Rule #3: Be Nice

Rule #3: Be NiceThe internet isn’t a nice place. People act on their primal instincts. You’re only 5 clicks away from porn at any point. Trolls lurk beneath every comment box. Guys like me publish blogs that routinely have titles like “I hate Facebook.”

And you wonder why you despise human contact.

The internet, like everywhere else in the world, is what you make of it. If you want it to be a sewer of terrible information and hatred, then go ahead and let the internet be that cesspool. Write with anger. Reply only with bitterness. Be jealous of everyone who has ten more Facebook friends than you.

But if you want it to get better, you’re going to have to actually do something. Problems only get better when you take action. Sometimes that something is complaining, but in the noise of the internet, most people aren’t going to care about one more angry tweet or a grumbling Facebook status. And if anger and pessimism aren’t the solution, there’s only one other option.

Be nice.

Even if it hurts to smile, if you don’t have anything nice to say, if you’d rather tear someone’s intestines out and make them jump rope with them while you watch and giggle in sadistic pleasure, be the better person. It’s easier to like someone when they aren’t pissing people off or going around starting fights. People want to work with and help people who behave rationally and treat other people with respect. And if we all take a moment to stop acting like greedy animals, we learn and grow more from one another. Crazy, isn’t it?

The internet is more fun when we aren’t having fun at someone’s expense, unless that person is Mark Zuckerberg. Take the time to slap on a smile and a somewhat charming personality. Who knows? People may actually like you if you aren’t baiting them to anger at every turn.


4 Responses to Rule #3: Be Nice

  1. Brianne December 20, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Ha. Glad to see you’re turning that frown upside down. Don’t be TOO nice, though. I’d miss the dark sarcasm too much.

    • Jay December 20, 2010 at 10:03 am #

      Don’t worry. There are 10 more rules which may address your concerns.

      Or not.

  2. Jess C. December 20, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Nice people rule. And you’re included on that list.

    Rock on, Jay!

    • Jay December 20, 2010 at 11:10 am #

      Shh, don’t start telling everyone I’m nice. I have a personal brand to maintain.