|Psychos on the internet - Are you safe?|
I've learned to simply ignore people who act annoying on forums instead of getting into childish arguments on the internet (as it's simply a loss of time, a cost).
However, say someone started an argument..using very aggressive & annoying wording (not necessarily insulting you by using curse words (this should get them banned, I guess)).
If you have the means to make the person look stupid (as it's obvious from older posts they made, that they're being aggressive towards what you typed (that nobody else took offense to), because of their own personal mistakes in the past)...
should you make them look stupid as they obviously deserve :P, or should you be careful and not point it out?
If you have no personal information on that forum (nor a signature link that could lead to any), how safe are you from psychos on the internet? How safe is your personal information/location on your ISP provider's server?
PS: If you look at my posts on here, you'll see that I'm a nice and polite guy (I usually avoid misunderstandings and arguments,etc.), but some people are just too much..
|should you make them look stupid as they obviously deserve? |
The simplest answer:
"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers might not know the difference." - Mark Twain
More . . . I'm going to wax philosophic as usual. When I start feeling this way, I think of a few things . . .
Don't grab a sleeping tiger's tail. There may be things you're unaware of, or forgotten, or that can be revealed to turn the whole mess back on you.
You say "obviously deserves" but ask yourself, what, and who, determines someone deserves something? From what perspective? Did someone assign you (the rhetoric you, as in me, you, I anyone) as judge and jury to determine what is right, what is wrong, and empower you to sole out appropriate punishment? The answers are always no one and no. :-)
I'll use a couple examples: people who lie about their income, knowledge, skills, or training, or even just inflate these, are doing so because of some deeper insecurity. I know a lot of people like this. Drag them from under the rock and show their underside, one or two things is likely to happen, a full blown countermeasure or it can even be devastating on severe levels.
How much energy to you want to put into this, and truthfully, what is your motivation? (Rhetoric "you" again.) It boils down to your own need to be right. Remember the cartoon, "Come to bed," "I can't someone is WRONG on the Internet." Same thing.
The redeeming part: these kinds of problems will wind themselves down without help from anyone. Karma always pays out.
The truth is that I have a lot of self-discipline when it comes to these things, however some stuff is just too much.
I wasn't able to hold it in, because it was just that annoying and having all the evidence in front of me (all over his old posts) to point out to the person (a self-proclaimed genius) what an idiot he is was just way too tempting :-).
The person has replied in that thread by now and admitted that he looks pretty stupid, now (I asked him to admit it :-)) and has asked to continue to discussion in a normal way.
So, I guess pointing it out wasn't too bad in this case :P
the truth however is that I agree with the first phrase of your first quote, but I was just tempted too much to do that ;-).
Wrestling with a pig is fun for the pig and everyone gets dirty.
When having a discussion where issues grow heated, the time to stop is when ad hominen attacks or strawman logic is inserted. These cannot be "won". More importantly, the time expended to have the last word might be better employed with others in discourse that is both pleasant and illuminating.
But. I. Won.
I'm very ban-happy. Once word got around, the problems stopped. I haven't had to ban anyone in 3 years.
There are some lessons here I could learn that is for sure. I am still learning to keep my opinion in check, but I often fall victim to my own excitement.
I like to think I am getting better... slowly.
|When having a discussion where issues grow heated, the time to stop is when ad hominen attacks or strawman logic is inserted. |
This is something I am coming to realize on my own. A very true statement.
Where I get crazy is when mis-information is posted. Opinions can differ but when people outright mis-state or are wrong, or lie about facts I think it is our responsibility to set the facts straight. Especially if they are going to live for decades on a forum for people to stumble on.
When getting into a back and forth over something subjective then walking away is the best approach. A lesson I am still learning.
There are some real psychos out there. If you haven't encountered any, consider yourself lucky. I knew of a guy once who tracked down real-life details of people he fought with online, called their relatives, called their employers, and generally harassed them until police were brought into it. Not a situation you want to be in!
"There are some real psychos out there. If you haven't encountered any, consider yourself lucky. I knew of a guy once who tracked down real-life details of people he fought with online, called their relatives, called their employers, and generally harassed them until police were brought into it. Not a situation you want to be in! "
Nice! I thought everyone had way too busy lives, nowadays :D.
On a more serious note, I'm a paranoid person at heart, so I knew the only way he could have found out anything about me would have been by hacking into the website's server, getting my IP address, and then hacking into my ISP service provider's server (if I understand all of this right which I might not :D), so felt reasonably safe.
Then, again I have to admit the situation was just too tempting, and I couldn't resist the temptation...even though nothing happened Ill hopefully learn from that for the next time, and will just point out very politely, that the person is wrong :-).
Today, I just resisted the temptation to argue with an idiot on the internet. My success rate at this has gotten pretty high over the years :-), it was just that one situation hehe ;)