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The Reasons Why Some People Are Freaks Online

Ever wonder why people who are sweet in person can be complete jerks online? I know you've had it happen to you at least once... you receive that email or IM where you have to tilt your head and go, huh? Did they actually just say that? Well according to Techdirt, there are many factors which could influence this kind of behavior.
They suggest that people may feel "disinhibited" when behind a computer because of the anonymity or that feeling of being invisible... Or the fact that there is a time lag between saying something and getting a response, which for some people makes them feel like they have permission to be complete *&*$#. "Some feel that it has even more to do with the lack of direct human contact in terms of either seeing hurt feelings or hearing someone's voice." Isn't this soo true?! How many times do you hear about online breakups (through IM or text messages.. awful!) But there's also that element of mis-interpretation. Because when you're face-to-face with someone and they say something sarcastic, you know they're cracking a joke because of their body language.. Whereas on the computer, there's no room for interpreting body language.. which sometimes speaks louder than words. Do you agree?

Join The Conversation
kapchis kapchis 10 years
Sorry, I'm a beyotch in person and less so on the internet.
SaraSmile SaraSmile 10 years
This is a big big problem in schools across the country. We (as teacher types, I mean) call is "cyber-bullying," and with instant messenger, text messeging, and all the social networking sites it is becoming more and more of a problem. How interesting that adults do it too, but if you read the comments on celebrity gossip blogs (other than popsugar, which wisely flags inappropriate comments), you can see how much people enjoy being cruel - and anonymous, of course.
caseytraverse caseytraverse 10 years
Couldn't agree more.
phonetic phonetic 10 years
The minute I saw this headline I thought of a certain comic by Penny Arcade...warning: contains profanity http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19
Tech Tech 10 years
great comments! clbailey - couldn't have summed it up any better "usually chickens in real life feel safe enough to let their inner jerk run free" -- loved it! I often find that people like to let their alter ego's run rampad online... which can have disastrous consequences.
amandaaa amandaaa 10 years
so true, so true.
clbailey1 clbailey1 10 years
I've gotten away from participating in certain online groups specifically because of the unprovoked "flame wars" some people love to start! I don't get it - but I guess when you're hiding behind a screen people that are usually chickens in real life feels safe enough to let their inner jerk run free!
Miss-Stephanie Miss-Stephanie 10 years
Very cool article. The more human interaction changes, the more they have to study!
shini shini 10 years
I had a classmate who was a wimp in real life and a real toughguy and funnyguy - wannabe online..that was funnily pathetic. I think Its just the lack of real interaction and the fact that you have to coexist in one moment and space...it makes it different from when you're alone with enough time on your hands.
ddene5713 ddene5713 10 years
duh
cutelilbunny cutelilbunny 10 years
I rarely talk to people over the internet anymore because of the impersonal feel to it. I prefer to talk over the phone, or even get together to chat. There have been times when my friends and I have ganged up against someone else online, and thinking back on it now, I feel really bad about that.
catstarr catstarr 10 years
People are very different online because of the anonymity of it all, I agree. And I hate it when people try to use sarcasm without a winky emoticon or something..... I've had lots of fights because of that.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I never seem to get sarcasm over the internet! So I can definitely see that...
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