Thursday, November 06, 2008


My injury has resulted in a lot of time spent surfing and chatting online about bikes. It's a nice distraction from being a prisoner in my apartment and provides lots of motivation to get back on the bike. However, I've noticed more objectionable behaviour recently on online forums than I can ever remember in the past. Folks launching personal attacks because they don't agree with your comments on a bike part, pointless flame wars, racist slang, etc... It boggles the mind that people can get so worked up and negative over bicycles.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy a spirited discussion, but the hallmark of a good debate is that the discussion stays focused on the facts and opinions of those involved. You can disagree with someone that doesn't share your point of view, but when you start passing judgment on them personally there is no possibility of a constructive dialogue.

One thing I decided on a long time ago was to use my real name on online forums. I always try and get "Vik" or some variation on it when possible. I usually provide links to my blogs at the bottom of posts I make. This means that I have to take ownership of what I say online. If I behave badly I can't hide from it the way I could with an anonymous user name. If you want to you can easily find my full name, photos of me, where I live and contact me - no stalkers please!..=-)

To be honest I've had my moments of childishness and gotten into a few pissing contests that in retrospect were pointless, but I don't think I've ever crossed the line to being disrespectful or hurtful to anyone online. As we seem to be moving towards more and more online interactions with each other [I can't remember the last time I went to the bank and spoke with a teller in person] I hope we can bring along the same social skills and consideration that we routinely use in our face to face interactions.


Doug said...

Well said Vik.

Anonymous said...


Salsa recently stopped accepting comments at their blog for the same reasons. I agree, people can be nasty.


Vik said...

Hi Tom,

Ya - crazy world we live, Here is the link to Salsa's post about their negative comments problem:

Alan said...

Many of the people that post anonymous, nasty remarks would never do so in "real life" when dealing face-to-face with the person on the receiving end. I agree with you wholeheartedly - people should use their real name and take responsibility for what they write when posting online.

Alan @ EcoVelo

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