I admire this perceptive comment about cyber-rudeness posted by crella in respense to the recent article on the Yale dean who was addicted to posting Yelp reviews that mocked and showed her contempt for various classes of citizens, like “white trash.” I’m also pleased to recognize her long-time contributions to the discussions here. They are consistently articulate, thoughtful, and civil. Her post makes the important point that people show their true character in their online discourse, and crella’s online discourse here shows intelligence and sensitivity.
Here is crella’s Comment of the Day on the post, Yale’s Bigoted Dean and Pazuzu:
Social media has dumbed-down society far faster than I ever thought possible, through fostering the need for outside validation (likes, views, numbers of ‘friends’) and the brevity forced on the user on some platforms (Twitter’s 140 character limit). In combination, these two conditions have almost wiped out in-depth discussion; you can try, but you’ll likely get a ‘tldr’ for your efforts (‘too long, didn’t read’ but then they’ll post their opinion anyway)…and, instead of reasoned arguments, snark level has become the new indicator of intelligence.
All these factors are evident in Chu’s actions. I was puzzled as to why anyone would send out a blanket email to let everyone know she was a Yelp Elite. Being bumped up a category for most restaurant reviews is a strange thing to want attention for, but perhaps any internet ‘fame’ is good? The snark as intelligence factor is prominent in most of her reviews, she’s too good for many of the places she’s been, better than the people serving her. It really went so far to her head she couldn’t see how nasty she had become, it was normal amongst Yelp followers, but not outside of it.
People often say ‘but I’m not like that in real life’. I do not , and never have, understood people who claim to change once in front of a keyboard, but say they’re not really like that…I’m reminded of something my Dad used to say when he’d catch us trying to get away with something, after he listened to all the impossible explanations “Well, were you lying then, or are you lying now?” Once you show yourself online as a pretender, liar, or as really nasty to other people, you’ve (general you) shown me who you are, despite that being ‘not really who I am’. If you become someone who mocks and attacks people with ease, that IS who you are.