Category: The books, comics, animes and the lessons they bring

How The Internet Turned Us Into Rude Human Beings

(This piece was edited and published on

Online comment is probably one of the perks that we get to enjoy in this highly connected world. Being able to comment online made it possible for us to reach out to the world to express our thoughts and feelings towards almost everything and everyone within a single click.

In a way, it is our new way of being heard.

One additional point of commenting online is that as a commenter, we are often virtually anonymous. Even if we put our real name in our online accounts, people would still have very little to know about us, apart from what we tell them online.

By being anonymous, we tend to loosen up and able to express ourselves more openly.

However, the effect of “anonymity” has also changed how we express ourselves online.

While some of us still manage to keep our manners intact, apparently, some online comments posted on the internet were filled with harsh criticism and words that people wouldn’t ordinarily say in the real world.

Celebrities and public figures  seemed to be an easy prey for such comments. But sometimes, we do it to each other too, if we found that others are doing or posting is something that does not fit quite well with ourselves.

Well, of course it is unwise to judge that what we are truly what we posted online. Some of us are entirely harmless and nice in real life, but at times, our online comments said otherwise.

How could we get so rude online?

John Suler, a clinical psychologist who’s focusing his works on the behavior of people online call the phenomenon where anonymity leads to freedom in expressing oneself as the “Online Disinhibition Effect“. According to Suler, there are six factors that could combine to change people’s behavior online.


1. “These people don’t know me”

Most people we encounter in the internet can’t easily tell who we are.

When we have the opportunity to separate our action from our real world and identity, we feel less vulnerable about opening up. Whatever we say or do in the internet can’t be directly linked to the rest of our lives, so we don’t have to acknowledge it within the full context of who we “really” are.

However, this also means that when acting out hostile feelings, we feel like don’t have to take responsibility for those actions.

So, sometimes, we probably think that it is OK to comment harshly on some public figures or celebrities because we know that they would never find out who we are (or even remotely interested to find out).


2. “Nobody can tell what I look like, or judge my tone”

In many online environments, other people cannot see us. As we browse through websites, message boards, and even some chat-rooms, people may not even know we are there at all.

The opportunity to be physically invisible amplifies the feeling that we don’t have to worry about how others will look or sound when we say something.

In real life, seeing a frown, a sigh, a bored expression and many other subtle (and not so subtle) signs of disapproval or indifference can slam the breaks on what people are willing to express.

However, by posting it online in a form of a text, we get to take advantage of being ambiguous, especially if sarcasm is in our strong skill set.

By masking our intented harsh comment in sarcasm, we feel like we could let ourselves off the hook by saying that “well, it was meant to be a joke” or “no, i think you read it the wrong way”.


3. “My actions do not occur in real-time”

Most of the time, online interaction happens not in real time.

We often take minutes, hours, days or even months to reply to something online. This also means that we don’t have to deal with others immediate reaction.

Without having to deal with people’s immediate reaction, it becomes possible for us to “run away” after posting a message that is emotional or hostile.


For some of us, our online comments are a series of hit-and-run. We posted our thoughts or how we felt about something, without any censorship whatsoever, because if we choose to, we can just not come back to see if it caused any damage.

It feels safe putting it “out there” where it can be left behind.



4.“I can’t see these people, I have to guess at who they are and their intention”

In online interaction, most of the time we don’t really know how those people we interact with will think and respond to us. We can only infer those information by imagining the conversation is all taking place within our heads.


It’s as if the typed-text conversation is a dialogue between us and this character in our imagination.

In our imagination, where it’s safe, we feel free to say and do all sorts of things that we wouldn’t in reality. At that moment, reality is our imagination.

Therefore we could say all sorts of things that we wouldn’t say to others if it’s in the real world.

We could easily accuse someone as being a homewrecker, and then someone else will accuse us of being nosy and couldn’t keep to ourselves.

And then someone else will jump into the conversation saying other equally nasty things.

And the vicious cycle will continue without any of us really knew the intention behind each others’ words.


5. “This is not the real world, these are not real people”

The cyberspace can make us feel that the “character” we created online exist in a different space.

