It’s funny: we tell kids not to be mean to one another, and then immediately jump on social media to call people out and divide ourselves into various camps.
This list by Sean Blanda has been shared in several places, and rightly so. I’ve highlighted what I consider to be the top three.
I’ve started thinking about what are the “new rules” for navigating the online world? If you could get everyone to agree (implicitly or explicitly) to a set of rules, what would they be? Below is an early attempt at an “Rules for Online Sanity” list. I’d love to hear what you think I missed.
- Reward your “enemies” when they agree with you, exhibit good behavior, or come around on an issue. Otherwise they have no incentive to ever meet you halfway.
- Accept it when people apologize. People should be allowed to work through ideas and opinions online. And that can result in some messy outcomes. Be forgiving.
- Sometimes people have differing opinions because they considered something you didn’t.
- Take a second.
- There’s always more to the story. You probably don’t know the full context of whatever you’re reading or watching.
- If an online space makes more money the more time you spend on it, use sparingly.
- Judge people on their actions, not their words. Don’t get outraged over what people said. Get outraged at what they actually do.
- Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, be charitable in how you read people’s ideas.
- Don’t treat one bad actor as representative of whatever group or demographic they belong to.
- Create the kind of communities and ideas you want people to talk about.
- Sometimes, there are bad actors that don’t play by the rules. They should be shunned, castigated, and banned.
- You don’t always have the moral high ground. You are not always right.
- Block and mute quickly. Worry about the bubbles that creates later.
- There but for the grace of God go you.
Oh, and about “creating communities”: why not support Thought Shrapnel via Patreon and comment on these posts along with people you already know have something in common?