We all agree that people can be pretty awful. They can. That’s just how it is. Online, where everyone is sort of crushed together in an interwebby version of a packed subway train, that horribleness occasionally comes out – but because it’s so full of people, it reveals itself more often than it usually does in day to day life.
With so many people seeming to be terrible so much of the time, it can be hard to remember that people are actually pretty cool. Not always, of course. But a lot of the time, they really are, and little reminders crop up now and again.
An example for me was when I needed help finding web developers and film special effect editors. After a quick question on Twitter, my followers helpfully supplied the names of people they thought could help me – and lo and behold, the people they suggested did! Now, replying on Twitter isn’t exactly difficult, but that didn’t change the fact that their helpfulness made my life a lot easier. The special effects editor has done an incredible job on a video that is almost-but-not-entirely done, and the web developer has been similarly great.
It’s come to the point where if I need an opinon on something or if I can’t find something, I go online – and not just to Google. While I’ve yet to stop in at Yahoo! Answers, I have asked on Twitter, Tumblr and even here on my blog for opinions, for information, and for stories about people’s lives. Little acts of kindness do their part to keep my irritation with humanity in check rather than letting it blow up into a tangled mess of bitterness.
Of course, there are things I can’t get help with online. In terms of a search, I’ve been looking for a type of candy I had years ago ever since and have never been able to find it. I don’t know its name (which makes it harder) I just know that it’s a hard candy shaped like a raspberry – one side is textured like a berry, one side is a more like a donut with a flat circle rather than a hole, and on the inside is a raspberry flavored syrup kind of thing. They’re amazing, I’ll eat 30 in one sitting if I’m allowed, and I have no idea what they’re called.
Though my raspberry candy hunt has proved fruitless, so much unexpected kindness has come from my interactions with people that it makes me want to be more helpful in turn. Keeping the balance between being helpful and being realistic can be hard – I have to try and be true to myself while wanting to say yes to everyone who asks for help – but it’s worthwhile just the same. For me, it’s easier to do in person. Buy a cream egg for my boyfriend. Send my mom a pick me up gift when she’s feeling down. Offer to drive my friend to Florida. You know, the little things.
How has your online experience been? Are people helpful? What do you do to make other people happy?