It's a question I get a lot on dA. In case some of you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a polarising figure in the chats, people either love me or despise me. I often get some tired tirade about how I was bullied in the past and I'm just reflecting onto others, or some other assumption about my past with no grounds in common sense or reality. All too often I'm presented with raging, PURE CAPS replies about how my smartass comment just ruined someone's life. My anonymous snark is responsible for all the evils in the world, and now said "victim" will ragequit the internet forever, or, for a spicier kick, kill themselves. All this over an anonymous reaction between two screens.
We're also seeing an influx of "anti-bullying" media fetishism. It's the next big media push. AIDS? Move aside. Cancer? Student loans? The mortgage bubble? Marriage equality? Reproductive rights? Equal pay for women and minorities? Global wars started under false pretenses as a grab for resources and regional influence? Put all those miniscule issues aside, because SCIENCE FORBID, people are being mean to each other!
There is a better explanation for "cyber bullying", though. Think about it. The internet is the last bastion of being a dick with relatively few consequences. Try walking into a pub and calling the biggest guy there a cocksucking cuntrag. What happens? You end up beaten to shit with a bar stool sticking out of your hiney. Most people with common sense would not do such a thing, because they value their facial structure and rectal integrity. But call a moderator in a forum a cocksucking cuntrag, and what happens? USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST.
See? No physical violence and emotional cowing. You have the choice to disengage at any time. Hell, if people can't be dicks to each other online, how else can an everyday citizen vent their frustration at humanity?
I work retail 40-45 hours a week. I treat every customer with respect, whether they are kind to me or not. Every once in awhile I get a rich douche canoe that's super demanding of my time, placing his own needs over anyone else in my workplace and being a general dick about everything. But I am helpful nonetheless, and am courteous, and I take that shovel of fecal matter to my face with a goddamned gleaming smile.
Think about how shitty life would be if you couldn't make fun of people anonymously for your own amusement. It's a great relaxation tool that all of you should try sometime. Especially if you have a stressful job or horrible classmates.
We're not all terrible people. We're just terrible people online. [link]