Social Question

Mikewlf337's avatar

Has the internet exposed people for what they really are?

Asked by Mikewlf337 (6257points) February 21st, 2011

People tend to say how they feel and have no respect for feelings of others on the internet. They tend to say whatever they want because there are no consequences. Has the internet exposed people for what they really are?

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Not on this site.

wundayatta's avatar

This sounds like sour grapes to me. I find that you generally get back what you put out.

janbb's avatar

Some people

Mikewlf337's avatar

@wundayatta what do you mean?

Mikewlf337's avatar

Let me rephrase that. People don’t say how the feel. They say what they want and insult people because they simply disagree with them. Then when I defend myself. Alot of people on here try to make me look like a bad guy.

dreamer31's avatar

Some people do this no matter where they are and alot of those same people feel better if they can make someone feel stupid.
@Mikewlf337 if it counts for anything probably doesn’t I don’t think so.

thorninmud's avatar

You know how some people have lucid dreams where they realize they’re dreaming and can do anything they want without it having real consequences in their real life? It’s a primitive feeling of liberation; you can do things that you’d never think of doing in real life because you know that what happens in the dream stays in the dream.

For some people, the online world works the same way. Because there’s (in principle at least) a firewall between online and real life, one feels immune from the consequences of what one says or does.

We’re complex creatures. Remember Phineas Gage? He got an iron pole rammed through his left prefrontal cortex and survived. But that’s the part of the brain that restrains the more primitive impulses and behaviors. The PFC calculates the consequences of actions and decides whether to give in to or override the more primitive parts of the brain. Phineas Gage minus his PFC started acting like an obnoxious internet troll.

Those more primitive impulses aren’t “what we really are”. Neither is the prefrontal cortex. It all works together. In some environments, like dreams and online, the PFC sometimes steps out of the way and lets the reptilian brain take over. Other times, the PFC judges that the reptilian brain needs to play nice because real people with real feelings are on the line.

wundayatta's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I mean that it sounds like you have had some bad personal experiences on the internet, and you are complaining about them.

I’m saying that if you don’t interact with cretins, and you set a model for how you want people to interact with you, you are likely to get the same in return. If you are defensive and fight on every point, that’s what you get in return. It doesn’t matter who started it. You always have a choice about whether to respond or not.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think the internet may expose people for what they are much faster than in real life, but no. I don’t think the internet changes anyone. A person doesn’t go from being polite IRL to being really rude on the internet.

lonelydragon's avatar

According to this study, people are ruder online than off. There is little to no accountability on the internet, so people often feel freer to say things that they wouldn’t say to someone’s face. With that said, I don’t think that the internet will automatically turn a nice person into an @$$hole. People who are rude online are probably unpleasant IRL, but just not as much because they have to censor themselves more in face-to-face interaction.

@wundayatta While it’s true that like often attracts like, some people will be rude no matter how polite their interaction partner is (although I agree that we can pick our battles when responding to rude comments).

Schroedes13's avatar

Falls in line with my skewed view of human nature. With no consequences, there would be few things that people wouldn’t do!

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