment will be erased and their address blocked. Like you, I’m the only one with free speech on my blog.

    Amen to all of that. But I know people who have come into my house and treated me poorly, too, so it’s no surprise. And this event did occur on someone ELSE’S blog, where I have no control. But I have the same rules as you: MY blog, MY commenters, MY rules.

    Our local paper prints the police calls once a week and you would be dumbfounded to see how many complaints are computer harassment related. What on earth do they think the local police can do about it? Ever heard of just turning the computer off or staying out of a certain chat room?

    I think computer harassment and bullying is a problem and will have to be examined at some point soon, but for now, the best thing someone can do is just … go ‘way when it happens. I know I don’t read or comment on someone’s post — even if they’re a friend — if it’s something that’s going to rile me up or goes against my beliefs. Why fight? Why argue? I’m not going to change their position, so why mess around? I don’t read it, and I get outta there. Life’s too short, y’know?

    I think people who are a$$es on the internet are also in real life, just not as in-your-face.

    Me too. If they WERE that in-your-face, they’d end up sued or dead.

  7. Sadly, not everyone believes in manners. I know I could go bitching out everyone who rubbed me the wrong way online, or just go being a meanie-head for no reason, but I chose not to, because for some reason, I still feel that it reflects me, and who I am. Not that they have any clue who I am, but it makes me feel like “oh geez, they would know”. Even when Matt is playing online on the PS3, there are always fly-by rude-bombs… especially kids who get on there and think because no one can dictate what they say online, they become overtly atrocious. Or they’ll have a group of guys playing, and they’ll all get into it bickering and I’m sitting across the room going “stop it! don’t be so mean!” Even though these guys are on the other side of the world sometimes… I feel like manners shouldn’t be neglected. Period.

    It never does anyone any good, does it? Why do it at all? I’m a smart-mouth, no doubt about it, but I also have paid the consequences for being someone who didn’t take every thought captive and let them fall out of my mouth. It doesn’t pay.

    • Feeling bad when you put your foot in your mouth is what makes the difference. Some people are just a bunch of meanie faces.

      Oh well; even the meanie-faces have their place, I suppose. It takes all kinds to make a world, right? 🙂

  8. I always take peoples’ feelings into account, even if I can’t see them. Fortunately no one’s ever been rude to me on my blog. I keep expecting it to happen, but so far, everyone’s been uniformly civil.

    Nice to know that’s been the case for someone. 🙂

    I don’t think rudeness is any less bad for being delivered online. I guess some people are so overflowing with hatred that they want to share it with the world, but I wish they wouldn’t.

    Some things are better left to oneself, for sure. 🙂

  9. I think I have been pretty lucky when it comes to attacks of rudeness… the worst thing that was done to me via the online world was some jerk I knew in real life giving one of my books a negative review on because he just didn’t me to be happy with my book having a 5 star rating.

    Some people just can’t see someone else happy and make it their mission in life to make others as miserable as they are. Heh.

    I am sure I will get hit with some negativity eventually tho…

    I’m sure there are enough jerks to go ’round, yeah. 😉

  10. I saw that exchange and I have to say that Falcon handled it gracefully as always. Makes me wonder if they are as harsh in person.

    Really? I didn’t see it handled at all. Just me though.

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