Words can still hurt, even if you’re just typing them…
So last night’s Ravenwood Radio was a great show as always, and thanks again to Leesha and Steve for hosting such a wonderful webcast! Miss Narrator and I truly enjoy being a part of it, and it’s great to know through all the feedback I get that many other people enjoy our segment too.
So last night, as with pretty much every episode, Miss Narrator and I were listening in and, of course, participating in the chat room, because that’s one of my favorite parts of the Ravenwood Radio experience – that great chat room community. It’s always well moderated of course, and thanks to the excellent work of IcyWiz and the other mods it’s a fun and friendly place to hang out during the live webcast.
Anyway – so last night ‘The Daring Adventures of Ditto’ segment came on and many people cheered (thank you, we love that!), but there were a few who said some pretty negative things, mostly directed at Miss Narrator. I’m not going to say who or what was said, that’s not the point of this. The point is that she was right there, in the chat room, listening along and having a good time participating as these things were said about her. Of course the rest of the chat room immediately jumped to her defense, which she really and truly appreciated, but the initial attacks still stung.
I do a LOT of social media (being the #1 Fabricated American gaming blogger on the web, of course…) and I see this all the time on Facebook and other web forums and communities. People think they can type whatever they want about whoever they want and there’s no consequence, because ‘it’s just Facebook, everybody does it’, and then when there is a backlash there’s the eternal excuse ‘I was only kidding’. But unfortunately, by that point the damage has already been done. ‘Only kidding’ doesn’t really fix it.
So what’s my point? Well, it’s simple, really – if you’re talking to someone, or ABOUT someone, on the internet, always assume other people are going to see it. Always think about what the words really mean – not YOUR interpretation but what the words actually mean to other people reading them. Assume people don’t have the same background or frame of reference that you do, so they aren’t going to understand that you’re ‘only kidding’. Assume any conversation you have online is no different from a conversation you have in the middle of a room full of people who can all hear you. Assume that if you’re saying something bad about someone else, that they WILL find out about it. Think about how YOU would feel if someone said the same thing about you, or your friends, or your mom, or your wife.
‘But they started it!’ – See, I already knew what you were going to say. One benefit of the internet is that if someone ‘starts something’ on Facebook or a forum it’s very easy to walk away. Delete the comment, block the user, or just turn off the computer and step away. We don’t need to make things worse by blasting back and saying something in the heat of the moment that we’ll regret later.
So to close – just because you’re typing something on a computer using the name ‘Elmer Fancypants’ instead of your real name, don’t think that those words are any less ‘real’ than if you were saying them to the person sitting across the dining room table from you. Because actually, they are MORE real – because a lot more people can see them, and it’s very, very hard to take them back once they’re out there.
Thanks for listening…. Be good to one another, and I’ll See you in The Spiral!
I’m sorry a few individuals really soured that experience, Ditto, and not just speaking as a host on the show, but as someone who finds Miss Narrator enchanting and fun.
You’re absolutely right that the words we choose and employ, even in virtual space, have the capacity to hurt. What a great virtual space we would have if, before hitting that Enter key, everyone took a second to think ‘am I going to hurt someone by saying this?’
Thanks for the great blog post – wonderful segment last night. 🙂 Cheers mate.
August 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm
Excellent post ditto!
I’ve seen what you mentioned and I always get frustrated by the negative comments. If you can’t say something nice why say anything?
And we at RR adore your narrator and wouldn’t change her for the world!
