“Don’t Be a D*ck”

The best advice for people online.

“Don’t Be a D*ck”
Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

I actually have a very difficult time telling sarcasm online, but tend to err on the side of caution for the most part. I try to assume that people mean well, because… that’s better than assuming the opposite (which comes more naturally to me, sadly).

Way back on Twitter a writer I followed had lost their manuscript file: 30k words just gone. And not just from their HD, but from their cloud service as well.

Most ransomware that I’m aware of (as a mere novice internet user) just encrypts data, rather than deleting it, but who knows. And, regardless, so many people don’t know about things like cloud hosting’s “versioning”, or that commercial data recovery tools might not be as effective as a pro service.

So, I posted a quick thing about that: just saying “sorry, it really sucks that happened! :(“ and then pointing out that some options did exist for recovery. I know that “I” feel better when people show care. *shrug*. Didn’t figure I’d get a response from them, just wanted to shoot something nice off into the atmosphere.

Hours later, I get a very odd response from someone who presumably follows that author online. They sent me a comment which I couldn’t help but read as really ill-spirited and snarky.

So, I sent back a nice response, intentionally leaning into the fact that “hey, doing nice things for people is nice, especially when you’re seeing things in a public space like Twitter.” Then I blocked the f&*ker, because nobody has time for that sort of nonsense. If the responder was sincere, well, shucks, my bad for overreacting. But, honestly, given the state of the world these days, how likely was it that this person was just a really poor communicator?

Anyway… this is something I hope more people can take a stand against. We don’t need more people to be snarky, sarcastic, and mean online. It’s too easy to fall into this trap, and hard to set up behaviors that oppose it, but I firmly hope that we can.

I also need to not let people like this bother me so much, especially when the world is full of such folks, and many who are far, far worse. :/

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for as little as $2.50 a month!

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