Ok, I know some of you are looking at the title and asking what I’m smoking. The answer is, not a thing. I’m not pulling a fast one either, being rude is becoming a virtue. The reason? The internet of course. Social media to be exact.
How is social media making rudeness a virtue? By removing the personal interaction that makes us polite. You wouldn’t accuse me of being incestuously involved with my mother to my face, there is too much chance I’d beat your head in. On the internet it is different. The odds are I will never truly know who you are, and that there are too many miles between us for me to carry enough anger to hurt you. So you can safely tell me horrible things that you would never say to a man’s face. We’ve all seen too much of this, and it seems to be getting worse.
Since the safety of anonymity is now available the worst of us are stepping forth. Even some reasonable people in real life are being obnoxious on screen. Especially since they never meet the people they are abusing. It is much easier to ascribe the most horrible motives to someone you never met than it is to think of the poor schmuck in the next cubicle the same way.
This is why someone who works in a publishing house can call their customers and authors Neo-Nazis and not feel horrible, she has never met them and since they don’t agree with her she should call them the worst things she can think of. After all, she didn’t say anything bad about real people! Just some moronic right wing idiots with no hearts or minds. She knows this is true because her echo chamber has told her so.
It is also why so many people don’t need to debate whatever you say, they can just call you a liar of some sort and scream when you don’t give in. Reasoned debate is becoming a lost art just as it becomes so easy to do. As an example, one argument I have never personally seen on FB though I have in real life. There is a school of thought that blames the United States for Pearl Harbor, it claims our actions prior to WWII forced the Japanese to attack us. I disagree with that school of thought, as do most westerners. However with debaters you would argue events of history, with citations or logic and attempt to convince the other side that you were correct. Your scholarship would be your weapon. On the internet you simply scream “Revisionist! You only do enough research to back your claims, you are lazy and biased!” This qualifies as scholarly debate.
Where does rudeness being a virtue come in? Simple, when we run into screaming hissy fits we reasonable polite people try to calm things down and smooth ruffled feathers. This is taken as an admission of being wrong and you lose the debate to a child’s tantrum. Be rude, tell them to grow up and debate like an adult instead of an ill mannered brat. And when someone, tells you to calm down and quit being rude because “you are better than this”? Tell them to go indulge in autoeroticism. It is time to quit allowing those who are correct but well mannered to lose because the other side isn’t.