In recent weeks, I’ve seen and received direct feedback from several folks that we all act like assholes and b&^ches online.
These same people say restraining tongue and keyboard to act with decency and civility is inauthentic. I don’t recall every being taught that if we have character flaws that it gives us a license to “walk around” online and take hostages in the name of authenticity.
What do I mean by that?
Knowingly hurting other people, and blowing off responsibility for our conduct by saying, “Too bad, it’s my nature.”
A forthcoming Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh study shows that surfing on Facebook with close friends lowers inhibitions towards self control. The study says that with an inflated positive self caused by ego-stroking on Facebook we feel more inclined to take license.
So know we know the medium is toxic. Does that give us license to behave poorly?
You know what? Leaving a trail of human wreckage behind me, all because of an inflated sense of self online doesn’t cut the mustard.
I can’t live with that. It’s not OK.
And yeah, I am a jerk and mean and nasty at times. My snark cuts deeper than most, and these days I intentionally withhold it online because you can’t tell I’m kidding when I write it.
In fact, I increasing save it for self deprecation so as not to hurt someone in on or offline.
At 40, it’s clear my struggle to be less of a jerk will last a lifetime, but I hope to die a mellow old lovable man. Whether I just consistantly embarrass myself or grow, I won’t stop trying to improve.
The defense of brazen “authenticity” of people who “act like themselves” as the ultimate cop out. It’s easier to walk away from responsibility towards others than to embrace a harder path of change.
When I see this kind of behavior, I see someone who is unwilling or cannot face their inner demons. Unfortunately, most people will never look inward. Instead they opt to continue acting exactly like they always have, and forgo moving towards a better future or breaking the chains to future generations.
Worse, they seem bent on inflicting their suffering on others.
Let them… Without me.Read More