If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve posted and continue to post pretty regularly on a few internet tech forums. It’s (usually) a great hobby of mine. I can’t see any better use for my knowledge of various things tech related than to share it with others and help people who require answers. It enjoy a lively debate and while I have no idea who I’m actually talking to, they’re usually also like me, interested in technology. We trade various tidbits we gather through our daily browsings and generally increase each others’ knowledge base. It’s a great tool, and one of the things I love about the internet.
That is until someone starts attacking you personally.
Attack the opinion or idea, not the person is a guideline stated on many of these types of forums. We don’t know each other personally so all we can know about a person is based on their past posting history. It’s one thing to say your ideas are bogus or inaccurate, it’s totally another to actually insult a person. It’s the basis of a flame war. Now I’m a reasonable person. I do my research and I post what I believe or think to be true. I don’t guarantee what I say is actually truthful however. That’s not to say I would ever purposely mislead someone. I tell it as I see it. I generally do not bias towards or against anything. If one piece of technology is better than the other, I’ll tell you that it is. If I later find out I’m wrong or someone proves me wrong, I’ll admit it. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it as long as that happens. I don’t believe that anyone can be all knowing, that anyone can always be right.
So it pisses be off royally when someone attacks you, as a person, for an opinion you may have. And I still stand by that opinion.
Without going into fine details, I was discussing the advantages of one computer chip over another. I supported my statement with facts. The other side refuted them. I rebuffed back. Then it got ugly. This is the point where all logic was dropped and the putting of words into my virtual-mouth started. Then came the personal attack. Understandably, I was not impressed one bit. In fact, I was pretty much livid. I had said nothing, done nothing to provoke them other than to state my opinion. And it’s not like I was lying or making stuff up. The problem is, people don’t read. They’d much rather say you’re wrong because you don’t agree with them. I decided to write up a nice long post to spell out my argument word by word. I once again provided my reasoning and logic. I was reasonable and did not resort to personal attacks when others didn’t agree with me. I conceded one point, as I wasn’t totally accurate after more reading. At least I know and can admit when I’m not right.
Why can’t some of these people show some courtesy? I doubt many of the things that are said on the internet would be said in real life. Then again, that’s probably what the internet’s good for. Anyone can say anything. I’m probably asking for too much.