• June 19, 2024

You Talkin’ To Me, Pal? – The Dos and Don’ts of Digital Discourse

 You Talkin’ To Me, Pal? – The Dos and Don’ts of Digital Discourse

By James Fitzgerald

It felt like all eyes were on him
as he sat their pondering his last words — an utterance that had come from his
heart, and which he thought would take the dull, cruel conversation in another,
healthier, direction. But the silence was deafening, as if he had just walked
into a saloon in the old Wild West and the piano had just stopped playing. What
should he do now, he pondered, withdraw and find another outlet, or pull his
proverbial gun out one more time, and blast these sycophants between the eyes?

“John98765354” wasn’t really in a
western bar, but he was in Bandit Country — a focal point of cyberspace we have
come to know as social media. He had interjected in a thread about mask wearing
under Covid conditions, and had challenged the status quo of the group by
suggesting that masks might be more dangerous than the virus in the longer
term. The medical experts in situ were quick to slam his claims, with sweeping statements
about “spittle” and “airborne transmission”. But John98765354 survived the
encounter, and lived to fight another day.

Depending on your interests and
who you “follow” on social media, you stand to gain a wealth of information
from the myriad academics and professionals who litter the landscape, but also
an education in being streetwise and selective, as you encounter geniuses,
humanitarians, “ascended masters”, scammers, the mentally ill, extremists of
all hues, and vicious trollers — who sit in wait behind their faceless
accounts, ready to pounce on unsuspecting posters and contributors.   

With Americans in particular, the
consumer mentality transfers easily to the cyber sphere —Read More

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