Internet Tough Guy Syndrome

On the Internet, identity hidden behind a screen, people show who they really are. They become less afraid to say what they want, less afraid of people judging them. But for some people, this is for the worse. They get what some call “Internet Tough Guy Syndrome.” I believe there’s a Penny Arcade strip that explains it perfectly.

Internet Dickwad Theory

But why? Why do so many people feel the need to act tough or idiotic on the Internet? Who are they trying to impress? Or are they just trying to take out their frustration with their lives on people they don’t know, with no guilt? I think the last one is the most likely. What do you think?


Here’s another thing: chatspeak. I hate it. It’s not any easier to read, in some cases it takes longer to type, and it’s just a general bastardization of the English language. What’s the point of it? I wish I could say I’ve only seen teens use it on IM or when texting, but that’s not the case. I’ve seen it used in essays, in formal conversations, etc. By adults. Now, I know that English isn’t the easiest language. But that’s no reason to rape your native language. It makes me sad. Language is a beautiful thing, and it doesn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect.

2 Responses

  1. Chatspeak is the new way to communicate with others nowadays. I used to hate it with a vengeance but lately I’ve just given up on conversion. People who use chatspeak use it for convenience, because yes, we have reached the point of laziness where we don’t want to move our fingers too much.

    As for acting tough on the internet, I find this actually betters us as a species. Without inhibition we’re actually voicing who we really are. Sure, people might come off as a jackass but they’re probably obnoxious by nature.

  2. I think people use the internet to say things they would never have the guts to say face-to-face. It can be a liberating experience to shed the pressure to be politically correct, the fear of physical violence to an opposing viewpoint, and to put forth one’s innermost thoughts without fear of repercussions. Sometimes this can be a good thing. Unfortunately, people take it to an extreme and use anonymity as an excuse to attack others and be downright cruel. For the shrinking violet, the internet can be a place to bloom. The allure of a dominant position can be too much and that is the point at which an otherwise normal person becomes an internet bully.

    As 4 ch@tsp33k .. f3@r my l33t skillz! 😉

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