I frequent a couple of writers' forums and lately all hell has been breaking out. No one reason for this that I can see, but tempers seem to be fraying even more than usual. Perhaps it's another manifestation of SAD or the credit crunch or the prospect of another Christmas season looming.
A thread will start quite innocently; a question is asked or an observation made, and somehow the responses escalate into an unpleasant fracas out of all proportion to the issue raised. I see it on forums from time to time but just lately it seems to be breaking out everywhere and from the most mild mannered individuals.
The internet somehow promotes this literary road-rage. It brings out the Mr Hyde in us all. I'm not immune to the urge to let fly and in the past I've shed a tear or lain awake because of the turmoil it causes. Somehow, sitting alone at a computer, it's easy to forget they're just opinions. Our egos seem to hang on getting the last word, on scoring a point off some arrogant SOB who has inadvertently trod on our toes.
There's only one cure I know of. The off switch. But then, where's the fun in that?