Socially Speaking: Flame War

Socially Speaking_July

Flame wars. They happen all to often. You may or may not be familiar with the term but I bet you or someone you know has experienced a flame war before. Children and teens are very susceptible and we think all parents should be aware of the consequences.

Many times people say things online that they would not say in person. They feel protected sending messages on the computer or by text.  Another concern is many times when we communicate by email, the words we choose do not convey our intent. In our haste to send a message we do not realize how the other person interpreted our words. This leaves the recipient with a much different impression than if we had spoken the words in person. Online communication is efficient but it also has some negative drawbacks.

Flame wars occur when online communication escalates out of control. Emails sent back and forth continue the argument with each person wanting to inflict the last painful accusation. Children need to be taught not to engage in online exchanges of hateful comments.

Flame War

FLAME WAR  noun  A flame war occurs when people begin an argument online. They can communicate in chat rooms by computer or by text. The online argument escalates with both parties sending hateful messages continuously.

Example:

Mary: Susan, why did you post that terrible picture of me on your wall?  I look awful and then you wrote underneath that I liked John. You know that isn’t true. I am so embarrassed!

Susan: Mary you are such a fake. Everyone knows you are ugly, homely, and fat. No one likes you and now John can see just how ugly you really are! You deserve to be exposed.

This is the beginning of a flame war that will continue until someone stops communicating.

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