Let’s face it, people can be jerks online. As a blogger, I get some profane, even violent, comments on my blog posts. Why do some feel the need to act this way, especially when we would never act this way face-to-face?
Certainly the internet allows us a certain level of abstraction and anonymity. We create a world for ourselves knowing that no one will ever know who we really are – never mind the faith we proclaim. This distance allows us to dehumanize others.
So what is a Christian to do online? How do we respond to hate from our fellow believers? Certainly we can’t just shout louder, condemning those who violate the basic tenets of Christian compassion — can we?
In my forthcoming book postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care?, I argue that “personal contact is perhaps our most powerful weapon in waging peace.” It’s one thing to lodge salvos at a faceless “other” from a safe distance; it’s another entirely to look someone in the eye as a fellow human being and try to do the same. Read more about a faithful response to cyber bullying. Practicing Christian compassion, I invite you to share your thoughts and responses to cyber bullying. What can Christians do? What should we do?