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Subject:  Re: swanning the boards... Date:  5/27/2007  1:58 PM
Author:  PineyLevel Number:  1454 of 5355

i have been reading some of the boards at the fool, and i wonder how come writing to people on a computer entitles--no, encourages-- really rude, hostile, and disparaging one would talk to someone in person the way some posters talk to other posters in these MEAN... what IS that? WHY is that?

Some people are just rude and mean, online or off.
Aside from that, here are some reasons for mean or rude posts.

1. Joking.
Some people are actually good friends, but part of their friendship with each other includes saying absurdly hostile or mean things that both people know are just a joke. If you didn't know that, it would look cruel, but the important thing is that the two people involved both know it's just silly.

2. Because it's Funny.
Sometimes the mean stuff is also hilarious, if it's not too mean, etc.

3. Takes Two to Tango.
Some posters have long-standing bad habits, such as using every thread as a vehicle to expound on their own pet peeve, or posting their opinions in a manner that's predictable, irrational, factually inaccurate, exaggerated, argumentative, or just dumb. Over time, these folks have been so aggravating and picked so many fights that people inclined to mockery regard them as fair game.

4. Middle School Status Struggle
Some people seem to function like 13 year olds, operating on the principle that to be the Queen Bee or Alpha Dog requires them to take gratuitous pot shots at others.

5. Inappropriate Tone
Boards have their own tone and sensibility. Some are super-supportive, with the (((((Poster!)))) huggie symbols, day-to-day encouragement of each other ("Congratulations on losing another 5 pounds!!"), and unwritten rules of not fake-cursing or gossiping. Others are rougher, with lots of fake-cursing, sarcasm, and mockery. Go to any board and adopt a manner that is out of keeping with the general tone, and one runs into trouble.

6. Private Boards.
Although boards are technically open to all, some are a de facto private community, and may try to limit who posts there by restricting it to those to whom an official Welcome Mat has been extended. Posting on one of these may lead to trouble.

7. Age
A lot of the "mean and rude" posters are 24-45 years old, and a lot of the "hurt or offended" posters are over 50. Maybe the young don't have manners nowadays, maybe the old are too touchy, I don't know.

8. Anonymity, Random Snarls, Cranks, Crackpots, Hooligans
Okay, some people are just jerks. Here's a funny compendium of the online zoo:

So, there are a few reasons why people are mean and rude.
Piney, has made every posting mistake possible at one time or another.

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