I Am Guilty, God Help Me

Xkcd, naturally.

Krissy used to worry that I got too wrapped up in absolutley pointless Internet slugfests until the day she realized that the reason I did it was because I was having fun, not because I was massively emotionally invested. I might stay up to thump on someone online, but once I step away from the monitor, it’s done. Letting people you don’t even know get you all wound up is no way to go through life.

31 Comments on “I Am Guilty, God Help Me”

  1. I used to get really worked up over that stuff. I had to step away for a few weeks. Then come back with a new outlook, and I just avoid conflict. My personality doesn’t let me have fun with that.

    Instead I seek out good discussions where it seem like both sides will benefit. As soon as I see it sliding away from that, I just walk away. Because you are 100% right – and that comic does such a great job of illustrating it. (xkcd is genius) It is absurd to get worked up over some anonymous interaction on the web.

  2. Yup. There are some things that are Internet-borne worth getting engaged in — the stuff going on with SFWA is one of them for me — but the vast majority isn’t.

  3. lol, that cartoon strikes amazingly close to home. Glad to hear that these slugfests don’t carry over into your “real” life.

    If I let half of the things I see floating around the internet get under my skin, I’d be even more of a psycho than I already am. :D

  4. I want the T-shirt. I want it, I want it, I want it.

    Right Freakin’ Now! Do you hear me?


  5. Never thought of it that way, but yeah, it is kind of fun. Though, most of the people I slugfest with online are people I do know. Sometimes I get wound up. That’s probably no way to go through life either.

  6. My problem is exactly the opposite. I can’t seem to manage to argue over the Internet. Without seeing the other guy’s face, I quickly lose interest and go play somewhere else. Even when I should argue about something, I have trouble bringing myself to care.

  7. I find that I’ve mellowed considerably over the years since I first discovered the Internet. Now, when I read some post that’s clearly in error, or that disagrees with my opinion–or, even someone who contradicts me–it just rolls off.

    I’m sure I have co-workers from back in my Customer Service days who remember me as a seething kettle of rage–but I’m convinced that had more to do with being forced to speak for the company, rather than presenting my own answers or opinions.

    Glad I don’t do that anymore.

  8. John,

    You ought to consider a side business as a “ghost flamer.” Someone sees a post that cannot be allowed to stand, but they lack the time or skill to give the offender the thumping they so richly deserve. That’s where you’d come in.

    You could bill hourly rates.

  9. Hi, my name is Rembrant and I am an internet argue-aholic. It all started when…..
    Actually I like a net argument better than a face to face. The net gives my slow mind time to ponder. The witty comeback I would think of a day latter is good to use on the net when it is just sad in face to face. I don’t think I have ever changed anyone’s opinion but I hope I have made a few think about thier opinions. Reminds me of that saying, don’t confuse me with the facts, I have already made up my mind. I made a few posts on Marlene Dotterer’s LJ about pimping. But mostly I go after points in the local papers blog. People have some pretty funny ideas.

  10. Back in the good ol’ days of the interwebs, you know, the mid nineties, I was full of virtual piss and vinegar and took every flame war as seriously as a paladin saving souls at Burning Man.

    Now, it is just good fun. And, my wife, also doesn’t get it.


  11. Women just don’t understand that someone on the internet always need to have their s f’ed up.

    And that’s why men like me need them so someone can drag us off the laptop before things get ugly. Or more often, petty.

  12. “Letting people you don’t even know get you all wound up is no way to go through life.”

    But is winding up people you don’t know any better?


    p.s. I’m just asking :)

  13. I’ve always thought that competitive sports are a way for humanity to satisfy its desire for conflict and violence in a controlled safe way (except for maybe (shudder) the child’s game of soccer. One thing most athletes learn is how to lose and not let it destroy you. The best athletes view a loss as an opportunity to learn.

    For me internet “sparring” is the same thing. One thing I admire about John is that he brings a gun to the knife fight so to speak. One can learn a lot by observing the master.

  14. ::whistles looking in the opposite direction::

    What’s worse is when I come home and my wife looks at me, squints and says, “You’ve been arguing on the internet again, haven’t you?”

  15. Most of the time I can just roll my eyes at certain things I read on the internet and move on. Sometimes, I feel the urge to respond to bad logic or posts and move on. Sometimes, I’ll get drawn into an actual argument and get frustrated when other commenters either don’t get my point or put words into my mouth.

    But every time, I just go do something else and I get over it. Life’s too short to be mad at people who you’ll never meet and are probably better people (excluding trolls) than their comments would seem to suggest in the isolated and short incident at issue.

  16. @18 Chang in Japan!

    I understand too well. And engage in it. Even though I should know better. (-.-)

    You’d think after 10 years of scrapping and hating myself even if I “win” I’d learn.

  17. “Women just don’t understand that someone on the internet always need to have their s f’ed up.”

    Uh, Chang? May I just direct you to the mommy/parenting communities on LiveJournal? Most specifically those that have anything to do with breastfeeding or clothdiapering? I’ve been laughing on the sidelines for about three years now, and the hilarity never stops. It’s an ongoing trainwreck of who is the “crunchiest”, and “fakers” will have their LJ reputations smeared to heck and back. Try ljusersecrets.suckafree.ws for several hours of a laughriot.

    Believe me, women are WORSE.

  18. And the T-Shirt should be white print on black cloth, with a pocket, ’cause that’s how I carry my cellphone. (I suppose I should write to the guy who does XKCD, but I’d far rather harass John.)

  19. I have literally had to ban myself from certain forums because I was going to lose my mind and/or my job.

    I need help. (This blog is not helping).

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