Playing Well With Others – It’s part of the Radio Amateur’s Creed, but is it Part of Your Personal Creed?
Our hobby is about communications – more exactly “cooperative communications.” If we are a Contestor, a DXer, an Awards Chaser we’re looking to make each radio contact a cooperative one so we get our return reports, confirmations and are logged. We may be looking to cooperate towards exchanging online, LoTW or QSL Card confirmations of our cooperative contact.
If we are a rag chewer we look to achieve that cooperation get a two-way dialogue going, sustained and perhaps even end up with an agreement to schedule another contact.
Any which way, when we key up a radio we’re looking to share a communication event with at least one other ham.
Actually we have names for non-cooperative transmissions – broadcasts if they are benign and jamming if they are not.
Anyone successful in our hobby ends up pretty good at cooperative communications.
Then why do we trip up with social media?
Many of us know people who we see as a persons who plays well with others in face to face real life that somehow does a Jekyll & Hyde personality switch when they go online.
Over the years I’ve had a chance to personally meet with some renown internet characters face to face, and for the most part I’ve surprised at the milquetoast real person, compared to the fiery almost troll-like internet persona they cultivated.
So how do you handle the non-cooperative internet ham?
Usually my troll remedy advice is to never never engage them – don’t reply to them, put them on ignore if you can, and never debate them, Period.
But our hobby is fairly small and if they are licensee they should deserve our respect.
So I’ve modified by advice to be never engage them directly, and when you must engage the subject matter do so only in the form of asking questions.
Anything you respond that isn’t in the form of a question must be a straight forward plain old unqualified fact.
Ignore the push-back you will get trying to start or continue any argument. Don’t worry if you have the last word, just worry that your words are true and sound.
Recognize that bad actors often travel in packs, so don’t be surprised when the troll has a following, If you do a bit of searching you can see how the pack of trolls hangs together, and if you are interested you might find that some of the pack are sockpuppets (the same person posting support for themselves using several accounts).
Does it really matter? Unless your personal freedom/safety is threatened most likely it doesn’t. So consider posting your best and just moving along.
You only have so many minutes in your life, so don’t lose them to bad actors.
Playing well with others should be part of your personal creed, something that follows God, Family and Country it would seem.