Accountability for our online behaviour
Posted on April 7, 2009 by Tom
Some interesting questions on Alexander van Elsas’ blog about the online social space. One of his questions about online social behaviour is actually quite interesting. “Why can we now publicly rant about anything or anyone, without really being held accountable for our actions?”
But maybe the question should be: “Why do we now publicly rant about anything or anyone, without really being held accountable for our actions?” Why do we feel the need to turn on our computer everytime we feel the need to complain about something? Ofcourse it has a lot to do with the tools at our disposal. They’re easy to use, free and everyone can use them.
It used to be a challenge when you had something to complain about and you wanted to be heard. You had to do it face to face. Deal with another person. Present your case carefully, with arguments and possible responses. There was an art to it all and ‘victory’ tasted so much sweeter when you don’t overwhelm or batter the other person, but rather convince him you’re right. Now it’s like all we can do is shout, threaten or insult. It just doesn’t feel like we’re dealing with a real person here, but with something artificial. When I read some reviews or blogcomments I sometimes wonder if that person would’ve reacted the same way in real life like he does online?
Marketers, publicists,… try so hard to give companies a ‘face’. Something people can relate to so we can soften people up again when they do want to react. But in the meantime, online tools are evolving in a way that companies can’t keep up with. We teach kids to be polite to people when they meet them… always use two words… shake hands… don’t be rude… Wonder if we should do the same for our online behaviour?