Can We Ever Be Human On The Internet?

Originally written as a blog comment for this post by Mark W. Schaefer.

We are entitled to be human, online or offline, a device (or monitor) doesn’t change the fact that humans:

1. Have bad days.
2. Can seem “off” at times.
3. Make mistakes, even be a little stupid.
4. A lot of other stuff that falls under #3.

The difference that I think causes issue is a LOT more people can see us all “being human” online, and sometimes it seems we forget that fact, so we do stupid stuff in the “public” that is online media.

That said…

Human also means:

1. We can show compassion, and understanding, and even better… that can spread like wildfire over the World Wide Web.

2. We can share criticism, and also have the ability to temper that criticism to reflect the feelings the person on the other side of the monitor has.

3. We can just, above all, truly acknowledge there are humans online (for the most part, dang bots).

4. And a whole TON of things that fall under #3.

But human, and discourse online is NOT an excuse for:

1. Vulgar, or mean spirited attacks on people (or offline for that matter).

2. Failing to think a little before posting hurtful or hateful comments online (or offline for that matter).

3. Well… you get the point (or offline for that matter). 🙂

Yes, you CAN “have a bad day” online (or offline for that matter). Just remember, when you do, there are some people who also feel you cannot, so put on your bitch mittens (Mark coined this term in his post).