The online classes I’m taking are supported by discussion forums. I’m observing the well-known phenomenon of Internet discussion spiralling down into bickering and nastiness. The single most misused tool is the option to keep a comment anonymous; while I don’t want to take away the option, I wish people didn’t cloak themselves in anonymity to be jerks online.
There’s also that real family feeling, you know: you may like your siblings or cousins, but if you see too much of them, they start driving you crazy. Any small community, including online community, seems to display at least a little bit of this.
Right now, I’m pulling out of most discussions and I’m trying to refrain from engaging in most new ones, unless it’s to provide something helpful, positive, chipper and upbeat. I’m quick to anger by nature, and I need to hold back on my reflex to pound perceived offenders into the ground — that doesn’t contribute to improvement, satisfying as it might be. But this pulling out also leaves me feeling superficial and flighty. 😦