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View Full Version : Why are people so ANGRY? (A rant)



JoNightshade
01-24-2008, 01:08 AM
Is it just me or does it seem like there are a lot of really, really angry people out there?

I do periodic newsletters for two companies, so I'm in charge of writing them and fielding the responses. These are helpful, fun, informative newsletters that go out to people who have specifically come to the website, registered, and expressed interest. Every single email has one or TWO ways to unsubscribe. I also unsubscribe anyone who emails me to ask. For the most part, people really enjoy reading them and tell me so.

Still, out of every ten positive responses, I will get a really, really nasty email. In some cases people feel the need to fax or even phone me to vent. I get people who:

1) Berate me for sending something that is not directly applicable to them. ("How DARE you send me an email about traveling with kids? I don't have any!" "Don't even THINK about sending any more emails about large family groups - I like to go alone!") As if this email didn't go out to 5,000 OTHER people who might, just might, have children.

2) Berate me for sending them an email at all. I got a fax this morning that told me in no uncertain terms that I had been "bombarding" this person with "unsolicited" emails for "months" and that they found it extremely unprofessional and were never going to use our company. This was someone who contacted US in October, signed up on OUR website, and got an email twice a month.

3) Nitpick something totally irrelevant within the newsletter and tell me I'm stupid. Half the time they will be wrong, too. A few weeks ago a guy emailed a response to point out that I had "missed" something. I wrote him back to suggest he read the entire email, since it was listed right at the bottom.

4) And finally - this has happened about 3 times now - someone will sign up on a website with a family email address but then just the husband's name. I've had women call me and scream into the answering machine to stop trying to "SEDUCE MY HUSBAND! WHY ARE YOU SENDING HIM ALL THESE EMAILS?!"

Seriously, people. Relax. What's the big frickin deal? If you hate me so much and aren't smart enough to click "unsubscribe," just dump it in your junk mail box and you'll never see me again!!!

stormie
01-24-2008, 01:15 AM
I think it's the anonymousness of the Internet. All those people with a nasty streak that they manage to hide in public, come out. Or they're having a no good, very bad day and feel they can vent on you.

mscelina
01-24-2008, 01:16 AM
There are a lot of really, really angry people out there. Usually, they're the ones that have just realized that the world doesn't revolve around just them.

[/snark]

icerose
01-24-2008, 01:19 AM
I agree. Anonymity can do crazy things to people. It gives them almost a mob mentality. It's hard to pick out a person who's joining in the kicking rather than someone who's going around and kicking people on their own. They feel safe and secure and able to show their nastiest side without any social back lashes.

Susie
01-24-2008, 01:31 AM
I keep tellin' ya, Jo. Stop sending me your newsletter - it's not relevant to me! :D I can relate. I see way too many store clerks who have this disdain on their face. I never know if it's that they hate their job or just hate me... Hope peeps treat ya nicer, Jo.

melaniehoo
01-24-2008, 01:36 AM
There are a lot of really, really angry people out there. Usually, they're the ones that have just realized that the world doesn't revolve around just them.

[/snark]

I disagree. I don't think they've yet realized it doesn't revolve around them and HOW DARE you interfere with their important life.

:D

paprikapink
01-24-2008, 01:39 AM
I think it's the anonymousness of the Internet. All those people with a nasty streak that they manage to hide in public, come out. Or they're having a no good, very bad day and feel they can vent on you.

Yeah, in that way it's like driving.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 01:42 AM
I know aaaaaaaaalll those folks, Jo. They come and visit me in person. Pro se docket and trials were today. 40 pro se defendants. :sticks thumb in mouth and curls in fetal position:

One guy railed on me that he had to wait an hour and a half. How was he supposed to know that he had to check in with us to tell us he was here? Um, are we supposed to be psychic? Duh!

I had a nut who insisted that he wasn't driving without insurance, but refused to show me his insurance. He wants a jury trial to prove his innocence. Then why show up for a pre-trial setting to meet with me? All he had to do was show me proof of insurance and registration and his cases would be dismissed. But no. He wants to make this difficult for everyone involved, including the citizens who get summoned out to sit on a huge waste of time.

I could go on and on. :sigh:

JoNightshade
01-24-2008, 01:44 AM
Poor Soccer Mom!!! I'm so glad I don't have to interact with these jerks in person. Actually I have a feeling they'd be much nicer (I've received an apology or two after sending back little "Sorry for offending" notes), but yeah... definitely glad that at the end of the day I can hit "unsubscribe" and know I'll never deal with them again.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 01:49 AM
Justice of the Peace courts are "the people's court." Those nutty folks on Judge Judy? Those are real cases that they take from our files.

And people wonder why I write fiction.

