internet sadness.

June 29, 2008

This was brought to my attention the other day by various Tumblrs that I follow. I don’t know him. I don’t follow his Tumblr. I hadn’t even heard of him before. But it makes me upset and disappointed to read it, and I don’t really know why.

It should be obvious to everyone on the Internet these days that there are people out there who will, for whatever reason, throw mean, insulting comments at others, who are not even acquaintances. On top of that, if you’ve got any claim to even a bit of fame on the web, you will encounter many more of those types of people. And it doesn’t just happen on-line, it happens to real-life celebrities too, and they seem to deal with it. In the end, even if you bow gracefully away from having a public space on the Internet, people will still probably comment about you. It’ll just be somewhat behind your back. Truthfully though, I have never personally had any of that kind of comment thrown at me. I’m sure if I did, it would hurt.

But in most cases where I have seen insults fly, I always felt it could be expected (celebrity gossip sites, Youtube comments, etc). The people it was aimed towards must see it coming because of fame or upsetting opinions. Or the commenter must either be stupid or want to shock for attention/humor. So attacking a start-up founder (which in my book is a tiny celebrity) who doesn’t seem too controversial, seems unnecessarily mean. So I feel disappointed that given anonymity people will often be rude and insulting, in what seems like a strange attempt to rebel against the social norms that we have all grown up with in the real world. And that these somewhat anonymous people are able to push others away from the Internet.


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