Online Playing fields – what are the rules of our game?

I am involved in two online lists where there is a bit of argy bargy going on and at the same time I am reading about Barry Hall from the Sydney Swans and his weekend ‘hit out’ on the AFL football field.

For a while I have been toying with the metaphor of online lists as playing fields and wondering – how do we set up the rules of the game? It seems to me that without agreement to the rules or principles of our interactions, we all come to these lists and play the game as we have learned to play in life.

From my perspective – having been brought up to play “nicely” – it seems dangerous to play with those who have been brought up to play hard ball. The person who has learned to high tackle others, intellectually or with cruel words, seems to get the last word in and us “nice” players stagger off when we’ve had one too many whacks to the side of the head.

As my husband said about Hall, rough play is part of the game, so it’s not good enough to complain “he goaded me”. But this is not how I prefer to debate nor interact with others on an online list. So the challenge is to see whether and how we can come to an agreement about “how we interact”.

My call to action is for us all to play “fair” not foul, which for me means to interact in such a way that I feel good and I intend for the other person to feel good too – the classic win+win. Whether I am being idealistic remains to be seen.

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