:giggles uncontrollably:

NeuroFizz
01-24-2008, 01:53 AM
One problem with unsolicited e-mails that include a unsubscribe clicker is they sometimes serve to alert a phisher or scammer that the e-mail address is a live one. If I get an e-mail like that, I just delete, which is the appropriate response. The responses you are getting are inappropriate. Why? People are sphincters. The only time they relax is to let of refuse. And they don't feel better until they do.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 01:56 AM
Yeah, I usually mark unwanted emails as spam and just go on about my way.

JoNightshade
01-24-2008, 02:11 AM
One problem with unsolicited e-mails that include a unsubscribe clicker is they sometimes serve to alert a phisher or scammer that the e-mail address is a live one. If I get an e-mail like that, I just delete, which is the appropriate response. The responses you are getting are inappropriate. Why? People are sphincters. The only time they relax is to let of refuse. And they don't feel better until they do.

But see, the thing is, these emails are NOT UNSOLICITED.

For one website, you actually have to click a box when you sign up to get them in the first place.

The other website caters to high-end travelers. Before we ever send you anything, you have to give us your full name, your phone number, country of residence, email, and we ask for your home address. How could anyone enter in all that information and then think we're NOT going to send you an email?

Hmmm, maybe the high-end thing is the problem. These jerks think because they're prepared to shell out a lot of money, they can treat me however they want. Pfft.

Don Allen
01-24-2008, 02:23 AM
Jo, it's as simple as this, people are assholes. Most are so disgruntled with their lives they feel better by pooping on others. Later in the day they will be having coffee with a friend and boasting how they GAVE IT to the lady who sent them an unwanted e-mail... You want to have some fun and really piss them off? Send them the sweetist most apologetic letter in the world, 1000 times.......... lol

Joycecwilliams
01-24-2008, 02:26 AM
I just think the entire world is getting ruder, and gets worse everyday.

Very few people

Write Thank you notes - Even for wedding gifts

RSVP

Buy a present for the hostess

Return phone calls, email, and letters.

I think the world is becoming more selfish and less self less.

Ava Jarvis
01-24-2008, 02:38 AM
I think the world is becoming more selfish and less self less.

Age old complaint, I think. :)

I see people linking to sites they like (ah, Technorati). I see people leaving StumbleUpon reviews (never mind Digg; StumbleUpon seems to be the site of social bookmarkage these days). I see people follow one another on Twitter in reciprocal. There are social mores to follow on the web, and people do follow them.

I also see rudeness, too, in the web 2.0 world. But I think niceties still exist as well. After all, it's usually a few rotten apples that ruin forums. Most people are nice---even on fairly large forums where I've been. They're just quiet.

If someone like me, who sees the glass as half-empty on most days and is one of the most anti-social gits you ever did meet, can see this... well, the world must not be in so rotten a shape.

Plus I'm tired of people complaining about "the world is full of people who sux0r." I mean, yeah, they exist, and we humans are geared to notice stuff out of the ordinary, including people who want to harm the good vibes of the tribe. And yeah, there are more of them than there should be.

But on the whole, more nice people than not out there in the world. We just make special notice of the idjits.

jst5150
01-24-2008, 02:43 AM
E-mail partly to blame since context is often the victim. There's also how people are viewing themselves at that moment the email arrives; perhaps as stung young singles who get stuck with all the tough work while the 2.5-kids guy gets to leave a skosh early to hit the daycare on time.

What matters is that YOU keep perspective; that you maintain the high ground and that you set an example. :)

mscelina
01-24-2008, 02:45 AM
I disagree. I don't think they've yet realized it doesn't revolve around them and HOW DARE you interfere with their important life.

:D

There is that. I still associate 'people' with 'bar regulars.' sober people might have a different perspective. hmmm....

Rolling Thunder
01-24-2008, 02:56 AM
This thread makes me really really angry.

...

...

...

Hey, somebody was gonna say it. :D

robeiae
01-24-2008, 03:14 AM
This thread makes me really really angry.

...

...

...

Hey, somebody was gonna say it. :D
Sod off, tosser.

PattiTheWicked
01-24-2008, 04:13 AM
I feel your pain, I do. My About.com site has a subscriber-newsletter. You basically click a button, fill out all your particulars, and say, "Send me this each week, please." When the newsletter comes into your mailbox, there's a handy dandy link at the bottom that says "If you wish to unsubscribe, blah de blah blarpity blah." And yet I still get the occasionaly email from someone screaming "WHY ARE YOU STILL SPAMMING MY MAILBOX U R SO STOOPID QUIT SENDING ME EMAILS."

I don't understand how someone can subscribe to something and then not understand that they can UNsubscribe.

