I haven’t written in a while.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were engaged in a civilized online discussion (barely a debate), only to be interrupted by an obnoxious Keyboard Warrior?
Have you ever found yourself arguing over superficial (or sometimes not so) points online with someone completely biased, void of logic, and downright annoying? Well, I have got something to tell you. Tip your hats to the Internet and to these Keyboard Warriors (or Flame Warriors, as they’re called), because life would be an intolerable bore sans them. What they, in fact, have inadvertently done is opened yet another door to the true nature of man.
We all wear masks. Whether we like it or not, we’re all wearing multiple masks that constantly hide our true nature, trying to act sophisticated when our illusion of intellect is a mere bluff. We try to act “hip” when we are merely following the crowd. We claim to be nonconformists, but only conform to other people’s views–people who also claim to be nonconformists, that is.
The list goes on, but what it all boils down to is insecurity. We are ultimately insecure about our position in life, our social and economic statuses, and other aspects of life. Thus, we unknowingly put ourselves in a pathetic, downwards spiral.
This insecurity has been somewhat well hidden (perhaps to some extent), until innovative creation of the Internet. Then it all went downhill from there. Is there privacy? No. Just ask Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg what he thinks of privacy. We like to think that we’ve got privacy, but the truth is, everything that is done on this Web of ours is saved and archived for future reference. But it’s this illusion of privacy that has given us this falsified feeling of invincibility and stealth, thus creating a whole new breed of warriors: the Keyboard Warriors.
I’ve been on forums and seen the most moronic arguments that make me sit back and wonder, What were they thinking? The most heated debates ensue over the most trivial of issues, and better yet, are riddled with ad hominem fallacies. Here’s an argument that I stumbled upon (about gay marriage-not so trivial) on YouTube:
We’re all guilty of doing it. I myself have done it many times. However, what really disturbs me (yet fascinates and amuses me simultaneosly) is the amount of energy the attackers are willing to spend on faceless enemies, most likely far from their location. Does it really bother you so much that somebody far away someplace in China or Australia disagrees with your position on gay marriage that you are willing to passionately condemn them to a life forever in hell, or threatening them with a biblical “judgement?”
Eventually some people see that the arguments have gone out of hand and try to show the online entities that their actions are void of rationality. What happens is the adverse effect; they add more fuel to the fire. What ensues is a volley of name calling, condemning, threats with Bible/Qur’an/Talmud/[insert holy book here] scripture, and downright nastiness online.
However, the people I admire/hate the most are the trolls. The Urban Dictionary defines a troll as:
There’s nothing better than provoking anger for the sheer fun of it, knowing that nothing will happen to you in return except a feeling of sick, twisted satisfaction, knowing that you have successfully ruined someone’s day.
Trolls aside, I guess my question here (since I don’t claim to have the full complete answer to all of this madness) is, “Why use so much energy in screaming at someone else online in an argument? If you win, is there a trophy? If not, what is lost?”