It’s as if that our username, profile and our other online images live only in a make-believe dimension along with others we meet online. We tend to split online ‘fiction’ from offline fact and separated the online world from the responsibilities of the real world.

bunda 1


Some of us who commented to this video probably think that the person within is a “character” we would never meet in person, along with all the other people within the comment section.

So it might feel fine to type “GROSS!” or “you retard!” to a persona who we thought is just a face on the internet –without a real person behind it, with exactly the same set of feelings that we have.

All the interaction happened in the page seems to only exist in a different world, the cyberspace, so we could write any kind of comment and go back to the “real life” afterwards without feeling guilty or worry about what we said online.


6.“There are no authority figures here, I can act freely”

While online, our status in the face-to-face world may not be known to others and it may not have as much impact as it does in the real  world.

Even if people do know something about our offline status and power, it may have little bearing on our online presence and influence.

The internet is engineered with no centralized control. What mostly determines our influence on others in the internet is our skill in communicating (mostly in writing), the quality of our ideas, and our technical know-how.

It looks like, even people like the First Lady is not immune from this effect, people seem to ‘ignore’ her real-life status when it comes to online comments.

Imagine saying what we commented online straight to her face. Her line of bodyguards might have stopped us even before we get to finish our first syllable.

But saying it online? That is a whole different story.

On Making A Change

“There was no miracle (moment). Good to great transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it was a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be done to create the best result. A cumulative process–step by step, action by action, decision by decision, turn by turn of a flywheel in a consistent direction–over an extended period of time, that adds upp to sustained and spectacular results.”


(Jim Collins, in his book ‘Good to Great’ summing up the interviews with good to great – companies’ executives)


#30harimenulis, Day 6

After I read some chapters from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, I reckon that life is tricky in some ways. It’s not about being stronger, taller, richer, even smarter than others. It is more than that.

Say, there are more than a thousand people applied for being under-graduate students in a nation best, most known, elite, university. The university would only accept about 50 people out of those. Of those applicants, around 60 people scored perfectly in intelligent test being held in the selection process. And how, would we choose 50 from those 60 perfectly scored people? Some people are going to be rejected, of course, but on what base?

Here, other factors apart from intelligence work. Let’s consider one little thing that most people are unaware of, the first letter in your name. Through experience, I’ve learned that this matters a lot. Some institutions, having had to deal with the situation I described above, would use a rather ‘unique’ method. A method to select some people of whose scores are equally perfect to get accepted by the first letter in their names. Unsurprisingly, in this particular method, people would get advantages from their names if they were having the first letters  from the alphabets (e.g. A, B, C,…. etc.) as the first letter in their names. Those people would likely possess bigger chances to get selected and accepted compared with those whose name are started with latter letters in the alphabets (e.g. M, N, R, S…etc), even if they have the exact same scores on the test.

Sounds like a lottery? Well maybe it is.

So sad, but true.

As I discuss this with my dad, he came up with this, “now you realised why me and your mother gave you and your sisters’ name with ‘A’ as the first letter, don’t you? We tried to give you our best to anticipate things. Though we thought you and your sisters were most likely to grow as smart girls, not the smartest, but still, smart enough to compete with others, we happened to know that being smart, or strong, or tall, or fast, or even most hard-working of all is not everything you’ll need in life. There is always chance things happen, or not happen, for some small reasons we are not aware of, we don’t understand about. You and your sisters having A as the first letter of your name is only one thing among many other little things that can influence your life events.


I feel awe, Dad. Really am.

So, I guess we have to admit that whether we like it or not, chances, opportunities, odds, or what scientists might call with ‘series of events – of which its occurence – are statistically predictable’ really does have its influences on our lives.

Or, does it?

You tell me.

– D! –

Pelajaran Dari Balik Eyeshield

“Nggak ada waktu mengharapkan hal-hal yang nggak kita miliki,

kita cuma bisa mencari jalan terbaik buat bertarung sesuai kemampuan yang kita miliki.

Buat seumur hidup kita.”

(Youichi Hiruma – Eyeshield 21)

Saya sudah pernah cerita belum ya kalau saya suka baca komik maupun manga?

