Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spreading niceness on the internet

I had a revelation the other day.

I realised that there is a lot of not-niceness out on the big wide internet.

I know, this is probably not news to you. You're probably wondering where I've been all these years. You're probably wondering what took me so long to figure it out.

I guess, partly I'm kind of slow, and partly I don't really get out all that much. And when I do get out, I don't usually stray far from the places where I feel safe. So a lot of that not-niceness has kind of passed me by.

Anyway, back to the topic. Like I said, I realised there is a lot of not-niceness out on the web. And I wasn't happy about it. Not happy at all.

Now I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to let things lie. If there's a problem, I always like to try to figure out a solution. Only this is a tricky one. What could one little person do about all those people being not-nice all over the internet. It seemed like a real biggie.

Then I realised there was something I could do to counter all that not-niceness. Something that wasn't difficult at all, at least not for me. I could just do my best to be the nicest person out there in internet-land.

So here's how it works. Every day, I'm going to go out into the internet and I'm, going to be nice. I'm going to say nice things to everybody that I meet. I'm going to be super-polite, and always say excuse me, and please and thank you as many times as I can. And if anybody ever says anything to me that smacks of not-niceness, I'm not going to sink down to that level. I'm going to keep myself nice and friendly and thank them for saying what they had to say, and then find somewhere else on the internet to continue being nice.

I'm hoping that my policy of niceness on the internet won't just end with me. Maybe, just maybe, I can inspire other people towards being nice as well. Maybe I can create a whole army of nice people over the internet. Maybe I can start a niceness revolution that will completely change the way everybody acts on the World Wide Web. And then all those not-nice people will realise the error of their ways, and they will join in and help me on my mission of spreading niceness.

Oh well, it's a nice dream I suppose. Have a really nice week, everybody.


  1. Ah, Jonathan. Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan. If this was only one of your stories then the world would indeed become a nicer place but this is the real world and things don’t happen like this. Common sense does not prevail. Rodney King appeared on television during the Los Angeles riots and offered what would later be his famous plea, “Can we all get along?” (often misquoted as “Can’t we all just get along?” or something similar) and we’re still not getting along. There are people out there who simply do not want to get along, who get off on not getting along. I have a friend who’s a writer—not sure if I have any friends anymore who aren’t writers—and she was mentioning on Facebook how she’d noticed a trend on Goodreads: people were creating multiple accounts so they could post the same negative review over and over and over again to drive down her stats. And that is not nice. But people will be people and there are people out there who are not nice. Maybe they’re nice to their kids or their mums or their pets but only to those who fall within that circle. Anyone else, watch out. Hitler was reportedly very fond of Blondi, his German Shepherd, keeping her by his side and allowing her to sleep in his bedroom in the bunker.

    Personally I don’t get non-nice people. I can usually understand why they’re not nice (and quite often the reason is a sad one indeed) but I find it impossible to imagine being them. Violent people especially. I smacked my daughter a couple times when she was wee but that’s my limit and it was only a couple of times. I’ve been in fights—hard to avoid them growing up in Scotland—but even there I only ever defended myself. I stopped them hurting me but never aimed to hurt them. Mostly I avoid non-nice people. I’m not big on confrontation. Luckily I’ve encountered very little of it myself online. I read about it but that’s about it. If people started on me I’d just close up shop and go and do something else instead. There are too many other things I’m not doing while I’m here and you’ve only got one life.

    1. I'm sorry Jim but I don't accept that. I'm going to make the internet a nice place, even if I have to get not-nice about it.