I just finished up my first Facebook jail sentence, and I have a couple thoughts.
First, I deserved it. No doubt about it, I earned my sentence. In fact, I’m surprised it took so long for me to get put in the virtual hoosegow.
I feel like the Internet I started on back in the early 90’s was the Wild West –anything went. You could say whatever you wanted.
The first time I logged onto Prodigy (that’s right, Prodigy!), it took approximately 4 seconds for someone to insult me in chat (I was typing in all caps). I don’t remember exactly what was said –something about my parents, rat poison, and a slow death– but I recall being impressed by the wit, vocabulary, and vicious beauty of the well-crafted barb. It stung, but it was also funny.
“Oh!” I thought. “Words are weapons here!”
Being good with words, I loved that idea. Within a few months I was jumping into Internet arguments with both guns blazing -my barrels spitting out cutting, witty, and deliciously profane clauses.
In this world, I was a gunslinger.