When I started writing fiction I was asked if I intended to publish under a pseudonym.
I hadn’t considered the question before, but didn’t take long to decide that I wanted to publish under my own name.
I wanted to own what I wrote… I figured it would keep me honest and force me to be the best writer that I could be.
Then, and now, I wanted to be accountable for what I wrote.
That’s why I sign my name when I enter into internet discussions. It encourages me to think before voicing a knee-jerk reaction, or posting any cheap smart-arse responses.
That’s also why I found this week’s response to Karen Brooks’ intelligent and considered column, Masterchef simmers with bile, difficult to stomach.
For those who missed it, Karen had the temerity to question the nastiness of the tweets and facebook comments made during Masterchef episodes. It engendered a lively discussion on her Official Facebook Fan Page and triggered a variety of responses, some funny, some cringe-worthy and others, just plain ugly.
Now I don’t ascribe to Nana’s dictum ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,’ but public blood sports in cyberspace aren’t to my taste.
Savaging real people in a public forum is cowardly, particularly when the attackers hide behind anonymity. It gives rise to a pack mentality where no-one is accountable for the viciousness.
The entire debate makes me wonder whether the old-fashioned concept of manners has become an anachronism in cyberspace.
What do you think? Am I being a fuddy duddy and just showing my age?
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post