…Into a better person. But wait. I know. You’re completely shocked. How could I possibly be any better? Dear Reader, it is true. It’s possible. I can be even MORE of an ass than I already am. Thankfully, the internet has schooled me in terms of how to be a better person (at least, online).

Possibly, the main benefit I have received from the internet is its time-lapse quality. I have time to mull over my response and find a way to craft my words into as polite and unscathing as possible. (Unless, of course, Imean to be scathing.) Furthermore, a lot of my online activity is on FB or various forums – and that taps into my extreme vanity. After all, who wants to be known as an ass and have that be permanently on the interwebs FOR ALL TIME? (Now, if it is via IM, then I’m a little more screwed. I tend to be far more off the cuff in that venue and thereby, more myself – ergo: more of an ass.) So, because I want to seem my best self, I behave.

I even manage to behave anonymously. Go figure! As much as I want to send withering remarks to random idiots, thankfully, I have rarely indulged in that impulse. Not because I’m a good person, but because usually people who troll online are also resoundingly malletted and the wrath of the interwebs are unleashed. I may dish it out, but I sure can’t take it!

There is a particular fan forum for the TV Show, Alias, that I am most grateful for. On this site, I’ve met some great people, and they were very kind and warm and helped me to learn the ropes as a complete noob. From these lovely women, I learned how to behave – and because I wanted their good opinion, I projected my best self. At first, I was reluctant to let one of my friends from that world see this blog because, let’s face it. I can be rather vitriolic. But after all this time, they still love me. Crazy!

The most astonishing side effect has been that my good behavior online seems to influence my behavior offline as well. When I’m more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, or ask calmly to have someone explain their point of view further, or even just my enthusiastic liking of all my friends’ pictures of their kids, it spills over into my real life. I find that occasionally, I am more willing to give people grace and be more positive in general.

That can only be a good thing. (Especially for DH.)

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