Maxims and tactics for dealing with assholes on the Internet (and elsewhere)
The first rule
If that's too much to remember, here's a shorter version:
Other mottoes and maxims
It takes two to have an argument
Nobody is making me reply, except myself
If I'm arguing with an asshole on the Internet, it's because I'm an asshole on the Internet
100 Likes on Twitter, plus $3.95, will get me a free latte at Starbuck's
If something I'm doing is making me feel bad, then stop doing it
If people see me arguing with an asshole on the Internet, they'll
think of me as an asshole on the Internet
When you wrestle with a pig, you both get muddy
I can't expect to control other people's behavior when I can't
even control my own behavior
(Thomas à Kempis)
I can't expect to fix other people when I can't even fix myself
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
Assholes on the Internet are not my friends, family, or
co-workers. They cannot hurt me or impede my life or affect
me in any way whatever
Don't throw good money after bad
Nothing is often a good thing to do, and always a clever thing to say.
Pretend you're playing a game in which the person who gets the last word loses.
The most cutting response is to show the other person that you don't consider them worth responding to.
What assholes on the Internet want, more than anything, is
attention. To ignore them is to deprive them of their deepest satisfaction.
Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the
busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious,
unsocial. Probably on Reddit.
If you are having an argument, don't pretend that the other person
is forcing you to do it.
Think of someone you respect, but that you haven't met. Imagine
what they would think of your behavior. Are you embarrassed?
(I picture Tim Gowers.)
Wait twenty-four hours before replying. You may find that the whole
thing seems ridiculous and that you no longer
care to reply.
[ Addendum: I left out a good one: If I'm tempted to end a sentence with
“… you blockhead”, I should just end it with a period, and imagine
that readers will feel the psychic reverberations of “you
blockhead”. Remember Old Mrs. Lathrop: “You don’t have to!” shouted
old Mrs. Lathrop out of her second-story window. Although she did not
add “You gump!” aloud, you could feel she was meaning just that.“
(Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Understood Betsy) ]
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