We are looking at on-line stupidity or the art of being an on-line jerk. So far we have seen:
1> Move from arguing the substance of a disagreement to attacking the person with whom you disagree.
2> Assume what other people think and believe rather than asking them directly.3> Write things to or about your fellow believers in Christ that you would never have the gall to say to their faces.
4> Don’t read a blog post or an article or comment carefully.
5> Write something online when you are angry or your feelings have just been hurt.
Let’s go on from there…
6> Presume to know what another person is thinking and assume you know the motives behind their words and actions.
Put yourself in the seat that only God Almighty occupies and impugn their intentions. Judging a person’s motives comes across in what is said. For example: “You said that because…” Another one would be: “You are trying to manipulate me when you said that.” Or another example: You are trying to control me…”
You are judging the motives and thus the heart of another person.
7> Engage in “drive-by” character assassination by posting a comment on other people’s blogs that smears the reputation of another child of God.
Don’t post your real name and your real email address when you leave the flaming comment. And hope that the blogger is sloppy enough to not notice the comment so they don’t delete it immediately.
Interesting point: Every comment on a blog has an identifiable IP address. So, it is not that difficult to identify the person.
8> If someone gives you a response, ignore their response and repeat your points over again.
Have the attitude, “Don’t confuse me with the facts,” and disregard what they say. Just keep pushing the same points over and over again, hoping that they will eventually agree with you.
This also holds true in any recent face-to-face argument you have had.
9> With forethought and deliberation, completely misrepresent what another person has said or written, then play the victim.
For instance, accuse someone of attacking others when they have attacked no one. Accuse them of holding to beliefs and ideas that they don’t hold to. Play on the fact that some Christians will believe whatever you write instead of going to the source to verify if what you are saying is accurate or not. While this is the height of fleshly activity, it is fitting for the one who is perfecting the art of being an online jerk.
10> Forget what your Lord taught you.
Defy your spiritual instincts and grieve the Holy Spirit of God by treating other people (especially those you don’t like) in a way that you would never want to be treated yourself. Post things online to and about others that you would never want posted to and about you or your loved ones. In other words, claim you believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:12, but disobey them without wincing.
Matthew 7:12a “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…
Just a closing thought: The world is carefully watching how we Christians treat one another online. Keep this in mind the next time you sit in front of a computer and type something.