There's a special kind of breed of people,
People who can take decades of internet abuse, but still want to be there.
"internet isn't real life"
Somewhat recently, in a moment of weakness, I downloaded mIRC and decided that see if that place still exists. I does.
Within minutes, those "kids" (probably late 20s), had me. They pushed the right buttons, so as an IRC veteran, I pushed back as quickly and divisively as I could and was banned seconds later. We only had minutes of interaction, but all parties found a soft spot as soon as it was exposed, and pushed.
This made me wonder about my younger years. When I said something offensive, I had to KNOW the effect, it could hurt them, it could make them hate me, it could make them want to beat the shit out of me.
Nowadays we can say whatever we want to whoever we want on the internet and feel safe. So now, kids get to push the limit without any consequences, instead of getting a foot to the face for being a psychopathic moron, they get rewarded by angry responses. Silence means they win, which means eventually they always win.
*I know I tend to bring things back to this age, but that's when most people are formed, so I like to go to the source*
I wouldn't say I had a rough childhood.. I just happened to grow up in Soviet Russia.
There was no internet bullying in our days, there was normal bullying.
Now.. I really feel bad for kids these days, it's a completely different kettle of fish, and as a possible future parent, I would struggle to give advice to my kids about internet bullying... my suggestion would be.. find the main problem, and humiliate them publicly in real life, beat the crap out of them or whatever it takes.
I grew up in a place where words had consequences, so I had to choose them carefully (now I fling them around like I never thought I could). As a teenager, up until I was about 18, I *literally* thought about everything I was going to say, then say it. This is part of the reason I didn't/don't talk much. If you consider your reasons for speaking and possible outcomes of those words.. most of the time, it's better to stay quiet.
Don't think this is a Stasik getting bullied story, I bullied as much as I got bullied... well, maybe not THAT much.
AAnyway, I think most of us who grew up in the 90s, no matter the country, had a much rougher/funner (not a word) childhood than kids these days.
I was going to try to make this more general, but I really have no idea about other people's childhoods, especially American ones, so I'm going to pretend I'm special in my experiences, and you can join in if you like.
In real life, I had to answer for my words. There was a fine line between getting an upper hand with words, and having to beat someone into submission.
I may have mentioned that I was the alpha in my class (this class was still a communist kind of class, so don't imagine it as a US school). I really don't know if I did a good job or not, it wasn't even an intentional thing, it just happened.
I had to pay attention to everyone within our class, boys, girls, cool, not cool, nerdy, dumb, fat, sporty.. their intentions and their interactions.
I could be making all this up, but I felt that I was mediating a few internal conflicts, and would put people in line when they were out of it. This was natural to me, I didn't think about how I would do something, I'd just handle it.
When it came to people outside our class, that took "finesse". In *my* Russian that translates to..
- If I came up against a weaker alpha, I gave them a chance to confirm that, and it's done. (doesn't have to be anything specific, you know it when you see it) Sometimes they REALLY want to step up, and that's not good for anyone's health.
- If I came up against a similar alpha, I would.. "let" them have the upper hand; if we had no issues with them, I had no issues with them ranking higher
- If we came up against higher alphas, most people ran. Higher alphas were generally much older, and could hang you for fun.
In all the scenarios, I had to communicate my intentions very clearly, without losing face.
There's one that stands out...
There was a weaker alpha, who thought he could take me.
The kid was nuts, he was a little like me.
I cannot remember how or why, but we ended up fighting (as you know, I try not to hurt people), so I casually deflect a few of his first attacks, and then he manages to run up and kick me square in the lil' Stasik region. (probably because I just stood there looking cool)
If it wasn't for adrenaline, I'm pretty sure I would've dropped like a sack of potatoes. I figured I'd better put a stop to that, so I dropped him, held him down and kept asking "are you calm yet?"
He wasn't calm, generally people would ease up, nod, and it'd be done. Not this kid. As I said, he was like me. I couldn't choke him out, I didn't have the experience, so after a little while I had to let him go.
He jumped up, ran off to his little posse and they all ran off while he's yelling "I kicked you in the balls".
I personally didn't think that was something to brag about, but it did stick in my mind.
This is why you always finish the alpha.
(girls, take note)
I don't know why I keep coming back to this, but I guess it's because it's probably the most exciting time in my life.