How to Be Considerate on The Internet
The following guidelines—directed partly toward their author, who doesn’t necessarily always view them as desirable, due to an overall confusion re existence/consciousness—ideally apply equally for everyone, unless discussed and mutually edited for whatever purpose, regardless of social status or level of influence on the internet, even if you’re interacting with someone in a career-oriented interaction that will massively benefit the person you’re interacting with more than yourself, as “considerateness,” in terms of this article, preempts hierarchy-oriented behavior, an arguably “inherently inconsiderate” behavior.
FIND INFORMATION YOURSELF
When seeking answers use dictionary.com, weather.com, or Google instead of asking someone. If you ask someone there’s a chance they’ll need to Google it themselves to find the answer, making it a situation where you’re simply and belligerently telling people to do things for you. Refrain from utilizing someone as your “information desk” even if you plan on qualifying your request, in an inconsiderate attempt to convey you aren’t inconsiderate, with “I could look it up myself but I’m too lazy” or “I tried but gave up,” sentiments you should instead use privately as motivational statements to stop being lazy and stop giving up, rather than as “ends” to utilize as explanations to deliver, with what can seem like pride, to the people you’re targeting.
If you know the other person knows the answer to your question, and can provide it faster than the internet, it’s still recommended that you use the internet. People will appreciate you’ve considered their time, resources, priorities and chosen to refrain from interrupting their lives; these people, in the future, may appreciate your considerateness to such a degree that they feel the desire to preemptively ask if they can help you with anything—ultimately actually saving you time in the long-term (as a considerate person, however, you won’t care, ideally, about [saving time in a one-person situation], arguably an “inherently inconsiderate” concept).
Additionally, categorically eliminating [interrupt someone else's existence] as an option in your never-ending quest, as a conscious being, to get what you want can have the effect of increasing your levels of patience, self-control, acceptance—qualities that (1) can make it easier for you to be considerate (2) will ultimately increase your ability to get what you want.
Finally, it has been shown that with advanced forms of considerateness, often resulting less from wanting to be nice than from feeling bored by conventional goals in life, people will actually feel excited, or something like excitement—it’s been described by some, simply, as a feeling of “artistic satisfaction”—to successfully occupy a worldview that allows them to earnestly prefer [spending 90 minutes learning how to underline text in Photoshop] over [spending 30 seconds learning how to underline text in Photoshop] if the first option does not involve interrupting anyone else’s existence.
DO NOT EMAIL PEOPLE PRESSURING THEM TO RESPOND TO YOUR EMAILS
When interacting with someone, or thinking about interacting with someone, assume that your existence does not benefit them, that they don’t want to interact with you, that interacting with you is not one of their evolutionary or existential needs. Doing this will cause you to be more considerate, more inclined to improve yourself so that you may become more desirable and have a larger chance of being reciprocated, and less likely to resent the other person when they don’t reciprocate your affection or communications in an equal or—in especially belligerent cases—greater manner.
Be aware that if someone has not responded to your email or Facebook message they either don’t want to or simply haven’t done it yet, naturally and without ill-will, due to the nature of time and space, that one unit of matter cannot occupy more than one space at one time and that time is unidirectional, which results in “having priorities”—an unavoidable method of existence for non-schizophrenic humans that, in its more deliberate forms, is inherently considerate, in part because it decreases the chances of misleading people. Be aware that someone may not respond to your email even if you are amazingly considerate to them (via never pressuring them to respond to you, continuing to support their endeavors in a non-pressuring manner by participating non-pressuringly in their projects, never expressing or implying they’re causing you to feel sad or lonely or abandoned or unimportant) for 15 years after sending your email. If this happens do not feel negatively toward the other person; try to focus on liking someone for reasons that aren’t “because they like me” or “because they’re giving me attention.”
Accepting non-reciprocation quietly, without suddenly and nonsequiturly “hating” the person, is not only considerate but also productive, in that it’s probably the most effective, if not the only, way to “convince” the other person—some day, maybe, in some form—to sincerely reciprocate. If you feel jealous of who or what has been prioritized over you, or if you begin to feel resentment toward the person who isn’t reciprocating your affections, then you’re operating on the assumption that you own someone or that you’re defaultedly owed things and are being “cheated” out of those things—that the other person, or the universe, is “wronging” you. Behaving in this manner is illogical (in part because if people owned what they desired you would need to continually relent your desires to be someone else’s possession) and will cause people to dislike you and want to disassociate from you, increasing the amount of emails you send that receive no response.
DO NOT OUTSOURCE COPY-EDITING/LINE-EDITING/EDITING-FOR-CLARITY DUTIES TO THE PERSON YOU’RE EMAILING
Edit your email for clarity, brevity, readability, and decreased “pressuring” before sending it. Arrange paragraphs so that questions are not “hidden” within large blocks of text, but either comprise their own paragraphs or occur at the ends of paragraphs, so that the other person won’t spend time rereading your paragraphs to “find” every question, worried about possibly ignoring one accidentally. If possible, refrain from ending your email with a series of non-specific questions, for example “how is everything? is everything good? are you having a good day? anyway, hope your summer is going well, is it hot there? wasn’t there a hurricane there last week? was it called johannes or something like that? remember when we were in that hurricane? when was that?”
Reread your email before sending it. If you see that you’ve typed something like “so what time are you getting in? oh, never mind, I’ll just look it up” delete both sentence fragments. If your email is business-related and you see that you’ve typed some form of “respond ASAP” delete it and insert an exact deadline and what will concretely happen if that deadline is not met. If you feel uncertain about a detail of the other person’s life, type “I think” or simply Google the information, instead of “moving ahead” and “typing it anyway.”
