Online Forums… almost everyone uses them. If you play video games you probably use them more than most people. Over the last 6 years online forums have risen as the primary source for sharing information or building communities. Some of the unlikeliest of industries are adopting them as common place.
I have been on one forum or another since 1995, so about 14 years. My first experience of internet forums was on a school district computer doing a pilot program from my Junior High School. I saw a lot of pornography at an early age because of this, but that isn’t the point.
Posting on forums isn’t as simple as writing something then hitting the submit button. A lot of people who are new to internet conversations don’t realize the effect words can have without voice tone or facial expressions. Sarcasm is easy to read when you hear the inflection’s in someone’s voice but when you are only reading text, it is nearly impossible to catch. I’ve tried to explain to newer internet users that a smiley face or a simple lol can help ease a comment and let other readers know you are joking. Furthermore the reader’s personal emotional place will lend a lot to how they interpret your post. If they are having a bad day, expect them to take it personally for instance.
The internet does not adhere to America’s 2nd Amendment right to the Freedom of Speech. Nearly everything on the internet is owned by one person or another, it didn’t just happen by its self. What most people fail to realize is that you do not have the right to say whatever you want on a media provided by a company or person. You are subject to their rules. The United States of America gives you the right to speak your mind, in a public forum. That is meant to be a public place. Internet forums are privately owned and maintained.
People have a sick sense of entitlement when it comes to things on the internet. They feel as though they should have an equal right to everything. Every website, internet provider and web browser is out to make a profit. They do what they do in the hopes of making money and paying the bills.
It’s amazing how much better the internet would be if people stopped and considered how other may take what they type.