One of the better bloggers -- and nicer guys -- I've had the pleasure of meeting in my times online has been Dunner of Dunner's Stunners. When I visited San Francisco over Memorial Day of 2005, Dunner graciously took time out of his schedule -- especially his schedule of training for the Wisconsin Ironman -- to meet me and the significant other for coffee and conversation.
Unfortunately, between even people you know online, tempers often flash and words are often said, things that would never come up in face to face conversation, but which the anonymity and ease of the online environment foster and fan.
Newfound blogfriend Jack Malebranche phrases it like this:
For what it's worth, I know well that the Internet has a way of bringing out nastiness in people who could easily be friends in real life.
A friend of mine calls it the 'punch in the nose factor.' No one is worried about getting punched in the nose, so they say what is REALLY on their minds, employing language and argumentative tactics they would only use with a sworn enemy in person.
Dunner brought this up in an excellent point yesterday; as he usually does, he proposed an even better solution.
But still it's frustrating to see that the loudest voices, not the most well-thought, poignant or respectful, are the ones that are heard. Online this is especially true. So a resolution for the new year: I won't type anything I wouldn't tell a person to his face.
Neither will I.