Every so often I engage in online fan communities that interest me. It is an activity I enjoyed immensely when I was younger. I eventually became burned out or selective with communities due to the rise of incivility and general rudeness. More accurately, there have always been rude and uncivil people online, but my tolerance for them has decreased. Normally, I ignore these people since engaging them would be a waste of time. After all, I’m too old to get into vicious discussions online and I have better things to do with my free time.

Recently, I decided to engage with someone who struck me as pushy and somewhat rude. I didn’t know where the conversation would go, but this person didn’t seem to be completely close-minded. What resulted was a conversation with someone I didn’t completely agree with, but who gave me lots of ideas to consider. It was also interesting to consider talking to someone younger than myself, and seeing shades of myself when I was young and impatient. The ultimate outcome of our conversation was that we had a chance to discuss positive and negative ideas and theories. As someone who geeks out a lot, it is always fun to have a new discussion partner.

The real lesson I learned is that kindness online and even offline does go a long way. Had I been judgmental about a pushy attitude, I’m sure the conversation would have gone differently. I might even have made an enemy instead of a new acquaintance. Remember, when you approach someone, sometimes it’s worth approaching with kindness. You never know if that person may just be having a bad day or may feel misunderstood.

 

Have you ever reached out to someone who you perceived as rude? Has someone ever reached out to you on a bad day?

catscape-navigator-by-wabisabi2015-of-flickr

Catscape Navigator by Wabisabi2015 of Flickr

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