Digital Manners

I did not have the best night of sleep ever last night, but I managed.  It started off with startling awake because just as I was on the brink of falling to sleep…  I swear I heard someone trying to open the front door or more importantly the screen door.  I of course had to go check it out…  because occasionally the wind causes that noise but I found no signs of anything.  Basically I assume that I dreamt it, and was some sort of subconscious manifestation of anxiety or some such.  I say this because my wife has had the same thing happen to her and after investigating found that nothing was actually up, so either someone is fucking with us…  or more likely we are just anxious about something and our brains are being assholes.  That said… I do have a fairly crazy neighbor but I went through the lockdown cycle again and make sure all doors were safely locked before finally going off to sleep.

Another random thing I want to talk about this morning is how I have an overwhelming desire to personify technology.  I blame this on seeing 2001 a space odyssey at a fairly tender age and being fascinated by HAL 9000.  The ultimate irony here is that I NEVER talk to my devices be it OK Google, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana or whatever other digital voice assistants there happen to be out there.  I would like to think this is pragmatism rearing its head in that I can type a sentence roughly four times faster than I can actually speak it.  However I find myself talking to Google instead of doing the thing that the programmer in me knows is proper and stating my question in order of importance.  So instead of saying “Elder Scrolls Online” + “Museum Pieces” I usually type something like “What are museum pieces used for in ESO?”.

I often make random comments on social media without any context.  Last night was one of those moments where I said the above statement, and came up with a bunch of forum posts talking about them and in almost every single one of them there was a person who took the time to say “it’s not that hard you just” perform some action.  A player was asking a very similar question… on a forum… and they told him it wasn’t that hard you should just google it.  Later on another player was stating that they could not find the slots that they were supposed to go into in the Orsinium museum (answers my question)…  and again someone shot back “it’s not that hard you just” then push the action key.  I’ve seen these comments for years… surrounding gaming or programming or any other sort of cloistered geekdom where one person feels the need to assert their intellectual girth upon another person by making them feel like the question that they are asking is beneath them.   This is one of the many reasons the gaming community that like it or not we are all part of… has a bad rap for being assholes.

Diminishing the questions of another person, or pedantically correcting someone when they are off by a few degrees but you completely understood what they were meaning…  is a dick move.  That said I know I have been guilty of both of these in the past, but the truth is every one of us has done a banquet of items that are range from extremely cringe worthy to toxic and offensive as hell.  I have my past and you have yours as well, but the only way we move forward and evolve is by constantly editing our actions to adopt a stance that leaves less of a negative impact in our wake.  I am a different person than I was ten years ago… and honestly a different person than I was last year and that is okay… it isn’t wishy-washyness but instead the constant and natural process of growing as a person.  If you find yourself attacking or correcting others… or just generally shitposting out of boredom…  you may want to take a serious look at your own motivations and determine if this is the person you want to be forever.


Chances are you are not acting like the person Mr. Rogers knew you could be.  I don’t use this meme lightly because in truth…  Mr Rogers was almost like a third parent to me as a small kid.  I would sit on the floor enthralled and watch each episode as I got home from school.  Mr Rogers and the entire land of make believe crew were my friends, and I would like to think a lot of the simple lessons that he was trying to teach us… rubbed off on me at least a little bit.  No one can realistically live up to being someone as pure and good as Fred Rogers or Bob Ross or Levar Burton…  but we can try.  As to why I decided to devote a post to this today…  instead of any other day when I happen across some frustrating interactions coming from the gaming sphere…  I have no clue.  Sometimes you just wake up and make a post because it is what is in your head and you cannot really dislodge it.

Last night it was likely a combination of the interaction I saw and then stumbling across the above video while I was playing ESO upstairs.  Which in itself is deeply influenced by the general feeling of loss and nostalgia that I have been feeling surrounding the closing of Toys R Us.  Now you get an emotional post to read this morning…  gratz.  Side note…  Thumper from Bambi was apparently also a major influence on me because I have tried really hard to follow the logic of his father…  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.  I regularly fail to live up to all of these role models… but the intent is there always nagging me to be a better person.


2 thoughts on “Digital Manners

  1. If we leave out “It’s not that hard, you just” from our replies, we save ourselves typing 28 characters! It’s win-win!

    These days, I try to follow the rules of – If I want to help, I answer as best I can what I think the other person needs, and trust that he/she will take what they need from the answer and disregard anything unnecessary.

    If I start feeling like it’s too much trouble or too basic or beneath me to answer, I just say nothing and let someone else more willing handle it.

    Granted, all bets are off if I’m prioritizing being funny or snarky for upvotes, rather than actually helping.
    Jeromai recently posted..Basing Your Expectations on The Things Other People SayMy Profile

  2. A big issue I had with a class web site was the forum they had for helping players. They had strict rules for how you needed to pose questions. Simply saying I need help was to broad of scope. And I get that when it comes to higher end players and helping those trying to get that extra 1% out of their DPS is certainly difficult without logs and other information. But some times you have people that really don’t know what question they really need to ask. Some times they are reaching out because, they really want someone to talk to them and give them some advice. I understand that you may be dealing with multiple requests for help daily, and that your personal time is valuable. And the replies that were given to people, well years ago now, since I don’t visit the site anymore, was very elitist sounding, and I think may have turned a few people away from wanting to ask for help.

    I look at the folks that do Friendship Birb, how they spend a great deal of time every week helping people get the mount for free, and their only payment is a thank you, and the good feeling that they helped someone. That is what I remember the game being about years ago. Some where along the way, people decided their time had value and wanted to be compensated, and they started catering to a higher level of player.

    Maybe the world needs more people willing to help a person to ask the right question when they don’t know.

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