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Keyboard Warrior #LETSEXPLORE

Tuesday 28 October 2014

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Words Ailis Mara

We all have that friend who seems to take on a whole different persona on social media platforms. You know, she’s normally the one who’s last to say something when you’re sat having a glass wine with the girls, but the first to post a status about what a crazy time you’re all having… 

This is the type of person I like to describe as a keyboard warrior. They’re unstoppable online but try and hold a conversation with them on the bus home and I guarantee it doesn’t delve any deeper than the ‘horrible weather we’re having recently’. How dire.

It seems as though the addition of a keyboard to someone’s personality means they finally have the confidence to say things their tongues don’t allow them to say, but that their fingers have no problem with blurting out. It is said we present an ideal of ourself on social media, but when you’re presentation of the ideal self is so contrary to your true self; it leads to an issue of authenticity.

In a society where a third of people meet their current other halves online, it seems to be a breeding ground for these aforementioned warriors. Do not be fooled by these. Just because you have the security of your phone does not mean that anything goes. And it especially doesn’t allow for: 1. Extremely cringe chat up lines (there’s only so many times that “are you from Prague ‘cause I’m Czeching you out” is funny), 2. Instantly inappropriate conversation topics (no one cares if it’s because you’re “bored :P”), 3. Being rude as a defense mechanism caused by rejection by a potential suitor. Distance does not mean you’re safe from the wrath you may receive from a disgruntled recipient.

Online dating keyboard warriors could even be the worst out there. Through your phone screen they may be this charming, witty, above average in the looks department guy that you’re suddenly head of over heels for. Yet as soon as you step out of that technologically blinded daze and into reality they become this only-funny-when-they’ve-had-time-to-think-of-a-response, “Is he really wearing that jacket with those trousers?” type of guy. Oh and he’ll probably still be living with his parents (of course, us girls are perfect when it comes to online dating*).

It’s hard to grasp the idea that you’re knight with a shining iPhone is actually a pauper with access to free Wi-Fi. But que sera sera. The keyboard warrior will not cease to exist, it will continue to strike down innocent victims and shove them into a life with the forever wary. Let’s just fix this problem from the outset, everyone just pinky promise not to say anything online that you wouldn’t have the man-parts to say in person. Yeah? Sorted.

*Note sarcastic undertone.

Words: Eliza Frost
Illustration: Patrick Savile