Everywhere I go, I feel like people are much ruder than they were when I was growing up. It makes me wonder if one of the negatives of social media is the desensitization of the human race?
Last night at the gym a woman joined me in the sauna visibly (and verbally) upset that I had the light on.
I explained to her that I was relaxing by reading and she proceeded to not only judge the way that I chose to relax but also to scream at me about how nice she was to have left the light on for me.
A few times in the past month, I have been driving and have gently tapped on my horn to alert someone that they have the light or are free to proceed. Only to have them flip me off!
And let’s not even discuss the abusive and snarky exchanges one witnessed on Facebook after Obama won re-election this past fall. I actually lost a friend who insisted on insulting anyone with an opinion that differed from theirs.
This all got me thinking.
Are we so used to the anonymity of digital and social media that we are becoming a rude nation???
A look at the recent situation that occurred at PyCon between Adria Richards and another (male) developer illustrates this even further:
A young woman overhears some comments made by men that could be interpreted as being sexist. She takes a picture and exposes it to the public via Twitter. As a result, this woman gets skewered on Reddit for her actions, receives threats of violence and then gets fired.
Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be able to express their opinions, but some of the things that were said were personal attacks and pretty offensive.
It makes me wonder if these Reddit posters would say some of these things to the young woman’s face or if they simply think it is OK because it is commented from afar.
And then, the offensive anonymous online behavior gets extended to the physical world where people now seem to think it is OK to yell at a stranger in a sauna.
On the flip side, I just read an article about how online etiquette is a major consideration among today’s youth.
But I have to admit I am a little concerned that it may be too late!
Tell us what you think in the Comments…