Now, stop trying to seduce my husband :P

Tiger
01-24-2008, 04:21 AM
Hah. Reason is only to be expected from the reasonable. This means it's okay not to take anything personally from a good 40% of the people you meet.

Rolling Thunder
01-24-2008, 04:22 AM
Sod off, tosser.

Snippy.

IceCreamEmpress
01-24-2008, 04:24 AM
The thing is that you're getting the fallout from other people's bad actions. Everybody hates spam, and spammers' "unsubscribe" instructions are almost always a scam (as mentioned above). So some people are just fed up with all commercial email after a while, and take their rage out indiscriminately.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 04:24 AM
Whew. Now I'm home and I have a cup of hot tea and some Girl Scout cookies and a cat in my lap. Life seems much more reasonable than earlier today.

I highly recommend this after a stressful day. :)

CACTUSWENDY
01-24-2008, 04:40 AM
Jo, it is not just the internet emails that has this kind of interaction. Look at AW. It happens here alll the time too. Anger is just one of the many childish ways of handling ones short comings. Instead of sitting back and getting a handle on things they would rather spout off and drill at someone. Makes one glad that we do not all drive on the same road at rush hour...huh? (IMHO) I think the internet makes words cheap and is an easy way out of being mature and reasonable. (Again...IMHO.)

JoNightshade
01-24-2008, 04:45 AM
Honestly, I find AWers comparatively civil and polite (excepting your occasional troll).

If people here reacted like people react to my emails, I wouldn't be hanging around. :)

Unique
01-24-2008, 05:41 AM
Why?

if you have to ask why....

anyway.

hope it's better.

Silver King
01-24-2008, 05:43 AM
...I think the internet makes words cheap and is an easy way out of being mature and reasonable. (Again...IMHO.)
That's an interesting observation, and one that I've run across a number of times. When you think about it, the opposite should be true. Take this site, for instance. A record exists of everything we've ever said here and can be brought up at any time. I can't count how many times I've seen an older post I've made pop up, and I think, "Did I really say that? I wonder what I was thinking at the time..."

So all you jerks out there: Be nice while you're online, or your words will surely come back to haunt you one day. :D

stormie
01-24-2008, 06:12 AM
Justice of the Peace courts are "the people's court." Those nutty folks on Judge Judy? Those are real cases that they take from our files.

And people wonder why I write fiction.

:giggles uncontrollably:
Soccer Mom: the stories you could tell would actually make a great non-fiction book (names changed, of course, to protect the stupids). Then again, would anyone think these people really do exist?

tjwriter
01-24-2008, 06:17 AM
I read this the other day, http://damomma.com/2008/01/22/we-all-should-a-lot-of-things/, and reading this thread made me think of it.

benbradley
01-24-2008, 07:31 AM
But see, the thing is, these emails are NOT UNSOLICITED.

For one website, you actually have to click a box when you sign up to get them in the first place.

The other website caters to high-end travelers. Before we ever send you anything, you have to give us your full name, your phone number, country of residence, email, and we ask for your home address. How could anyone enter in all that information and then think we're NOT going to send you an email?

Hmmm, maybe the high-end thing is the problem. These jerks think because they're prepared to shell out a lot of money, they can treat me however they want. Pfft.
I have to wonder exactly what's going on here - this is a travel newsletter, so the "why do you send a travel with kids article when I have no kids" thing is obviously someone off their rocker, but about accusations of spam:

For either website, what happens next after one enters an email address (and then "clicks a box" and even perhaps enters snail-mail address and phone number and such)? Is the email address then added directly to the list of addresses that get the newsletter??? If so, this is a Bad Thing. One can enter ANY email address in a webform, either intentionally/malaciously, or even accidentally mistype one's own email address, perhaps resulting in someone else's valid email address (!).

To protect from this, a webform asking for an email might say:

Enter email address to be added to for Our Great And Wonderful Newsletter [_______________]
We will send a confirmation email to this address. You must reply to this email to be added to for Our Great And Wonderful Newsletter. This confirms that you are the owner of the email address you entered above. If you do not get a confirmation email, you may have mistyped your email address.

The email to the new subscriber should say something like:

(From: subscribe-verification@ourgreatandwonderfulnewsletter.com)
This email has been entered in a webform at http://www.ourgreatandwonderfulnewsletter.com for a subscription to Our Great And Wonderful Newsletter. To activate the description, you must hit reply and send the reply within three days. If you did not enter your email address in the webform, please ignore this email, and you will get no furtner emails from us.

