Friday, September 16, 2005

Internet Etiquette or Manners

Whilst perusing a Catholic blog, I clicked on the comments. Lo, behold, the Christian form of invective was prevalent.

Occasionally, with friends, online debating has sometimes become a little heated - and this can be due to the way in which words are received. A tilt of the head, a lilt in the voice, a crinkled smile to indicate the delivery of some zinger-line that is, nonetheless, well-meant - these all lose their way over the zeros and may fall under the rather subtle and sinister aspect of the virtual world. Id est, while being more informal, people tend to lose regard for another because they cannot see the other and are free impute all different sorts of interpretations on innocent statements if not checked by charity. I should say, rather, statements that are quite innocent of any intent to malign what is good and holy.

Aside from the fact that it is ludicrous to gird up the loins and sally forth into battle, smiting all in the path, over a wee little sentence - unless that sentence be meant ill and is against an item of faith - it is also extremely uncharitable for a dearth of reasons. What, for example, is that spiritual work of mercy that pertains to the ignorant? What is the intent of the person who wrote the statement? What does the person mean by the statement? Is it possible that he could mean something that is not apparent to me and if so, should I not err on the side of doubt and stopper my mouth before I completely and utterly stick my foot in it because of my impetuous nature?

Good people, this will not do. It is frivolous and petty. Be gentle! Play nice. Drink good water, everyday!

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