This post is in addition
to Springers post explaining what the Digital Ego is.
Not to flood anyone with information, but I figured I'd try to provide some basic argument de-esclation techniques that you can use when dealing with
a "heated" ATS member.
Have you ever realized how fast a conflict online can get way out of hand? Something that might seem to start out as something simple, like a small
difference of opinion, can rapidly turn into a major issue.
There are many reasons to explain why internet drama is so agitating. One of those reasons would be the lack of "body language".
When we are with a person to talk to them, we can see how they react. Things such as their facial expressions, tone of voice, and other tell-tale
signs help us to understand what they're telling us. You can say the same thing in several different ways, and that generally decides how we respond
When we are on the Internet, we pretty much have no way (unless you use a webcam) to determine what the sender's "body language" is. The only thing
that you really have to go on are the words that you can see on your computer screen. Since body language is what helps us recognize the "tone" of
the message, we may misunderstand how the sender meant it, and that could spark an argument.
As an example, if your boss was giving you a pink slip...he could yell and scream in your face, or he could sit down with you, and have a nice talk to
explain the situation to you. This will determine how you react to the situation. Obviously if he chose the first option, and screamed, "Mr. Bob,
you're fired! I don't want to see your no good, slacking face around here anymore!!!" you would be infuriated, and would most likely yell and
scream back, elevating the situation, and probably causing you to be removed by building security. Plus, when your next potential employer contacts
him, you can bet he'll be using words such as "unstable" and "psychotic". On the other hand, if he would sit down with you in a casual setting,
such as having lunch, and would say "Hey Bob, things have been really rough around here lately, and we're losing more and more money everyday, I'm
sorry, but I'm going to have to let you go." you would most likely be more understanding, and the calm, stable tone would remain between both of
you. When that employer calls him to ask for a report, he would probably tell them that your a "very hard working individual" with "great work
ethic" and that your "very reliable".
Now that we all understand what causes our cyber-anger, this is how we can resolve it...
When you see a post on ATS/BTS/PTS, or anywhere else for that matter, that angers you, you should:
1) Step back and think about it - Is this person really worth responding too? If I write something back, is it going to get me in the same boat as
2) Realized that you DON'T have to respond - It's the Internet, all you have to do is hit the "Ignore" link on a persons profile, and they're
3) Recognize, and ask them to recognize, that you both may have different points of view, and that just because one of you thinks one way, doens't
mean that it's right or wrong.
4) If you decide to write back, make sure that you don't say anything inflamatory. Your goal should be to de-escalate the situation, not add fuel to
the proverbial fire.
5) Take a nice long walk outside, have a drink, and re-read your reply. Make sure that it's what you really want to say back to them.
6) No matter what they say or do, never go down to the level of a troll, because that will make you no better.
When all else fails, hit the panic button (Gripe/Idea).
Well, I hope this little bit of information will help everyone resolve their next cyber-issue.
[edit on 12/22/2005 by JBurns]