Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Online Bully? Really?

Bullies are idiots and, sadly, they’re everywhere, not just the school yard.  You can find them in families, businesses, and nowadays even online, which is really confusing.  I can imagine being bullied by someone you see every day and the intimidation that comes with that.  You fear being punched or losing your job.  It’s sad, but it happens.  And now it’s progressed to the computer.  Since the boom of social media and online chats, people have reported being harassed via the internet, threatened and ridiculed by classmates and coworkers to the point that they are afraid to show up the next day.  I can understand this, as well.  You’re still facing your bully.  They may not be punching your chest with a finger at the time, but it could be a real possibility the following day.

I’m not demeaning that issue in any way, shape, or form.  It is very real and some people need a stick upside the head for being a gigantic ass.

However, to try and be a bully online over long distances is pretty lame.  To threaten someone with your keyboard and an icon is more childish than childish.  Still, there is something about hiding behind a monitor screen that causes some people to grow a massive set of testicles whether that person is male or female.  They talk as if they were a bully in real life and don’t just play one in the chat room.  They spout off threats and insults as if ordering from the dollar menu at McDonald’s.  They’re big.  They’re bad.

They’re Pathetic.

It happened to me yesterday, someone spewing ignorant obscenities.  I laughed.  Now, I don’t mind having a debate of differing views and I don’t mind if someone disagrees with how I do something.  However, there is a right way and a wrong way to have those conversations.   Yesterday, this person chose the wrong way.

Allow me to fill you in on what happened.  Twitter is not like Facebook.   You don’t have to approve who follows you and you can follow just about anyone who has a Twitter account.  I use Twitter to help market my writing and I have met some fantastic people there.  I’ve also met some idiots, but luckily those have been very few and far between.

One of my Twitter habits is to welcome those who follow me as I follow them back.  Apparently, this one guy - who, by the way, followed me first - didn’t particularly care for a “Hello,” and tried to get all up in my face via 140 characters at a time.  He was also cussing with shortened words made popular by computer talk, such as using “dat” for “that”, and dat’s where he lost me next.  Instead of sounding tough he sounded illiterate, and I could only shake my head.  He also used an “N” word that I personally can’t stand, so now he was a wannabe bully, illiterate, and rude.  Not a good representation of his family.

The reason for his rampage was that I dared speak to him.  “U dn’t noe me!”  Um, no, I don’t, so why did you follow me?  And “Noe”?  Really?  I mean, if you’re saving characters, why not a simple “no”?  And to get upset because someone said hello?  Does he go off on the cashier at the grocery store or the little old lady who whispers a thank you as he holds the door open for her?  No, that would never happen.  Oh he’d go off on the little old lady, but he wouldn’t hold the door for her.  Slam it in her face, maybe, but being a decent human being is beyond his ability.

You might think that I went off on him, exchanging insulting tweets of computer lingo and emoticons.  I didn’t.  Instead, I saved it to use as big fodder and a lengthier moral.  Actually, I hate getting into that type of wasted rhetoric.  I mean, really what’s the point?  It’s like two adults sitting across the room sticking their tongues out at each other.  I avoid drama in my offline world; I sure as hell don’t want it in my online world.  I was a gentleman to the end, even wishing him a good day before I blocked his obnoxious ass.  He was the first person I’ve ever blocked.  I might hide from people so I don’t have to see their posts and they can’t see mine without a private investigator, but I’ve never blocked them.  I wish it was a feature in real life

Rude people just aren’t worth putting up with, offline or online.  The best way to handle it is not to fight back, but to simply say, “Have a good day,” and turn your back on them.  I don’t try to waste my breath on the ludicrous, not to mention my time.  People will try to knock the harmony out of your life.  However, they’ll only succeed if you participate in their ill-manners and self-righteous hatred of the world.  My advice?  Ignore the big doody heads.

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  1. OH MY....GOOD POST Robbie! So sorry you were On-Line Man Handled!..LOL...This has happened to me, to many times to count. See, I don't get why people have to rude, like it is going to get them what they want of get ahead??? Cathy L

    1. I agree. Seems like a total waste of time and energy to me, which is why I ignore it. Better things to do. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Great post, Robbie and I couldn't agree with you more about how rude and obnoxious people can be posting from the safety of their computers. I never understood the whole bully mentality or the street brawling behavior but I guess some simple minded folks don't think like the rest of us. It sounds like you handled it perfectly and the fact that you didn't swap insults most likely bothered him more than any cheap shot you could have sent back. Some people will never learn and yes, these are most likely the same morons who we see verbally abusing store clerks who are just trying to get through their day.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! It's always been hilarious to me how tough people can talk when they don't have to face who they are speaking to. Usually they are the same ones who hush the minute real opposition comes their way.

  3. As the call center components of your family can attest, anonymity+audience tends to bring out the worst in many people. Look up literature on internet "trolling"- somewhat fascinating from a psycho/sociological viewpoint, very infuriating from a human viewpoint. The way you handled it is the first rule our generation learns when participating online- "Don't Feed the Trolls".

    1. Thanks for sharing the links. I'm looking forward to checking them out. Anonymity brings out the false bravado of people. It's sad, really. Thanks for visiting!