Tuesday, June 05, 2007
VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIPS, REAL ENEMIES...
I've been blogging since December 2005. It started slowly but I gradually got the hang of it and made my space my own.
I have come across many other bloggers since then, some I consider as real as any member of my family, if not more; others great friends, and then there are those I nod to as I pass. On blogville, blogworld, the blogosphere, the blogrealm, planet blog, we all know each other. "Hello", "good morning", how was your day?" and all that. Civility.
Real friendships have been made and even though we rarely admit to it, real loves as well.
We know some bloggers that are our friends for life. We know if we saw them today, we'd take them for drinks, let them holiday in our homes, lend them money, loan our cars to them...
My theory now: If such bonds can be made here, it means the opposite must be true as well- Real enemies can be made from virtual relationships. We have heard of the onslaught on londonbuki's mother, the concerted attack on Storm a while back, and many other instances. That faceless band of malevolent commentators is the "RONIN", not to be mistaken for the normal, easy-going and balanced commentators who cannot be bothered to blog and therefore come on as anonymous. Some of my favourite commentators are anonymous.
The RONIN is different, a band with no central head, making its members more dangerous. Often they travel in packs and descend upon a situation, snarling, tearing, foaming at the mouth... not seeking to be constructive, but pulling down. Some might have their own blogs but prefer to be "anonymous" or "other" when evil is afoot. For these reason, many bloggers now have "comment moderation". Stray members of the pack come onto my blog from time to time but have not found room in yet, to cause havoc as a whole band.
Today, I found a female member of the Ronin, skulking on my blog, used words directed at me, meant to be derogatory in relation to a series I write for the Guardian Newspapers, "The Girl Whisperer". I wondered why she chose to use those words, for many have written, not always in agreement but they have tried to be decent about it, but then I remembered as I deleted the offensive comment, "there are very bad people out there, and the virtual world is not exempted".
For those of us who disagree with each other atimes, it's a world of free opinions and anyone has a right to be contrary. However, we must never allow it to get personal, or allow it to become an issue of camps, "the East Coast" and "the West Coast". One may prefer a certain set of people, it's the freedom of association, but civility to others is important too.
Therefore, a toast: Here's to the beautiful people I have met on blogger. One last word before we say "down the hatches though"; don't be complacent, an on-line foe may transfer venom to the real world.