In this case, you should only add the email address to the list if you receivethe email reply (there are automatic systems that can take care of all this). Also, this email reply should be saved in case anyone accuses you of spamming (they might be technically knowledgable enough to send a complaint to your host who surely has a clause against spamming, and who may test your subscription system to see if it does confirmations. If it doesn't, you'll get nasty email from your host instructing you to do confirmations, or much worse, telling you they're no longer hosting your site as of immediately).

Here's another short description of what I'm talking about - just stop reading when you get to "double opt-in", as that's spammer double-talk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opt_in_e-mail

Of course, I realize your list may well operate as confirmed opt-in, and these bizzarre crazies are just part of The Internet.

If it's any consolation, these are likely to be the same people who are waiting for their $21,125,000 to come in from Nigeria while their bank account balance is being monitored daily to look for when they deposit their paycheck, which is the day it gets drained of every last penny and they go screaming and crying to the bank.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 10:26 PM
Soccer Mom: the stories you could tell would actually make a great non-fiction book (names changed, of course, to protect the stupids). Then again, would anyone think these people really do exist?

I've toyed with the idea. Maybe a sort of "true crime" but only in the smallest sense. The people I deal with just made a mistake (speeding a bit, lapsed registration) or they are criminally stupid.

Shadow_Ferret
01-24-2008, 10:52 PM
Anger is a psychological byproduct of over-population. Nature keeps trying to kill us off in various ways because the Earth wasn't meant to sustain 7 billion people. We keep, however, finding cures for all the diseases, so now it's turning to rage as a remedy.

paprikapink
01-24-2008, 11:39 PM
Uh-oh. Things are worse than I ever imagined. I'm agreeing with Shadow Ferret.

The beginning of the end is over.

Mela
01-24-2008, 11:43 PM
I'll never ever do that to you, JoNightshade.
Promise.

PS: I think people are directing their anger at you because they can't direct it at the things they're really angry at.

Unique
01-25-2008, 12:37 AM
Anger is a psychological byproduct of over-population. Nature keeps trying to kill us off in various ways because the Earth wasn't meant to sustain 7 billion people. We keep, however, finding cures for all the diseases, so now it's turning to rage as a remedy.

Ed. Don't scare the humans. They're on the powder's edge anyway.


Uh-oh. Things are worse than I ever imagined. I'm agreeing with Shadow Ferret.

The beginning of the end is over.

told ya that would happen. no one wanted to believe me.

sure, i said... make fun of the cat.. Just wait. the young ones have opposable thumbs. ya'll will be sorry.
>''<

akiwiguy
01-25-2008, 12:52 AM
Forgetting about why anyone would even bother responding angrily, it illustrates to me why I'd do marketing via RSS feeds rather than email. One major reason that a lot of high-profile sites use RSS is that psycholgically people feel a lot more comfortable choosing to subscribe to an RSS feed and unsubscribe when they wish, than having to deal with incoming emails. Whether or not the emails are actually spam, if I was a legitimate company I'd be a bit concerned that my marketing is perceived as spam.

Which doesn't quite explain why people would react so angrily. I either ignore e-mails, or decide "maybe this one really will add three inches..."

JoNightshade
01-25-2008, 12:58 AM
Forgetting about why anyone would even bother responding angrily, it illustrates to me why I'd do marketing via RSS feeds rather than email. One major reason that a lot of high-profile sites use RSS is that psycholgically people feel a lot more comfortable choosing to subscribe to an RSS feed and unsubscribe when they wish, than having to deal with incoming emails. Whether or not the emails are actually spam, if I was a legitimate company I'd be a bit concerned that my marketing is perceived as spam.

Unfortunately RSS is not really an option for our clientele, most of whom are... let's say, rather LESS than computer literate. And as I said, MOST people really like my emails and look forward to them. I get letters all the time from people who are like "I love this and pass it to everyone I know!" Or "I've been really sick lately and I love reading your newsletters because they allow me to dream about being far away."


Which doesn't quite explain why people would react so angrily. I either ignore e-mails, or decide "maybe this one really will add three inches..."

Well, my boss keeps telling me that getting a reaction (good or bad) is a good thing, because it means we struck something inside of people. If you're not getting any response, it means you're not risking anything, and you're not affecting anyone. I guess I mostly agree, and I do like to write things that matter, but I still really hate it when people get pissed off.

Can't please everyone all the time, I guess.

Christine N.
01-25-2008, 02:43 AM
My author newsletter comes through a yahoo group. You HAVE to sign up yourself. If you don't wanna be there, quit the group.

But yeah, people are, by and large, idiots.

stormie
01-25-2008, 05:53 PM
I remember one writer's web site where someone had signed up for their newsletter, then angrily complained all over the Internet how he was getting spammed by them. All he did was get a newsletter once a week anyway. The web site owner finally looked into it and--lo and behold--the guy had signed up and was not being spammed.