@Leradny: Fair point, but my personal experiences (in both the Internet and Real Life
) say otherwise.
It is not just Net-based interaction that cause me to feel such, it's everywhere. People feel comfortable insulting and demeaning each other in ways that would not have flown a generation ago. Back then, someone could give you five knuckles to the face if you got out of line.
Now, even schoolyard tussles are verboten
. People are offing themselves over Facebook bullying...and why? It isn't the bullying...it's the frustration that comes from having nothing that you personally can do about it.
Example; there is someone I know. We will call him Bob. Now, Bob doesn't care for me and my lifestyle. So, he spreads unpleasant rumors about both myself and my lady. People who don't know me believe these statements (after all, they've nothing else to go on) and shun us.
Now, a generation ago I would have taken my fate into my own hands; I'd have tracked him down and called him out. We'd "step outside", roll up our sleeves and tempt our fates. I might have won and and I might have not *
but the point is that something would have been decided. My fate would be mine to affect.
Now? I just have to sit and take it. I have to watch it happen, and even confronting him directly with words alone risks police involvement ("I feel threatened" is sufficient to get them involved now, just so everyone knows).
The frustration I feel is worse than a few bruises. At least the bruises would have been honorably earned.