Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Recognize Online Anger... and How to Avoid it

In today's society there are many forms of internet communication including instant messaging, online forums, and Facebook.  This communication has led to a greater expression of ideas, a faster way to group people together, and an efficient way to connect with people around the world.  Although there are many positive aspects of virtual communication, there are also many negative aspects.  Because of a user’s anonymity, deceiving tones, and the internet’s antisocial nature, virtual anger is a problem that affects internet communication.

Staring at a computer screen for hours inherently lowers one's ability to talk to people.  I know that as I use technology for an extended period of time, my social skills decrease.  I have also seen among my friends  a negative correlation between time spent online and time spent physically with friends. Because of a decrease in social skills from being online, these friends do not have the same level of ability they previously had. This ability includes carrying on a polite and friendly conversation with someone else.  When an individual loses social skills, he or she may find the need to say everything in his or her head. These thoughts often include derogatory comments and will cause anger among members of a conversation.   

Another reason anger occurs so frequently when used with technology is the lack of tone and body language online.  Albert Mehrabian, professor of psychology at UCLA states that 7 percent of a physical conversation are the words being said.  The rest of the conversation is tone and body language.  Because most forms of virtual communication only contain words, one’s meaning is often perceived wrong.  For example, sarcasm is hardly ever understood online because the tone is immensely important in that form of communication.  Whenever I chat with someone, I always have to be very careful when I use sarcasm; I do not wish to offend someone with an attempted joke. If the sarcasm is taken wrong, I then go through the trouble of sending multiple  messages explaining my meaning so those I communicate with don’t get angry.  Unfortunately,  I and others often get mad online because of this miscommunication.  This fact causes a lot of frustration within the cyber sphere of communication.

Behind the comfort and safety of my computer, I can say whatever I want without fear of repercussion.  The ability to be anonymous online is a big cause of internet anger.  On some websites users are linked to personal friends, but on other websites the users are unknown by those they interact with.  Without physically seeing or knowing someone, one has the tendency to say things they never would in real life.  If I’ve never met someone and he or she says something I dislike online, I have to be very cautious about inserting my opinion about their statement.  Unfortunately, in many cases anonymous users will just say whatever they want online without tact or finesse.  Although oftentimes these people have well-intentioned comments, as earlier stated, things can be perceived wrong online, especially things that others don’t agree with.  People are more apt to be derogatory about one’s religion on the computer than in person.  

One example of this is the video “10 Questions that every intelligent Christian must answer” on Youtube.  Although the video itself does not contain any anger or bad-intentions, the comments are the epitome of virtual anger.  The unfortunate part about this video is that a lot of these comments were written with good intentions, but were taken the wrong way and have now caused enormous anger. One way to prevent this is to ask yourself if you would say the same thing in person that you would virtually. This is an effective way of filtering remarks that would otherwise be hurtful.  There is no glamour in being cruel online.

There are many ways to avoid anger online and still communicate via computers.  First off, you have to be very careful with what you say and make sure that you do not sound angry or mean.  Also, being straightforward with your comments helps online users to understand your message. Unfortunately, sometimes the internet can still make people mad. 

The only way to completely avoid internet anger is to turn the computer off.  Press the power button in the upright corner and disconnect.  Reading articles for four hours long will oftentimes make you mad at politics, religion, society, etc.  Stop and go see the new twilight movie with friends.  Or take a road trip and build a sandcastle with your family.  Then you will be calmer and be more able to once again resume internet activities. If more people logged off and took breaks then the internet could be a calmer place.  Although the internet is be a great tool for communication, tensions often get high and it is your responsibility to log off and do something real.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hey... thoughts on life.

So this is it.  My moment of freedom.  My one chance to do something big, unrestricted from Husberg's tyranny.  I can post anything I want.  Anything.  I could talk about my feelings on the 2012 election.  Or I could explain why visiting hours should be longer.  Or I could write a romantic love song and share the video on here for all to see.  This unrestricted power is getting to my head.  I could become a king! Or a football player! Or a spaceman! Or a football-playing king in space!  And all of these options can be obtained through this blog post.  This very one.  Barack Obama could be randomly online and find this post.  This means that I have to make sure that this blog post is grand and amazing.  The very best, in fact.

