Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time on internet message boards, chatrooms, or comment sections has, at some point:
- Had their political views compared to that of Hitler's.
- Had their sexual orientation, sexual experience, or sexual prowess challenged or ridiculed.
- Suffered from threats of physical violence, both against themselves and their mothers.
- Had sarcastic cat pictures posted to make fun of them.
The internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people. You may think that the internet simply allows people to say what they were already thinking anyway. But I disagree. It goes further than that. It's not that people were already thinking these things but never had the courage to say them in person.
There's something about the internet that warps our perceptions of one another.
Case in point: in many cases, problems and disagreements that arise on the internet magically disappear in person.
For example, when I lived in Boston, I was a member of a private men's group. We had maybe 100 members, a private message board, and would get together a few times a month.
As with …
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