I don’t know what it is about the internet that causes people to forget what it means to be a human being. Look at the speed at which comments threads degenerate into hateful, vitriolic invective–people spew things out via their fingertips that they wouldn’t say out loud to someone who was mugging or divorcing them. But it’s a two-way street, and to me, what’s perhaps more interesting than moments when somebody forgets that s/he is talking to a REAL PERSON, are moments when the writer seems to forget that s/he him/herself is a REAL PERSON. I’m not asking for Victorian etiquette here. I’m just saying that when you pop into a stranger’s inbox, unannounced, in a message with no subject-line, from a personal email address with a joke-name (“redhotstudonearth”–seriously) asking that stranger to give you things without explaining who you are, what exactly you’re asking for, what you hope to do with it, or why you deserve it… I mean what do you expect is going to happen?
After the jump, the transcript of an utterly surreal email exchange I had yesterday, with annotations.