Friday, January 13, 2006

Test of Character

A couple of days ago I wrote about the anonymous postings to chat rooms and blogs for which the internet is becoming infamous. Does anyone really care about the person on the other computer? It seems not. In fact, when I wrote the other day about Howard Stern, and was less than complimentary, a few folks took the occasion to blast me personally with cruel and defamatory replies. When I called them out as being vicious, one response was, "Welcome to the internet". Is that what it is? Is the internet becoming just a place to degrade and humiliate others without conscience? Is the ability to communicate anonymously too much of a temptation to avoid cyber-hooliganism? Are we unable to interact in a civil manner when cloaked in anonymity?

I also wrote in that post about how my son is involved with a play in which things get out of hand when interaction on the net bleeds over into real life. I found a story today about just such an incidence. Check it out.

I'm guessing this sort of thing is going to become more common as the "internet experience", and life as lived through a computer, continues to grow. I would expect stories such as the one referenced above to become more common. When someone chooses to be no longer anonymous, he/she must deal with a world that many apparently are unprepared to handle. The real world.

Character is what you are in the dark.
American Proverb

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