What has message-boarding taught you about human nature?

Not just about others’, but including revelations about my own character that would have remained dormant otherwise.

  1. The cheap shot: responses you’d never hear if the conversation was IRL; people’s feelings are more likely to be respected, if not their opinions, in actual conversation. Online posting removes this social restriction. This may either improve or detract communication, depending on the topic itself.

  2. Spelling Bee Queens: I’ve never been in a conversation with someone who asked me to stop every so often and spell out the words that I’ve just used, in order to deide if my argument holds water. Of course this too has its plus side online: I can edit and research before I hit “submit,” unlike IRL, where my brain simply hits “blurt.”

  3. Cyber-propinquity: Depsite radio, TV, etc., I really don’t have a good idea of what somebody on the other side of the world thinks unless I read their own views. Any other version, conveyed by radio, TV, etc. can’t help but receive some sort of filtration/editorialization/outright demonization.

Disembodiedness & small circles:
Not knowing the poster’s age, gender, looks etc. and finding out about them later, made me realise how many kinds of people I sadly exclude from casual conversation in RL, even before the chance to get to know them. And they me, too. We live in small circles, in everyday life.

I don’t know if this is the type of thing you are looking for.

I’ve noticed that whenever someone posts a link to picture asking if it’s real/unaltered, someone almost ALWAYS says “That’s the worst Photoshopping I’ve ever seen!” …even on pics that turn out to be real.

I suppose this says one thing about human nature: many people who think something is false twist in their head to not just being false, but incredibly, obviously, blatantly false.

I’ve learned that people are more friendly and accepting when all the barriers are down. I guess the same thing as what Maastricht said, but from the other side; I’m usually the one who is excluded, and it’s nice to be welcomed into a community just by saying; “Hi everyone. Is it okay if I talk to you, as long as I’m not a jerk? Promise I won’t be. I clicked the “Agree” button and everything!”

Most people are not really jerks as much as they seem to be. Aside from the odd troll, almost everyone on the SDMB is really nice and pretty much a cool person.

Now, other message boards, it seems everyone is a jerk, and really stupid besides.

So perhaps it’s impossible to make one conclusion about human nature from message boards, but I’d like to think that most people are like Dopers, not trolls.

What I’ve realized is that, despite people’s preconceptions about nerds, smart people actually tend to be more sexually adventurous.

I have found that I can put my foot in my mouth as well on message boards as in real life. Must be a communication glitch on my part, because when I post something meant nicely, someone jumps up and down on my head for it…

I just hate it when that happens…

I have discovered that damned near every other guy on internet forums is 6’5" and could either buy and sell me or kick my ass at a moment’s notice. Oh, they all seem to know some martial art, too. “Men” on most forums are, by and large, real tough guys from a thousand miles away.

That’s why I like this place; much less dick-waving.

I have discovered that damned near every other guy on internet forums is 6’5" and could either buy and sell me or kick my ass at a moment’s notice. Oh, they all seem to know some martial art, too. “Men” on most forums are, by and large, real tough guys from a thousand miles away.

That’s why I like this place; much less dick-waving.

I have discovered that damned near every other guy on internet forums is 6’5" and could either buy and sell me or kick my ass at a moment’s notice. Oh, they all seem to know some martial art, too. “Men” on most forums are, by and large, real tough guys from a thousand miles away.

That’s why I like this place; much less dick-waving.

I have discovered that damned near every other guy on internet forums is 6’5" and could either buy and sell me or kick my ass at a moment’s notice. Oh, they all seem to know some martial art, too. “Men” on most forums are, by and large, real tough guys from a thousand miles away.

That’s why I like this place; much less dick-waving.

I have discovered that damned near every other guy on internet forums is 6’5" and could either buy and sell me or kick my ass at a moment’s notice. Oh, they all seem to know some martial art, too. “Men” on most forums are, by and large, real tough guys from a thousand miles away.

That’s why I like this place; much less dick-waving.

Sorry about the multiple posts… I have no idea what the hell that’s all about. Mods? Can you delete all but one (and this)?

Great question; great answers.

I think what I’ve noticed is the prevalence of, I guess I’ll call it, the herd mentality. In other words, a given poster identifying with the board so much that they are convinced that a fellow poster must be “their sort of person” who can do no wrong. This can lead to a sort of back-pedalling-rationalize-at-all costs kind of jig being danced. I’m not sure if I can express this accurately, or if someone else can better articulate for me.

Example:

Poster A: "I can’t stand whiners who use any excuse not to work. I had a co-worker leave early today before a major deadline because she said her “depression” was kicking in. This is the third time this month she’s done this to me!

Poster B: "Hey, cut her some slack. I have depression and it is not fun. I can guarantee you that when it’s at its height, I have to go home early too or else I’d commit suicide.

Poster A: “Well, I didn’t really mean to complain about you, Poster B. I’m sure in your case it’s totally justified. I’m just talking about people who fake it.”

I see this sort of exchange a lot. Does this make sense?

I’ve learned that people shave their pubes way more than I ever suspected. Oh, and that herd-mentality thing too.

Pack mentality and popularity contests and TMI.

I have learned that if there is a way for someone to misinterpret your OP, or give you anything but a straight answer, they probably will. I have also learned that there are a lot of lame-would-be comedians. Armchair shrinks who project B.S. onto you also abound.

There are lots of folks looking for a reason to be offended.

There are lots of folks just waiting to join a pile-on.

There are lots of folks who will lend a hand just because they care.

I’ve found the opposite Satasha.

I’ve learned that there are many helpful, knowledgeable people that respond in kind when an earnest question is asked. They seem to be able to bullsh*t with the best of them when the time is right, but when I’ve come forward and asked a straightforward question, I’ve always received clear, concise and caring answers.

I appreciate that very much and although I don’t post much - I read these boards several times daily.

just don’t get out of line.
ask ** Reverand Mykeru **

Big Brother is watching