"I Have the Honor to Be Your Obedient Servant"

A friend of the blog recently told me that I'm meaner in meatspace (what some prefer to call by the bizarre misnomer "real life") than you would guess from my online persona. I'm not proud to have prompted this observation, but I didn't deny it, either. And yet—insofar as one has any reflectively-endorsed non-nice social impulses (to create incentives for good behavior, or perhaps from an ungentle although-sadistic-would-be-far-too-strong-of-a-word æsthetic that appreciates a world in which people don't always get everything they want), it does seem like the correct strategy: in meatspace, you can react to verbal and nonverbal cues in real time and try to smooth things over if you go too far, whereas in the blogosphere, it's possible to die in a harrowing thermonuclear flamewar and not even know until you check your messages the next day. We must use diplomacy where we cannot wield our weapons so precisely.

3 thoughts on “"I Have the Honor to Be Your Obedient Servant"

  1. I often thought (in a very simple way) that when I'm mean (in meatspace) it's due to inner pain or defensiveness (fear). Conversely, when I've resolved those inner issues I become much more kind.

    Simple way of thinking but seems to work well!

  2. Is this a case of "you're meaner face-to-face than online" meaning something very different from "you're kinder face-to-face than online"?

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