On rudeness and interacting with other consciousnesses

Many thanks for the kudos, but you obviously haven’t read some of the footie threads! (I am rather ashamed to say that I even once wished a broken ankle upon Frank Lampard, and that was after my team had won. I am not immune from asholery by any stretch.)

I think it has to do with the purpose of this board (or other online communities). I mean, basically, when you’re dealing with people in social situations IRL, you don’t generally section the topics of discussion off into “Great Debates” and “Rants” and whatnot. If you did - ie., if your interactions with strangers in a supermarket or even friends at a party consisted mainly of conversations about Terry Shiavo or the war in Iraq, I bet you’d see a lot more rudeness. Your goal in dealing with most people IRL is not to fight their ignorance, but to make everything run smoothly so you can get on with your life. When you get people together in an environment to discuss hot button issues, or even just aesthetic judgements, the interaction is much more likely to get heated. And when you notice certain posters continually saying things that you violently disagree with, you’re more likely to lash out at them later on without provocation, IMO. The relative anonymity only adds to these tendencies, I’d wager.