Monday, January 3, 2011

Mob Mentality on the Internet

Its been awhile since my last blog but some events that have taken place have prompted me to sit down and write about my ponderings. We hear all the time about school yard bullies and how zero tolerance in our schools aren't getting any better. Now it is not just that one infamous bully but a group of meanies. An interesting example of the mob mentality that is becoming more prevalent is on the internet. I can't comment about every forum or chat room but I can tell you that Mobs of Mothers are relentless. It is no wonder children are growing up to be bullies if this is the example they are setting.

For the record, I am NOT talking about a good old fashioned debate. I am talking about groups of people who band together for nothing other then the sole purpose of ridding the thread of the NON-CONFORMER. If it is a group in which is one sided then the non-conformer has no business being there unless they are a sucker for punishment and then the onus is on them. Sadly, I'm guilty of doing this. I've been that lonely sheep who has wandered into the room of pack wolves for the very purpose of flexing my muscles and voicing that I'M NOT AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF. It gets my juices flowing. THIS is also not what I'm referring to.

I'm referring to either a group, a thread, or a discussion board that has two opposing opinions. One is neither right or wrong........JUST DIFFERENT. However a funny thing happens. People seek out their comrades and prepare for battle. You know that saying "all is fair" well apparently these groups love to employ this concept.

The thing I find fascinating is their tactics are downright juvenile. They want people to take them serious yet they act like children. One incident that comes to mind is the foul profanity that comes streaming from their mouths....err...well...fingertips. Apparently you are not suppose to comment on this either as it makes for much more cussing to follow. The next tactic is blantant lying about whats been said and if you quote their words you're accused of trying to make them look stupid. No my Dear, you are doing a FINE job all on your own. The next tactic is mocking. This equates to nothing more then the school yard bullying. This would all be fine however there is always that ONE person who eggs on the others and before you know it you have a MOB. At this point the discussion topic is lost and it has resorted to hair pulling and eye gouging.

Needless to say I did not make great BFF's when my comment to all of this was "I find it difficult to carry on an intelligent conversation when people resort to name calling, brow beating and profanity. It does little for their cause and takes away from the quality of the conversation. So I soon bore of filtering thru the fodder to see if there is anything of substance to reply to."

Eeeeeeeeeeeep....I think they ran screaming from their computers to stop themselves from embedding a hammer in the monitor.

So who are the worst offenders of this?? Generally people who have too much time on their hands. They sit in the comfort of their cozy home judging the world from their cushioned computer chair. From my experience the worst are stay at home mothers. Sadly, at this moment I fall into that category. **sigh** so I know how easy it is to go to the computer to reach out into the vast world and BE HEARD!!!!!!!!!! Be heard about what exactly?? Many of these offenders swarm to mothering sites and tell other Mothers everything they are doing WRONG!!!!!! OH DEAR GAWD!! What are they thinking?? Do you not realize that many of these women are hormonal and carry very big weapons that they would use except they have 4 children attached to their breasts while they are ripping you a new one AT THE KEYBOARD.

Yes, that incident didn't make me popular either. A woman was telling me what a horrible mother I was because I had given my daughter a well deserved swat to her bottom meanwhile she had been posting for a solid 23 hours. exactly is this person a better mother when she is permanently attached to her computer?? I wonder where her 4 children were?? Apparently it is bad etiquette to point that out.

So I guess I'm wondering WHY these roaming packs of rabid gangs form. I understand that birds of a feather flock together but I also know it is in people's differences that we find intrigue and expand our horizons. So what is the answer. I think I've come to the conclusion that it is WEAKNESS. I can see me getting flamed badly for that comment. Gang members while are strong within their unit are completely weak outside of it. Strong willed people don't need to conform to feel validated or comforted. They know themselves, know their opinions and don't need a supporting group to make them feel good about their opinions.

The next pondering is why is it becoming epidemic on the internet?? Is it because of the anonymity? This I can say....I'm not guilty of. If I have something to say to you I will just say your face or otherwise. Most but certainly not all of the culprits feel that sense of security that no one will ever know who they are. Would half these mothers speak this way to their neighbour?? To a stranger?? Would they join together with other mothers to harrass the newest mother of a group?? No they would not. They might think it but they would NEVER act on it.

So how do we put an end to this?? Good question. The answer is the hardest of all. You ignore them. Turn the other cheek. HA! That comment always made me laugh. Why on earth would I turn the other they can slap that side or kick you in the ass??? However, it is true. People who roam the threads in these gangs do so because it makes them feel powerful. This power is a delusion. The gang helps to validate them....sad really. So, should you find yourself in this situation try to fight that urge to reply. They thrive on your response. The more you reply, the ruder, the more ignorant and the more outrageous their behaviour will get. Sadly, I have issues with this. I am a born to argue kind of girl. I was Captain of our Debate team, if there was an under dog I was defending it and a worthy cause supporting it. Not to mention I come from a long line of sarcastic sots and knew nothing else but to fight your way to the top. Otherwise you got eaten.

So this is an area I'm working on. I am TRYING to ignore that debating instinct and the overwhelming to urge to scream!!!!!! *laffs hard* Seriously, let's not feed the trolls. These are insignificant windbags who are fooling themselves with delusions of grandeur when their real lives no doubt are pitiful and meaningless. Why else would they cut others down to make themselves feel good?? Because on the inside.....they feel bad.