August 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Thanks Stephen – Miss Narrator has been on the web a long time, it didn’t ruffle her feathers too much, but it did make me want to discuss it more, because people – especially younger people or people new to the internet – do tend to think that what they’re saying online isn’t ‘real’ – that it’s not like talking to someone in person…
I just hope that people who read this will think about it the next time they want to make a comment about someone online or say something that could be taken the wrong way, even if they think they’re ‘only kidding’…
August 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm
So I’ve already gotten a few apologies from people – I’m not going to post them publicly, as this isn’t about ‘who said what’ last night – I just hope that anyone reading this will think about it the next time they’re in a similar situation, OK? And I will forward any apologies to Miss Narrator as well, I promise…
August 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm
Well said! I would also like to mention that, one cannot do any kidding around with people you’ve never met, in real life or even online friends, one must develop a relationship of trust and understanding prior to poking fun or kidding around, but even then, one should use clean and tactful language still, it is just good manners, period. We all know it.
-one easy way to explain the whole thing, if you can not repeat the words you type or say to your Grandmother, you probably should not type/say it.
August 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm
Here here ditto, I am truly sorry I was not at the show last night but I and the Paige family love your adventures, and miss Narrator makes me 😀
keep up the great work 🙂
August 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm
Good point David K. If someone you don’t know makes fun of you. Do you automatically think that this persone is just kidding? I don’t think so.
August 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Thank You! Nope I don’t think that at all.(just to be clear) (the only time I think that) is when, like people I know face -to-face say it. I can gauge the expressions on their face and they mine & we also know each other anyhow. Sometimes you can see it in someone’s eye, they are just kidding, kinda hard to do that online. Having been on the Internet/Web since the early 1990’s (and earlier), I have many great “online only friends”, we/together have harvested outstanding relationships over the course of time via the internet and I would invite any of them to my own home. I’m not saying it took me that many years to be “comfy”, only to let others know up front, I am no NOOB when it comes to Online activities and being able to get along with people online. We all find our own level of “comfy” when it comes to who we trust online and who we red flag. Like I said I’ve been online for years and years, I have never had 1 single issue that ended up being too overly dramatized.
August 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Well, coming from one of your many followers, I just want to let you know that it’s sad that you had to experience this last night. I hope Ms. Narrator didn’t get to upset since mostly it’s just children, or people who don’t understand the values of Internet Kindness.
Lots of fabricated hugs to you and Ms. Narrator, and keep up the hilariously good work! 🙂
August 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm
Ditto, please remind Miss Narrator that I think she’s tops, and my opinion is the only one that truly matters. 😀
Everyone else … mind your IcyWiz AND Ditto!
” Internet Kindess” is not one speck different from kindness off the internet. Anyone, of any age, who thinks there are two sets of rules for kindness is not mature enough to use the internet. And possibly should return to kindergarten.
August 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Thanks so much IcyWiz, Miss Narrator says thanks as well!
August 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm
Well said Ditto!
Can I just say that Miss Narrator is actually my favourite part of your segment! Sorry Ditto but she is stealing the show! And as a fellow ice wizard, she can now join the uber cool ice school crew with me and Christina and Kevin!! I was sooo excited when I heared on Christina’s segment that she was an ICE wizard!!!
She would wizard101 I am sure! Persuade her to play okay?!
Also I would like to say your recent posts on Internet Safety and such are really enlightening and may really open a lot of peoples eyes. Huge kudos to you for posting on some of these quite serious issues. ( and super cute picture at the top haha )
I did see what happened on the show the other night, Infact it was the first live show I have seen and I am sure those said things are extremely sorry and didn’t even mean it ( but that is what your post is about ), the chatroom, moderators, and I did immediately jump to Miss Narrators defence, because infact she is awesome, assure her not to worry!! 😀 Anyway it was still a fantastic show and segment Miss Narrator we love you, keep up the great narrating!!
Can’t wait to hear the beginnings of your adventures into marleybone… muahaha!
-does madame jasmine noise-
Ice WIzard and Unofficial President of Miss Narrator Fanclub.
August 13, 2010 at 12:42 am
Thanks everyone, it’s so touching that you all care. And you too Ditto, for coming to my defense!
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but yes I agree that wasn’t the place to bad-mouth someone else. Not to worry, though, I can still hold my head up high and smile.
August 13, 2010 at 2:15 am
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