Mind Your Virtual Manners

So, a little lesson today on manners.

Yeah, I’m like Miss Manners today…call me Deac Manners.

If someone you know personally in real life and online posts something on their blog, and you take exception with it on general philosophical grounds, here’s what you do:

One, you call or e-mail that person and talk it out or arrange to have coffee and discuss things in a normal human way, face-to-face, so that no one’s meaning gets lost


Two, you post a comment to that person’s blog detailing your issues with the comment he or she made in their blog post, so that there can be a healthy and detailed discussion of the issue online between you two and any other readers of the blog post.

Here is what you DON’T do:

Do not, under any circumstances, make vague, outraged snarky comments about the line in question on Twitter, 140 characters at a time, then make another tweet, after your first two or three, that actually is intended to directly insult the person who wrote the line in the blog post that irked you.

Also, if you’re considering it, don’t use Facebook either for your diatribe and direct attack against that person that you know in real life and will no doubt run into face-to-face one day.

Because, you see, Twitter and Facebook are places where comments are supposed to be quick and pithy and not try to go into deep and complex issues. They do not lend themselves to detailed and in-depth discourse.

More importantly, be a damned grown up and address the person directly if you don’t like what he or she said. This isn’t fucking high school. Going around saying nasty things in other people’s ears and impugning the person is pretty nasty passive-aggressive behavior.

You live in the same town, dammit. If it bothers you that much what the person said, own your displeasure and talk it out instead of hiding behind your computer screen.

(And yes, I’m talking about a real situation. And yes, I’ve seen other people online pull this same crap, which makes me think the Internet is making people lose all their common sense in terms of human interaction. And no, I wasn’t the person affected. Just an interested bystander)


5 Responses to “Mind Your Virtual Manners”

  1. 1 Big Man
    September 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Tell us how you really feel.

  2. September 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Yeah, I know. I really have to work on my inability to express my emotions. 😉

  3. September 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    No, Deacon, you are OK! Express yourself!

    It appears that many of us have become “Mean Girls”! I’m talking about women and men! We are all a bunch of mean girls!!

  4. 4 Amii
    September 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    My preferred method is number two – that way more voices can chime in.

    I guess we’re not going to get the story behind the post since you know the person….or are we? (please, please, please.)

  5. September 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

    *chuckle* Nah, Amii, I won’t be sharing all the details of the online tiff, even though it’s pretty deeply in the past now…since I don’t want to air other people laundry nor open wounds that seem to be scabbing over now. I will acknowledge, however, it was my wife being messed with, hence the aggrieved/irritated not of my post here.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


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