Friday, January 18, 2008

you lose

I've been a member of various online communities for close to 10 years now. In fact, I believe the first community I ever joined was a Sifl and Olly fan group. (America was robbed when that show was cancelled.)

Invariably, in any community, there will be conflict, because everyone can't get along 100% of the time. Conflict can be handled gracefully, and without hurt feelings - there's nothing wrong with asserting one's opinion, if it's done tactfully and with respect. REAL respect, not the fake kind (I have a lot of respect for you, BUT...).

There's an internet rule that states that if a member of one side of a conflict compares the other side to Hitler, or Nazis, or the Gestapo, etc., that side automatically loses. It's called Godwin's Law. Now, this doesn't happen in every conflict I've seen; in fact, I've seen it in very few. Mostly in abortion debate.

I think a new rule should exist, if it doesn't already. If a member of one side of a conflict says any of the following things to the other, they lose.
  • LOL
  • Thanks for the laugh
  • You're funny
  • Next
  • (insert any sarcastic ridicule or dismissive term here)
This kinda crap drives me nuts. I am in a community where there was recently a blowup, and one of the people started laughing at the person with whom she was arguing, and another person said that the person with whom he was arguing had a drinking problem. It's ridiculous, and it's basically saying "I have nothing else to constructively contribute to this discussion, so I'm going to start acting like a petulant jerk instead of extricating myself gracefully."

You can call it Stacey's Law. I'll allow it. NEXT.


mayberry said...

I'm holding back snarky comments. My smart-ass nature is SO tough to reign in sometimes!!!!

Anonymous said...

i like stacey's law...
you wanna run for mayor of jackson?


Jennifer said...

(Off subject, but I think it might be time for you to type up your "what's the matter with you S.C.?!" blog post :o( It looks like our man might come in last here. UGH!)

Black Betty said...

i agree with you....

oh, and silence is golden...i think it is very under-rated at times...

Sandi said...

In this sort of situation, you may also point out that when someone resorts to personal attacks, they have nothing constructive to contribute to the discussion and are opting for playground tactics to intimidate the other side. In that case, they'd do better to shut the hell up and let the more intelligent people converse.