It’s my Monday over at According to Hoyt, and I wrote an essay on masks, humanity, and internet arguments.
The arguments I’d been involved with online – this week one direct and personal, the other tangential and more amusing than stressful – reminded me of these masks we wear. It seems to me that when we are online we forget that the masks give us a buffer. We leave them off, and with them, the manners and courtesies we would observe if we were in that roomful of people. Not that we are all clowns. Nor that introverts can, with enough training and given little choice in the matter, become clowns (although I am living proof of that).
Rather than attempting to understand the other, to put ourselves in their shoes, people unmask on the internet and focus only on their concerns. Presented with a statement they see as wrong, they instantly go on the attack. Presented with the opportunity to attack, they lose all empathy and forget that there is another person on the other side of the screen, with feelings, thoughts, and differences. The dehumanizing effect of unmasking and then attacking leads them into behaviours they would never consider if they were looking into the other person’s eyes.
Consider this…. Read More Here