Sometimes when we get online we feel like we’ve stepped into a wasteland of vulgarity and anonymity. It can be frustrating, but it’s up to us to rise above and maybe set an example to the “trolls” surfing the internet unimpeded. Here’s a helpful guide with some friendly reminders and hints that show us all that you don’t have to be a foul mouthed heathen to make the web a part of your life! YOLO*
*Check out our handy IIG (Internet Acronym Guide) at the end of the article to find out what this playful expression means and much more!
8. Be sure to carry out heated debates with even the most troublesome adversaries until you finally reach the inevitably peaceful conclusion
This is what those of us schooled in internet lingo call a “Flame War”, because it’s a conversation that burns brightly enough to illuminate the true issue at hand. It’s best to be as stubborn and repetitive as possible to get to the heart of the matter. In the event of a Flame War, realize that there usually isn’t going to be enough time to research facts, so it’s often considered common courtesy to use your best recollection of the details (accuracy can come into play later when the fire has died down.) Do whatever you can to prevent slowing the charming repartee with annoyances like citation and reference. Consider using facts that you’ve heard elsewhere on the internet (if you don’t know any good sources yet, 4chan is a great place to start) because it shows that you’ve been paying attention!
7. Remember that most people are not very smart, so they needed to be treated like children or animals
The golden rule IRL might be “Do unto others…” but here on the internet you have to bring yourself down to everyone else’s level if you really want to bring your point home in any meaningful way. Talk to them using the smallest vocabulary possible and always with a patronizing tone if you can make it translate across text. If they use name calling or cursing, go over to Urban Dictionary to learn some newer insults and do them one better. They’ll be impressed by your savvy and sharp wit, all while realizing that you really mean business.
6. The comments section can always be your “safe haven” when seas get rough
Sometimes you just want to catch a break and get away from the troublemakers, LOL. Everybody does, and your best bet is to get out of Dodge by finding a calm, reliable 24 hour news website like Fox News or MSNBC. Get in there and find a story that really gets your blood pumping! Once you’ve found it, scroll down to the comments section (no need to waste your time reading the article if you’ve read the title) and let the fun begin. You’ll spend hours having constructive conversation with like minded individuals who pride themselves on keeping abreast of current affairs.
5. If you have elevated authority on a website, use it to show people how great you are
None of the above advice is even needed if you’ve ever moderated a site, because you now have super powers (just like Batman!) Get in good with other moderators at your favorite websites like Reddit and if you play your cards right, you might get to be one too! Once you’re in a position of power, you should use it with extreme prejudice, otherwise people might question your authority there. Ban anyone who disagrees with you immediately to make a display your immense leadership skills. If things really get out of hand, see if you can access their personal information (real names and email addresses are like gold online) and share it with anyone who thinks they can use it. As a bonus, if you’ve got a business or are even thinking about starting one, you’ve now found yourself with a great captive audience to test out your newly acquired marketing skills.
4. Your convictions are the building blocks of your life, so be proud of them!
Comment at length on any strongly held political and religious beliefs you have as often as possible. Everyone admires a person who has a strict set of guidelines that give them direction in their life and the greatest gift one can give is sharing that with others. There are thousands of resources online that can help you hone your skills, but my personal favorite is venganza.org, who’s crazy little mascot will always come to your side in times of trouble with open arms.
3. Above all else, make it a fun experience for everybody
Mix things up a little when it looks like people are starting to get angry! I like to use humor to lighten the mood and one of the best forms of humor is undoubtedly sarcasm. A bit of sarcasm will lighten the mood tremendously, as long as you don’t forget to explain it to those around you who aren’t so bright! If you do this every time you’ll be the star of the show. Want to add even more pizzazz? WELL OKAY! Make those lines “pop” with your Caps Lock locked and loaded! The only thing you really needn’t worry about is proper English, because if we’ve learned anything it’s that the internet loves bad grammar! Don’t believe me? Check out what our adorable pals at I Can Has Cheezburger? have to say, FWIW. 😉
2. Things that are considered illegal in your day to day activities do not count online
Okay this may seem a little too hard to believe, but it’s absolutely true. The advantage of anonymity that comes with being online is that there are no repercussions whatsoever for the things we do there. That’s one of the reasons we have to have netiquette in the first place! The downside is that obviously some people are going to use that freedom to be rude and terrible, but on the flipside you can threaten and bully pretty those trolls (and their families if you want) into submission as often as is needed. The fact that there are no laws anywhere that have anything to do with the internet and our actions within is one of the reasons it’s such a great place! That being said…
ROFL. L33t. U R s0 Pwn3d
A handy web surfing acronym guide!
Perplexed by those nutty acronyms? Check out this guide and you’ll be on your way to web mastery in minutes.
YOLO – You Only Like Onions
IRL – I‘m Really Lost
LOL – Living Our Life!
FWIW – Fast Wealth If Winning
ROFL – Right On, Foolish Losers