Yes, I almost forgot to finish my blog this week because I was so busy playing Skyrim. Being on school break right now, I was finally able to purchase it with some Christmas money. But, I’m not going to talk about Skyrim this week- I haven’t enough to say- YET. At first blush, it is absolutely amazing.
This week’s blog is a simple plea to all my internet friends, acquaintances, and people I may never actually interact with. If you are one of those people who feels that it is okay to be mean to your fellow human beings simply because you are an anonymous entity on the internet (you know who you are), make it your New Year’s Resolution to be kinder to everyone and remember that people you interact with online are, in fact, real people.
I get extremely discouraged by how people treat one another. And this behavior may have been born in the age of the internet, but it is by no means confined to interactions on the internet. I can’t get good customer service anywhere. It’s almost a surprise when someone in a restaurant or grocery store is kind to me. And I’m paying them for a service.
This all has been dredged up by recent events on the Penny Arcade website. If you don’t follow them, you should just check out this post. It is a string of emails between a customer and the PR representative of a company that makes game controllers. The entire interaction is really shocking to read. What transpired was that the customer was belittled, mistreated, and scammed. Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade was sent these correspondence and got on the case. He intervened and the PR rep proceeded to bash on Mike Krahulik for a while. Things then got seriously bad for the PR guy because Mike Krahulik decided to release the contact information to Penny Arcade readers along with the entirety of the emails. Within 24 hours, the PR rep lost his job, his business, and had to wade through thousands of emails from angry people demanding justice. His response was never to truly apologize. He was just sorry he had gotten caught in the act. The Kotaku did a follow up story. I had to read the whole thing through twice to fully comprehend what had transpired. It is absolutely amazing that anyone who claims to be in PR could 1) be so completely rude, 2) not know how to form complete grammatically correct sentences, 3) not know how to spell , and 4) not treat the paying customer like they are his first and foremost concern.
For this one guy that went down in flames, there seem to be many more people willing to behave in the same way. It’s sad. I don’t understand why people can’t just be nice to one another and treat other human beings with common decency and respect.
This year I am going to be making an effort to be kinder than I am. Perhaps you can pledge to do the same and pass the message forward. Just because you may never see a person face to face doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little kindness. In the words of Wil Wheaton, “Don’t be a dick.”