The Sick of Social Impolite

Another online post hurling words of rudeness.

Feverishly social listeners try to respond quickly to maintain the brand image of their business and move irate customers offline. Personal conversations however are less likely for recovery. These spontaneous posts have little construction to them, typed on the spur of the moment. Statements are made about whatever comes to mind first with very little thought put to them other than what is said. What may be intended as sarcastic humor can be rude, negative, and even hateful. Little consideration is given to who is it written for. To say anything without regard for others is our right as freedom of speech, isn’t it? Or is it.

As part of successful communication a degree of respect must exist between two parties and a desire to minimize conflict in order to communicate. To achieve this, you must practice being polite. This is the case whether online or in person. Over the last 25 years there has been an increase in rudeness by approximately 75% (Statistica 2019). Online rudeness has steadily increased with more people using the Internet.

When a person you are communicating with in-person is in front of you, their facial expression can indicate how your message is received. A polite person will look for these indicators as they communicate and react accordingly. Human nature causes most people to recognize the effects of an insult and stop. Most even respond with an apology. This is not the case online. Candid responses are posted not to individuals but to avatars with the ability to text responses. Unless someone responds back, you have no idea how a post may have affected them, and it may not be real. Online posts can essentially be spontaneous real thoughts, which are posted with little regard for who is reading it. Posts can take their toll on the recipient.

Trolling and cyberbullying are extreme cases of impoliteness which are common on the Internet. Trolling is when someone posts inflammatory remarks to start an argument which results in a long tirade of heated, opinionated responses. These can easily get out of control and if not moderated can be soapbox platforms of spiraled negativity. Cyberbullying can be defined as deliberate harm directed at a person to haze them with hate remarks and threats. There are laws against cyberbullying, as well as libel and slander which result in the defamation of reputation and character of an individual.

Another reason for an increase in impoliteness online is the standard for civility has changed significantly. If rudeness is not corrected as wrong, it becomes the standard. Posting positive messages is one way to encourage politeness online as the new standard.

Putting thought into what is posted whether it is text, photos, memes, videos or any other media shared is wise. It is a reflection of yourself regardless of whether it reaches one person or many. Electronic communication can reach thousands of people within seconds. Once it is sent, sometimes it is not able to be reversed. Consider if what you are sending is appropriate before you hit send.

Help recover politeness by being socially polite online.

@cultureofkind


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