This seems to be a trend that is progressing; online rageaholics that think the computer screen is their mask of protection and anonymity. Except the computer screen is not magical. Your chances of being discovered today are more likely than ever before and if you’re stupid enough to use your real name, then you deserve whatever prison term you get.
I have been the victim of some nasty online rageaholics.
What is a rageaholic?
“rageaholic. noun. a person who gets excited by expressing rage; a person prone to extreme anger with little or no provocation.”
Someone who feeds on expressing rage. Like the alcoholic, the rageaholic is addicted to blowing up. This is usually caused by the rageaholic stuffing back real feelings and emotions until it builds up the point that the rageaholic snaps and goes crazy. Stress of any kind can be a trigger. It is a cry for love, but a fear to accept it.”
~Urban Dictionary (with spelling corrections, just because)
If you think you know an online rageaholic, keep reading. If you suspect you might be one, ask yourself these questions:
- When I get angry, is it my first instinct to post a ruinous status update on Facebook, or elsewhere?
- Do I blame everyone else for the state of my life instead of taking ownership of upheavals and trying to understand it?
- Is it just easier for me to throw electronic punches than it is to act like a mature adult and work out my issues with the person I’m angry with?
My first experience with any kind of rageaholic was with a guy I was dating. We did not date long because my first encounter with his rageaholic side was enough to send me packing. It came out of nowhere! I said something about not drinking beer before noon on a weekday and BAM! he was showering my face with spittle as he cursed the day I was born. How did I reply? What did I do? Well, I said very little that went beyond “I’m sorry.” in the smallest and quietest voice I could manage, as I was slowly backing away towards an exit.
This was before online avenues of self expression were available to the average rageaholic and I can only imagine how this guy would use the Internet. There are still some old school rageaholics out there that haven’t yet given in to the allure of the computer screen. (thank goodness)
There are many types of online rageaholics.
One type is the person that is groveling at your feet and begging for forgiveness after being caught doing their online rageaholic thing blasting you to the moon, all the while you’re seeing this sniveling pile of snot and tears, they are back online making a new spot to continue their rage online against you. Those are scary ones.
There is also the online rageaholic that boldly posts online, identifies you, uses their real name, and thinks it’s their right to try to annihilate and destroy you. They will even carry their rage to the masses using email and private messaging, begging folks to join their crusade. This is also where Facebook and other social media sites have contributed to a rageaholic’s wet dream by giving them a public stage that could potentially be seen by millions of other online rageaholics and covert online bystanders. This kind of online rageaholic doesn’t take care to protect themselves, or anyone else they drag into their fight. They are blind with anger and will stop at nothing to make the object of their rage pay a deep and bloody price.
What can you do about those folks that like to rage about you online?
There is this little thing called libel, okay not slander because slander is when you hear it and libel is when you read it, but they have to fit the bill and there’s a statute of limitations on how much time you have to go broke hiring a lawyer that can prove this online rage is about you. Here’s a great website that can help you with those details: Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Many rageaholics think they’re protected because some things online have been there a while, but that’s where they’re sadly mistaken. If it’s there and the public can access it, you are committing libel every single time it gets read. The years can count against you too if it gets taken to court.
Online rageaholics are now also subject to charges that can include Cyberstalking and Cyber Bullying and those carry some stiff repercussions and felony prison terms with steep fines, because…you want to know why? Because children and adults alike have been committing suicide when the online rageaholic takes their vendettas too far. If you push someone to the point they want to die, then you deserve to rot in prison the rest of your sorry life. The laws governing this type of online behavior are swiftly taking shape and it’s about time. Read all about it here: New Laws Make Cyberbullies Face Felony Charges
I remember writing about what an online rageaholic did to me and I linked back to the evidence she left online that clearly identified me and she used her real name. I figured if she was so proud of it to leave it there in the public domain, then I had the right to link to it on my blog. She took her link down and then tried to tell people that what I did was illegal. When she finally did some investigation, she realized she was the person that broke the law, all I did was respond to the libel.
Please try to remember too that you might rage and forget what you wrote, but the Internet never forgets, even if you delete it.
An even better solution is to consider the source.
Who is the person doing the raging?
- Odds are they aren’t a pillar of the community where they live and have absolutely no clout with their neighbors, much less with your circle of friends.
- This person has issues with depression and anger management and probably has trouble finding employment, or gets fired quite a bit, or stays in a menial job because that’s all they can handle.
- If you have mutual friends and acquaintances, they have probably seen or experienced firsthand, what the rageaholic is capable of producing and keep their distance too.
- Along with the questionable employment status, this person might also have issues with body image and how they see themselves.
- Other extenuating circumstances can also include drug and alcohol abuse.
- Perhaps they were or are physically abused by someone themselves. The abused becomes the abuser.
- There is also the case of mental illness or some longterm illness that could hinder their ability to make good and healthy decisions about behavior.
This is not to say you can’t get angry and write about it, because you can. I do all the time. The difference between my writing and what an online rageaholic does is that I am not trying to hurt someone. My story is about me, it’s not about them. I explore my own part in the problem and try to learn something from it that I can share with you.
A rageaholic is only interested in raging and being angry and applying as much damage to mankind in one fell swoop that they can.
I want all of us to be better human beings.
So next time you find evidence that an online rageaholic is attacking you, know that you have resources to shut them down and don’t hesitate to do just that. Then write about how you solved the problem and how the world can be a better place with one less online rageaholic.