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One Writer's Ravings:       A Logophile's Blog for Language Lovers      

What Kind of Internet Reviewer Are You?

Today I tweeted this message:

"Friends: Please think before you vomit a review on Yelp, Amazon, or whatever. Remember that the people you are talking about are also people, with feelings, whose livelihoods may be adversely affected by your offhand words, which on the internet NEVER go away."

This has bothered me for a long time, that anyone can say anything online and it is written in digital stone. Whatever happened to considered and considerate discourse? Yes your opinion matters, but could you please have the decency to express it in a way that makes you sound intelligent and thoughtful instead of like a self-absorbed shmuck?

And if you hide behind the putative veil of anonymity you think the internet provides you when venting your opinions, you are the saddest and most foolish of all commentators. Nobody will give a crap about what you have to say because you are an intellectual coward. You think you are wounding your victim but you are only shooting yourself in the ass.

Am I mad? You bet I am! Stupidity and selfishness will always be part of life, but in the old days, thankfully, every idiotic word wasn't immortalized. Yes, there are many things that should be criticized, and in some ways the internet is a helpful vehicle for that. But doesn't the very existence of a publishing platform for all require us all to be worthy of its existence?

Be thoughtful, be kind, and don't be a jerk online. And read Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach."
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