I don't know if I want to be the one who states that the degradation of personal manners in Caledon is spreading; perhaps it's part and parcel of new people finding out about Second Life as a whole, who have no concept of comportment, personal responsibility, and what not to say in public.
To wit, the recent banning from Steelhead of a woman who described sexual acts in graphic detail on the public chat, and then demanded residents lick her feet.
Aberrant behavior? I would definitely agree. Singular? No, and this is where I venture briefly into the former waters of propriety and discipline: because this has happened before, and obviously, by this incident, it will happen again.
Perhaps a refresher course on netiquette is needed, more than anything else.
First, remember, we're all in this together. Second Life draws in people from everywhere, all levels of experience, education, interest and intelligence. This means strong friendships can form with people one would never otherwise encounter; but by the same extension, if we are not physically there (gathering at a dance, a discussion group, a poetry reading, for tea), there's not the same sense of contact. It's easier to be rude; easier to get (and stay) upset; easier to dismiss the words read as only words.
Very few people are exempt from this disconnection, and believe me, I am not leaving myself out. I have fallen prey to it just as often; it's common, it happens.
This also goes double for the additional point of choosing one's words with great care. This does not mean don't have fun, don't jest, don't play--but remember, all we have to go on are our words. If those words are easily understood and arranged in such a way to create what we intend to send with them: wonderful. If they are read by the other person as an accusatory mass of vitriol, or are viewed by someone else, as shockingly obscene, then there is definitely something wrong with those word choices. Think before you type is an excellent guideline.
For good or ill, we will be judged on the quality of our writing. Online, our words are our blood and bone, our muscle, our structure. Existing purely on net abbreviations, misspelled words, shorthand and other net conventions is somewhat akin to showing up in public with pieces missing. Also remember: for the most part, if people we interact with didn't enjoy reading and the written word, they wouldn't be there--but also, for some reason, Second Life (and the net in general) attract many non-readers who then confuse others greatly. Try to be clear when speaking; it will minimize confusion all around.
More than that, we're back to choosing our words with care, but in the arena of proper grammar, spelling and the like, it goes even farther. Even those gentles who may not spell well, who may send out lower-case phrases and sentence fragments (I am not immune to this myself) should know there's a vast difference between not spelling well, and not bothering. An example:
ok i get it
o i c
The first fragment is all lower-case, there are abbreviations, there is no punctuation--but it's clear, it's concise, it's understandable. The bottom fragment demonstrates one is unlettered completely as well as profoundly uncaring to improve.
Typos? Misspellings we didn't catch? Wrong window syndrome? We've all done it; people like CoyoteAngel Dimsum make it a running joke (which, on occasion, still makes me giggle like a five-year-old). But no one is immune; it happens.
There is still a difference between that, or genuinely not being able to spell (dyslexia, for example, which makes reading, writing and typing a challenge), and not caring how one spells, because "it's no big deal" or "everyone spells like this". Believe me, "everyone" does not spell like this; and nearly everyone appreciates some effort being made on trying to communicate, over indifference in all communication.
Bob Crispin once said, Treat every post as though you were sending a copy to your boss, your minister, and your worst enemy. While that mostly--and justifiably--applies to email, it's good to keep in mind while speaking in world. If every word we say, we know is echoed to our employers, our counselors, and those who wish us ill...how would we phrase things? Would we rephrase them? Would we self-censor, or accept all our words as valid for that moment?
I'm not trying to encourage anyone to stop talking; everyone has that right. Just to keep in mind that what we say may not be understood how we mean it; and that we are, not always, speaking to the most favorable audience.
I am who I am; even with consideration of what I type, at times I deliberately choose inflammatory modes of speaking. Sometimes this is done for effect; sometimes I am simply consumed by hurt and outrage and, in that moment, I type what occurs to me. On reflection, these are not always my shining moments. I admit this; I accept this.
We are who we are; fair and flawed, bright and dark. All we can do, in the end, is try to do better. Nothing stops us from doing better, after all, but ourselves. We are our greatest challenge; we do more to get (and stay) in our own way than anyone we may meet.
When will there be more Strindberg & Helium? I miss them.