Would you say that to my face?

Wow.

“Moron”  “Libtard”  “Bwahahahah you ignorant noob” “Dirty fuckin loser Red Sucks Fan”

in the span of two days, I’ve been called some names.  Some for comments I made on a blog, some for a response to a political question, some for just being a Red Sox fan and saying that the Yankees have an amazingly talented team.  Yeah, I also tagged on that I hate certain players like Nick Swisher and A-Fraud, but that’s besides the point.  I think most Yankee fans will agree with the A-Clod comment tho.

Why the attack?  Why the senseless name calling and rudeness?  Why is that all necessary?

Here’s the real question.  If we were sitting at a table, and not on opposite ends of the world connected by the internet, would you actually say that shit to my face?  Would you call me a moron to my face? [Granted, I know there are several Yankee fans would would definitely say yes, but that’s a Red Sox/Yankee fan thing :)]

Are we not allowed to disagree respectfully, or at  least without name calling?  I think that the underlying problem is something that my roommate at JMU covered in his Masters Degree.  Not sure exactly the exact subject thesis, but it had to do with the Effect of Communication over Electronic Media.  Granted, at the time, it was all text based chats and forums and *gasp* dialup Bulletin Boards, but still…

What is it going to cost me to insult the guy for not agreeing with me?  If I’m a thousand miles away or around the corner, if I”m MrAnonymous on the forum, who’s going to come after me?  Even on places like facebook, it’s similar.  Sure, you know who’s calling you a moron or a libtard, but if you friend them, will they friend you back?  What’s the worst you can do?  Put up a Facebook status message with “Person X is closeminded and called me a fucktard, don’t friend them, shun them, make them not exist”.  How much effect would that have?  Unless you’re someone with 10k friends, not much, and even then, why would anyone care?

The issue is with the internet, social media, and other forms of non face-to-face communication.  First of all, it removes you from the social graces that you would normally adhere to if you were standing next to the person.  If you don’t have to worry about Mr. X punching you in the face, go ahead and call him an asshole.  What’s he gonna do?  I think it also gives people an unrealistic outlet for some of their more caustic opinions.  The thing I have noticed, and I’m not espousing keeping all of your caustic opinions to yourself, is that people are more ready to be rude, obnoxious, quick to judge, and downright mean in some cases and not care about the consequences because you can’t touch them.

Do I really give a flying fuck about the people who insulted me?  I did initially when it happened, but it truly made me think about the whole situation, so in a way, it’s a good thing.  But the main thing I’m trying to say is how is all of this – because you know you’re all involved in some sort of social media-  affecting (or effecting?) the way you deal with people?  Is it making you more quick to put out your two cents not only in social media, but it personal social situations?  For me, I’m glad for the opportunity to write it out because I can’t argue well, getting tongue tied and my points all jumbled in my head.   I write fairly okay, and usually after several rewrites get my opinion in a readable format, but I have to reword and rework things so it comes out the way I want it to come out.  So in that sense, having a buffer between me and someone else is good because I can get the point across the way I want to.

The problem with that is I don’t think people take enough time to really read what they’re writing, nor do they think of how it will affect other people.  Truthfully, I don’t give a flying fuck about the guy who called me a loser because I put up a message about the Red Sox.  The Moron and Libtard comments actually made me think about never posting anything political ever again because I come across as a coolaid drinking democrat.

I guess what I’m asking is, do you think that social media – facebook, myspace, forums, blogs – are good for communication, or do you think they’re making people lose their social filters? And if the latter, is that a good or a bad thing?

oh, and since this is my blog – GO SAWKS!!!