Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An observation

Just because we live online doesn't negate the social contract. Rousseau described a social order and I think it applies to the socnets, too. Most definitely here. I've been thinking about this, albeit at times angrily. I realize that people are people, wherever they are, and given the chance and no matter the forum, people might behave badly. Still, I find it astonishing.

I'll revisit this idea in the near future when I have the luxury of putting more than two sentences together. In the interim, please do feel free to comment.

1 comment:

CommonWombat said...

I'll bite. I like this topic.

Not only do people behave badly no matter what the forum, but people behave worse when there are no discernible consequences. Anonymity and distance change everything.

Not only has the internet given everyone (with a computer, or access to one) a voice, but it's also freed them (okay, us) from what we consider the normal social contract. It's far easier to spew bile from behind the digital wall than it is to do in a crowed room, where an offended party can respond with a fist.

I'll offer a possible positive spin on this though: I find I can be far more open and vulnerable in an email or an IM than in real life. Being able to say things you could never say in person isn't always a bad thing.