People feel the need to be mean on message boards because many people are simply mean by nature, but have to hide it each and every day. Seriously, there are people out there who take pleasure in being mean; there are also those of us who find it entertaining to “yell” at other people on message boards every once in a while and aren’t necessarily mean by nature, but who take pleasure in it anyway.
After all, it’s not every day that you can just go up to someone and say, “Shut up, you stupid newbie!” Some people just need to get that out every once in a while.
Additionally, people like feeling superior to others, and they often accomplish this by shooting others down. I know quite a few people with this type of personality, and I’m not surprised in the slightest that this type of behavior is carried out onto the message boards. When someone posts a derogatory message on a board that is meant to tell the last person who posted that he or she is an idiot, then the new poster is trying to make others, and him or herself, think that he is superior to the person he or she is attacking. It is truly horrible to put down other people to make yourself feel good, but it happens all the time on message boards.
Many bullies pick on others because they’re insecure about themselves. Saying mean things on message boards is a form of bullying as well, so it is highly likely that the person who is talking down to you for pricing rune essence at 25 gold coins is living in his mother’s basement at the age of twenty-eight and doesn’t have a friend in the world. As blunt as it sounds, people with crappy lives often become bullies. Cyber bullying, while just as mean and hateful as real-live bullying, has one disadvantage: the victim can simply ignore it by closing the window and moving onto another topic page.
People on message boards may say mean things just for the fun of it. As mentioned before, some people take pleasure in messing with others by saying mean things, and if they can’t face any real consequences, what’s stopping them? To some users, the whole thing is just a game: to annoy others and mess up their feelings. Pitting someone against you when he or she feels as if the argument is actually of some importance to you is entertaining because it makes you feel like you have control over another person.
Then again, some people genuinely feel as if a level 23 shaman doesn’t stand a chance against a level 26 warrior. Although you may not get the reference, my point is that sometimes, people who write hateful and mean things on message boards actually feel as if they need to use such profane language to get their point across. People can get pretty intense when they’re arguing about any topic, and video games just happen to be a popular topic to argue about on message boards. Using capital letters and curse words is roughly the equivalent to yelling and using curse words in a real-life debate.
People can be mean on message boards because they are passionate about their beliefs.
Of course, people wouldn’t be as mean and hateful as they are if they could get caught and punished for it. On the message boards, people choose a user name, and other users on the site will probably never learn their real identities. If you could take a cookie from the cookie jar without anyone ever knowing it was you, would you? People will generally do things that are immoral if they won’t be caught, so it is entirely possible that users on message boards say hateful things simply because they can do it without facing any consequences.
There’s also a certain thrill to be had whenever you do something that you know isn’t right. You feel as if you’re doing something “bad,” or “naughty,” and that it’s somehow “cool.” People on message boards may experience this feeling as well, and may use hateful language simply to get that euphoria. A euphoria feels good, so it is only natural for human beings to strive to experience something that feels good; however, when it is at the expense of others, it is definitely wrong. You should never use a person as a means to an end, the end result being the “high” or euphoria.
Whatever their reasons, people who are mean on message boards are no better than the average bully. They cannot get caught, their real identity is hidden, and they don’t even have to say anything to their victims’ face: they simply type in horrible messages. In fact, they’re pretty cowardly, when you think about it. So don’t spend too much time pondering why these cyber bullies are what they are, but instead, just sit back and laugh at them.