The Internet has created the bravest cowards: keyboard warriors

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A guy makes a complaint via email to a company. He is not happy with the company’s service, and in his email, he even CC-ed to the CEO of the company, and eventually threatens to bring this to the media. The company, in order to please him, sends a senior customer service executive to his house for an impromptu visit to understand more. In his emails, the guy has used strong words. The moment he sees the customer service executive, he literally bows and says, “Oh, it’s okay, everything is okay. Sorry. Thank you. Thank you.”

Sounds familiar? It is familiar because it’s happening everywhere.

The Internet has created the bravest men, and also cowards.

It’s easy to lose your temper on the Internet, showing your frustration with a keyboard. A coward who does not even dare to ask for directions in the street can yell and shout on the Internet with CAPS LOCK. Yet, when faced with reality, he doesn’t even know English all of a sudden.

What contributes to this? Is it healthy?

You can do a simple experiment by scrolling through your Facebook news feed now. Look at the updates posted by your friends, then imagine that you’ve never talked to them in real life before. What kind of impression would you have?

That insecure boy in school is posting sentences that show how courageous he is.

That unhealthy girl at work posts her desire to lose ten kilogrammes through a gym membership.

That cowardly neighbour threatens to beat up the driver who cuts into his lane.

It has become so bad that most of us no longer take things on the Internet seriously. Whenever we write an essay for school, we cannot cite any sources from the Internet (even Wikipedia) because we cannot trust words written on the Internet.

But what’s even scary? Some people still believe things on the Internet.

A person seeks for advice on an online forum. Keyboard warriors began to give suggestions. The person, without critically thinking, takes that suggestion. He suffers. End of story, and end of that person.

Unfortunately, this has become a norm.

Unlike people born in the 1990s, I’ve once lived in this world without the Internet (in case you need to know, my birth year is 1985). I don’t remember my friends and I being the bravest men in Singapore then. We were who we were. When people talked about Apple, they knew it was that timid girl. When people talked about Michael, they knew it was that brave boy. It was clear-cut.

I’m still very appreciative of the Internet, but I believe that now, we should not rely too much on the Internet to judge a person. Like what my friend said, “Email communication means there’s a thick wall between two people, phone communication means there’s a thin wall and face-to-face communication means there’s no wall.” Right now, we should all be working to break that wall!

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