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  1. #1 The Internet is making us into sociopaths 
    Diane Dimond: The Internet is making us into sociopaths
    By: Diane Dimond
    Examiner Columnist
    October 10, 2010

    Has the Internet made us more vicious? I ask because it sure seems to me that we are quickly becoming a people who have forgotten how to empathize with others.

    With our computer anonymity, many of us have decided we can "say" things over the World Wide Web that we would never, ever say to someone's face. Cruel comments can be lobbed without personal risk, so we send them out like invisible hand grenades, set to explode when opened.

    Read some of the remarks others leave behind at your favorite news website. Some of the remarks are way past mean -- some are criminal, as they issue death threats or illegally invade the privacy of others. And some recent actions taken with the help of the Internet are also criminal.

    I'm speaking, of course, about the case of 18-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi who committed suicide after learning his roommate had rigged a webcam to beam out his tryst with another male student -- live -- over the Internet.

    Clementi's sadistically spirited roommate never gave a thought to how the shy classical violinist who was grappling with his sexuality might react to this horrific breach of privacy. And that's the problem!

    Dare I say the Internet has become our means of tapping into our inner sociopath?

    It's not just the younger "Internet generation," but grown adults, as well, who fail to stop to think what effect their actions will have on the target of their cruelty. Psychiatrists will tell you that's classic sociopathic behavior, a complete lack of empathy for others.

    I told you a few weeks ago about a new book I've written, "Cirque Du Salahi -- Be Careful Who You Trust," about the couple erroneously branded as the "White House Gate Crashers."

    In the book, which highlights the poor journalism behind the splashy tale, I revealed that Michaele Salahi has suffered for 17 years with multiple sclerosis. It was a gut-wrenching disclosure for Michaele, and she wept when she talked about it on television.

    The Internet reaction was jaw dropping. The inhuman comments ranged from, "I don't believe it. I want to see a doctor's note," to, "She picked M.S. because it matches with her initials -- she's too stupid to think of any other disease."

    Many posts hammered the couple for their past debts, and one went so far as to declare, "I'm wishing for a murder-suicide with these two."

    No matter what the perceived transgressions of a fellow citizen, when they reveal they have a life-altering, non-curable disease, I would think the proper response would be one of sympathy. Not in the Salahi's case, and not in the case of Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, after he recently disclosed he has a disease which might result in his total blindness.

    The Internet comments included ugliness like this: "It is not Mr. Beck's eyes that should fail, rather his vocal chords should shrivel up." And this one from a man named Brian: "Beck is already blind to the truth, so what does it matter if he can't see." Alyn wrote: "He should not lose his eyesight. He should lose his life."

    What has happened to us? We're supposed to be the country where people are proud to live free and have the freedom to speak our minds and not be vilified for it.
    Very good piece. I try hard to be pretty much the same no matter what platform I'm using. Do you take advantage of Internet anonymity to unchain your beast?

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/op...#ixzz12A1BnxWP
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  2. #2  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    I've usually tried to treat people online with the same respect that I do in real life, but I admit it is extremely difficult (then again I don't spend as much time IRL around people trying their hardest to insult me) sometimes.

    It's easy to project an image of what someone must be like and react to that while being totally disconnected from the feeling of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I've usually tried to treat people online with the same respect that I do in real life, but I admit it is extremely difficult (then again I don't spend as much time IRL around people trying their hardest to insult me) sometimes.

    It's easy to project an image of what someone must be like and react to that while being totally disconnected from the feeling of it.
    You are this way in person?:eek:
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  4. #4  
    I've certainly seen conversations on the Internet that would never happen IRL. On the Internet, people seem to lack the ability to just "walk" away that they would exercise normally.
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I've certainly seen conversations on the Internet that would never happen IRL. On the Internet, people seem to lack the ability to just "walk" away that they would exercise normally.
    I would say that most conversations of a serious nature that take place on the internet are nothing like they would be in real life. It's like driving a car. Behind the wheel with a few thousand pounds of steel wrapped around a person, one tends to believe in his or her on invincibility and behaves in ways they never would face to face.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  6. #6  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    You are this way in person?:eek:
    I'm very kind (I think) in person.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  7. #7  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I'm very kind (I think) in person.
    Do you have a dog?
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  8. #8  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    I wish. I can't have a dog at the moment but I love dogs. I have a cat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Ree's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much the same online as I am in person...
    Say what ya mean and get to the point quick....I don't have the attention span to listen to bullshit...

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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Ree View Post
    I'm pretty much the same online as I am in person...
    We know and we're terrified. :p
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