I will write of the toils and troubles of the American working class!  Yes, that will be enough.  I will use so many facts, articles, and graphs so that all will know of the struggles of the American man.  I will use ethos, logos, and pathos so boldly and so brashly that Obama will have to side with me!  My rhetoric will be immaculate!  My grammar?  Divine.  I will write a blog post greater than Shakespeare, Dickens, and Meyer combined!

Oh how the people will love me.  It will be a truly amazing blog post.  I'll start writing it now...
...Actually I'm quite tired.  So instead I will post a picture of a cat.  Almost as good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Logos, Ethos, Pathos

I am writing the Logos, Ethos, and Pathos of my Opinion Editorial.  Right now.

I am using one or two different news articles about using the computer for prolonged periods of time to strengthen my argument.  This will give my opinion credibility.  I talk about the loss of social skills from internet exposure and explain how that works.  I am telling people to get off of the computer because communicating physically contains more of a conversation.

I am saying that when one is on the internet too long, they lose there sense of communication.  People need to spend time with others in order to develop friendships and interact with the real world.  I am appealing to the human desire for interaction and its benefits.  I am describing how mean people can be online and how this is detrimental to the rest of the online community.  Therefore, people should go offline to not hurt others.

I'm a doctor.  Wait, no.  I spend long periods of time on the internet, I experience these "anger" symptoms myself.  I am in the appropriate 18-30 year old category of people who spend way too much time online.  I know what is going on in society, I'm a freshman at college with plenty of interaction.

Funny quote of the day: [dang] it man!  I'm a doctor not a physicist!  -Star Trek

Friday, January 20, 2012

Claims, Reasons and Assumptions

Claim:  Virtual anger exists in all forms of internet communication.

Reasons: Virtual anger exists because of anonymity, lack of emotion and the internet's antisocial nature.  This problem exists in all areas where a computer can be located.

Assumptions:  The reader believes that being angry online is a problem in society and should be stopped.

Above is a picture of a person with prolonged internet exposure

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thesis for OpEd

Thesis for OpEd about Virtual Rage:  Virtual rage is a problem that exists in first-world societies because of its protection and antisocial nature and it affects all forms of virtual communication like texting and internet conversations.

I found this picture.
Goes along with rage

-The Boss

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Opinion Editorial Brainstorm

Virtual Text of Rage

Intro:   In today's society there are many forms of virtual communication including texting, Facebook, and the ability to virtually comment on anything from a video about cats to a news article about Newt Gingrich.  While this is an increase in technology and a way to increase the flow of thoughts and ideas, this creates a problem I call "virtual rage".

body:  Internet rage is caused for several reasons.  The first reason is the antisocial nature of these forms of communication.  Staring at a cell phone or computer screen for hours inherently lowers one's ability to talk to people.  When communication skills are diminished, anger as well as other non-commendable traits can be shown in a person.

Another reason is that behind the comfort and safety of one's phone or computer, one is not worried about saying something offensive or mean, especially if the persons identity is masked online.  People write the most hateful things online and have little or no physical repercussions.

The last reason I can see is the chain of anger.  If someone sends an angry text or posts an angry comment, one may feel the "responsibility" to outdo that comment with facts, but most probably the individual will just use more anger.  Although this is like comfort and safety listed earlier, it differs because this reason behind virtual anger affects even the kind and benevolent.  For example if someone virtually says something about a prominent leader in my church, I feel like I have to retort with sarcasm or facts or malice.  

In closing, I feel that the only solution is goodwill and kindness that starts with you.  You, the reader, have a responsibility to be as nice and disarming as you can as you enter the virtual world of communication so that a chain of kindness can form.  This is the only way we can end this technologic world of hate.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Time to start school

Hey so this is Ruskin Lines IV, aka "The Boss", using a blog for the first time.  My great grandfather is the first Ruskin and all of the first born children carry my name.  It is an honor to have this tradition in my family and I definitely will name my child after me.  I desire to live up to the reputation of these men, if not improve their status, and to do great things in the world.

  I am so excited to begin school and to extend my knowledge of the blogosphere.  I was born in Gilbert Arizona, love pictures of cats and play guitar.  I enjoy long walks on the beach, Facebook stalking and symphonies written in the key of B flat.  I also use a lot of sarcasm in my writing and daily communications with my fellow man.  Follow me, tweet me, Facebook add me and we'll have a party this year.