Sunday, January 8, 2012

Be Nice on the Internet Week

Real Simple has started a unique and worthwhile project.  They designated January 9 through January 13, 2012 as the first official Be Nice on the Internet Week.  What a novel and important proposal.

Have you ever been treated unkindly online?  It has happened to me more times than I care to mention.  Nobody I know is immune to the type of emotional pain caused by extreme rudeness that can occasionally reach the point of very personalized attacks.

Of course there is a stark contrast between rudeness and egregious incivility.  News reports of online bullying with tragic consequences are more and more common.  In New York, the suicide of a 14 year old victim of cyber bullying prompted a response by Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who has authored, co-sponsored, and introduced the state's first legislation to classify cyber-bullying as a crime punishable by law.  New Jersey has tried to reduce cyber-bullying through legislation, but thus far this have not proven to be an effective deterrent to the problem.  Even though New Jersey has now one of the strictest anti-bullying laws on the books in the entire nation, the data shows a 22 percent spike in violence in the previous year.

Some think that advances in technology and increased access to mobile internet has aggravated the situation.  In a recent opinion piece, writer and talk show host George Smith asks asks this question:  Does it seem to you that the more technologically advanced we've become, the more antagonistic, nosy, uncaring and uncivil we seem to be?

I support a return to civility and wholeheartedly endorse Real Simple and the Be Nice on the Internet Week.  If you want more information about the movement, please check it out.  Register online if you want them to send you email updates.  The only thing they ask for is your email address.

Real Simple offers a free tech etiquette manual, suggestions for proper facebook behavior, and other cool tips to help promote proper internet communication.

Hopefully the idea will catch on.  What do you think? How has internet rudeness or cyber-bullying affected you?  Are you fed up with the terrible way some people treat others online?  Will you observe Be Nice on the Internet Week with me?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject?


  1. I can't count how many times I've deleted friends and coworkers from my friends list on account of unsolicited outright cruelness. I hope the idea catches on.

  2. Thanks for writing such a great post. As you saw from my own post, I definitely think that this issue is a problem. The quote by George Smith sums it up perfectly: "Does it seem to you that the more technologically advanced we've become, the more antagonistic, nosy, uncaring and uncivil we seem to be?" This is sad, but true.

    I think that people are picking up on this negative trend and noticing it more every day. After writing my post, a friend on FB wrote in her status how she was called "passive aggressive" by someone on Twitter, because she said something indicating that she did not perfectly agree with someone else, and then to soften the blow, she said "just sayin'" (which is totally her fun, lighthearted personality). Even someone as nice,friendly,and popular as her as been affected by online bad behavior.

    I could tell you horror story after horror story of bad online behavior that I have experienced. A commentor on one of my posts recently had the nerve to reprimand me for my use of a website, even adding in "Shame on you!" Needless to say, her comment got swiftly deleted (something that I rarely do), because it was not respectful and not constructive criticism.

    The problems that I have had online have often made me tempted to never deal with people again, but I realize that there are plenty of nice individuals out there that know respectable online behavior, and I cannot be overly affected by those who are ignorant.

    Have a great day!

  3. This is a great post.
    It will be great if people will be nice anywhere - internet or real life.

    But most people have lost their manners. And many with real life manners are not even afraid to disregard it because they can hide in anonimity. Oh, sad.


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