Have you ever noticed how easy it is to offend someone else online?
Sometimes you are posting along having a great day and suddenly, out of no where, you get a reply to a post that tells you quite bluntly that you've just insulted another person. A short time later the thread has gone off-track and people are flaming each other, and then in steps a Moderator who ends up closing the thread and everyone is angry - mostly at you.
Or, perhaps you've been on the other side on this situation. There you are trying to be helpful, posting your heart out when suddenly, for no apparent reason, someone makes a reply that appears to be
down right rude and offensive, and it is aimed directly at you.
If you haven't seen this or been involved in at least one of these situations yourself, then you probably haven't been posting very long, or perhaps you aren't posting in any controversial topics or places.
I'm bringing this up for a couple reasons...
First, to remind everyone that it is very easy to misunderstand what someone intends to say in a written post. It is much harder to be clearly and consistently understood in just a few written sentences then it is when you are speaking with someone face to face.
Second, we all need to remember that the Internet spans around the world, and International Forums
such as Wilders Security have quite a diverse group of participants. While Wilders is mostly an English language forum, (the main exception being the LnS French forum section), over half the people here do not
have English as their primary language.
Think about that and its implications. Try to imagine just how much translating is being done here and how people of different languages, cultures and backgrounds can so easily misunderstand what is written in a post. Imagine times when even a simple joke, which would be funny to people with similar backgrounds, causes insult to someone who has a completely different frame of reference.
We all need to be mindful of this and try to use extra care in writing our posts, while also giving the benefit of the doubt
to others, when reading what has been posted. It's best not to assume an insult and react to it when what was intended could be totally innocent.
Of course, there really are people who simply intend to insult others and disrupt a forum. Their only purpose being to cause trouble and attempt to insight flame wars. Sometimes they post inflammatory remarks against individuals, or certain vendors or products, just so they can get other people to post flaming comments back at them. (We usually refer to these people as Trolls. Hence the expression "Please don't feed the trolls.
Remember, there really is no good reason, nor any benefit to you or your overall well being
, to take offense from things that are written online. If we all use a little care in choosing how we word our posts, and if we are generous in how we interpret what others post, then we'll all have a lot more fun (and a lot less stress) online.