DO NOT SOLICIT SOMEONE WITHOUT INCLUDING THE OPTION, WITHIN THE SOLICITATION NOTE, FOR THE PERSON YOU ARE SOLICITING, TO COMPLETELY IGNORE YOUR SOLICITATION AND NOT FEEL BAD AT ALL FOR DOING SO
If the purpose of your email is to ask a question whose answer may be “no” include a disclaimer saying something like “If your answer is ‘no’ then feel free to not respond to this email. I completely understand. Thank you for your time.” Or “If you want to ‘pass’ for whatever reason simply ignore this email. I completely understand. Thank you for your time.”
REFRAIN FROM EXPRESSING THINGS THAT MIGHT CAUSE PEOPLE TO FEEL THAT AN AESTHETIC PREFERENCE CAN BE “GOOD” OR “BAD” OUTSIDE OF A CONTEXT AND GOAL
Do not publicly express that [something that doesn't concretely affect others and has no concrete, objective, widely agreed-upon purpose] is [any earnestly qualitative abstraction, for example “good” or “bad”]. Seems like IRL you wouldn’t sit there, even in 6th grade, openly shit-talking a classmate’s drawing of a giraffe, within range of the person being shit-talked, who may be standing in front of you as you speak negatively about their existence. Doing something like that, besides being unseemly, would likely cause the person you’re shit-talking—and, indirectly, others with similar interests, preferences, sensibilities—to feel sad and alone and less glad to be alive and probably lose interest, to some degree, in deriving satisfaction from non-rhetorical, or “artistic,” expression, and begin to either “censor” themselves or conflate concrete reality with the world of abstraction, which can lead to killing rampages and other violent activities that you likely feel opposed toward.
If you are a person who earnestly says, feels, or thinks negative things about people you view as bad, because of what you feel they’ve done to other people, and you also feel that someone’s non-rhetorical expressions, personal interests, senses of humor, or aesthetic preferences are “bad” then it is logical, if you want to “make sense,” as a person, for you to want to focus on internalizing that disliking something does not mean the thing is bad—it simply means you dislike it, which, within most worldviews, only extrapolates in meaning, or “implies,” that every person is literally unique and will therefore like different things, not that certain things need to change or should stop existing, which is implied when something is viewed as “bad.”
REFRAIN FROM PROVIDING UNSOLICITED NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
Do not message or email someone to tell them you dislike them, feel indifferent to their work or life, decided not to watch their movie or attend their event or read their article, or think their work or life is bad. Unsolicited negative feedback is actually an unseemly form of effort designed to gain power over someone by conveying, dishonestly and indirectly, that they have no power or influence over you and that you view them as “just another person,” inaccurate because you likely wouldn’t tell “anyone” those things.
If you feel the uncontrollable urge to convey to someone that they have no power over you, or that you don’t care about them, try viewing their accomplishments and interests as existing independent of yours, so that you may one day live less in opposition to their interests than in actualization of your own interests, which can be derived in a considerate manner by focusing on things that you like, discerning why you like them and communicating sincerely with those who created them, until finally you feel the uncontrollable urge, instead, to convey non-rhetorical information to someone that you like. This paragraph is also helpful if you want to stop “shit-talking” but feel unable to stop viewing non-rhetorical information as “good” or “bad.”
DO NOT CHAT SOMEONE WHO IS “RED” ON GMAIL
If someone is “red” do not chat them, especially if you have nothing specific to say, but plan on saying simply “sup” or “hey.” If you have something specific to say, or a question to ask, it is recommended, still, that you do not chat them, but instead email them, as your email will appear on their screen with the same visibility and speed as your chat would have appeared, but with the email they will feel less pressured to respond immediately or at all, while also being able to “draft” something without your knowledge, a considerate option to allow someone.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BE SOMEONE’S FRIEND WHILE IGNORING THEIR ACTIVITIES WHICH CAN BE EASILY VIEWED ON ANY OF THEIR INTERNET PRESENCES
Look at someone’s internet presences before typing “how’s it going?” or “what have you been up to lately?” on their Facebook wall—potentially directly above dozens of links conveying what you’ve been doing lately—or emailing them to “check up” on them or to ask if [their project] is out yet. Asking those things in this manner is almost equivalent to going to someone’s new house for dinner and then, during dinner, saying “did you buy a new house?” instead of “how do you like your new house?”
DO NOT POST VAGUE COMMENTS
Do not type comments whose intentions, message, or tone are indiscernibly obscure, known only to yourself, or unknown even to yourself. If you can anticipate that a comment will cause people to respond with “what do you mean,” “what does that mean,” “I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not,” or “is that good or bad” try to incorporate the answer to those questions into your comment before posting the comment. If you feel an uncontrollable urge to comment in a vague manner frame the comment so that it will not cause further confusion, for example if you really want to comment “dwarves aren’t medium” in a nonsequitur manner include, in your comment, why you want to do that, for example “i thought about werner herzog’s film about dwarves when i read your article about dogs because one time i thought about how dogs are like dwarves and then i wanted to type something about that but then i didn’t know what to type exactly so then i typed ‘dwarves’ and for some reason i thought ‘aren’t medium’ and felt confused but liked how it sounded so i decided to type it.”
Do not type comments qualifying your appreciation for something by saying you like something else better. Do not type comments saying you didn’t finish reading an article. Do not type comments saying something is the “best” thing you’ve read by a person when the person has written something in a style that is not their “normal” style. This is an indirect way of conveying “your work is bad, you should change it.” Do not type comments saying something is “good” or “great.” This is an indirect way of conveying, or direct way of implying, that other work, by other people is—or can be—”bad” or “horrible,” an “inherently inconsiderate” concept.
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