Jadi, saya ini suka baca banyak komik dan manga (komik Jepang), saat ini manga yang sedang saya ikuti di antaranya adalah Eyeshield 21 (sudah tamat), One Piece, Bleach, Black Butler, Fullmetal Alchemist, Skip Beat, Happy Cafe, Yakitate Japan, Detective Conan, dan masih banyak lagi. Sebetulnya dalam melakukan kegiatan membaca komik ini saya lebih bertindak sebagai parasit, karena jujur saja, semua komik ini adalah koleksi adik terakhir saya yang ia beli dengan uangnya sendiri. Kalau dipikir-pikir, sepertinya sebetulnya adik saya itulah yang paling kaya di antara kami 3 bersaudara.

Membaca komik tidak hanya hiburan bagi saya, namun juga sumber pengetahuan dan memberi banyak pelajaran hidup buat saya. Salah satu komik yang menurut saya memiliki kata-kata yang sangat kuat pengaruhnya terhadap saya adalah Eyeshield 21 ini. Komik ini, selain memberi saya pengetahuan soal olahraga American Football (saya baru tahu dari baca komik ini bahwa Football berbeda dengan Rugby, demikian juga soal peraturan mainnya), juga memberi pelajaran bagi saya untuk tetap berusaha dengan segala sesuatu yang dimiliki sampai titik darah penghabisan.  Tim Deimon, tim tokoh utama dalam cerita ini adalah tim Football yang terdiri dari orang-orang yang  tidak jenius, tidak memiliki kemampuan fisik super, tidak kaya, dan (sebetulnya) minim fasilitas. Namun dengan berbagai cara, seiring perjalanan mereka, masing-masing anggotanya tumbuh secara natural dan menemukan potensi terkuat dalam diri masing-masing. Satu hal yang saya perhatikan adalah, dalam komik ini tergambar dengan jelas bagaimana setiap tokoh berusaha mengenali diri mereka sendiri, berjuang mati-matian untuk menemukan cara terbaik bagi mereka untuk memberikan apa yang terbaik dari diri mereka untuk kemudian berhadapan dengan orang lain dan dunia mereka, dalam rangka meraih tujuan masing-masing.

Eyeshield 21

Walaupun saya tahu komik ini tidak berdasarkan kisah nyata (yaiyalah, sulit dipercaya tim Football SMA Jepang bisa bertanding melawan tim Football SMA Amerika, negara tempat lahirnya olahraga Football itu sendiri dan berakhir dengan skor seri), namun membaca bagaimana perjuangan tim mereka yang menyadari bahwa kemampuan mereka sebetulnya terbatas tapi tetap berjuang untuk menang, bahkan sampai sisa waktu pertandingan tinggal 0 detik sekalipun, mau tidak mau membangkitkan semangat saya.

Mungkin benar, kalau kita tahu bahwa kemampuan kita dalam banyak hal jauh berada di bawah kemampuan orang lain, yang harus kita lakukan bukanlah terus-terusan membandingkan diri dengan apa yang dimiliki oleh orang tersebut. Yang harus kita lakukan ‘cuma’ harus berusaha beberapa kali lipat dibandingkan dengan orang dengan kemampuan lebih tersebut dan meraih celah dalam setiap kesempatan yang ada. Sesuatu yang masih berusaha saya terapkan sekarang ini (dengan susah payah).

Karena, bahkan pria biasa pun punya satu hak mutlak yang diberikan pada mereka.

Yaitu, hak untuk menantang pimpinan kelompoknya dalam sebuah pertarungan.

Terserah padamu, untuk hidup dengan memakai hak itu, atau hidup tanpa memakainya sekalipun”

(Youichi Hiruma – Eyeshield 21)

Anggota Deimon dan posisinya di tim

Sebetulnya tokoh utama dari komik ini adalah Sena Kobayakawa, yaitu seorang runner tercepat yang dijuluki sebagai pelari dengan kecepatan cahaya 4.2 detik. Dia juga yang menyandang gelar Eyeshield 21 itu sendiri. Tapi favorit saya adalah Hiruma Youichi, yang posisinya adalah sebagai Quarter Back yang sekaligus menjadi menara kontrol tim Deimon, karena Hiruma-lah yang mengatur hampir semua strategi dan play yang akan dilakukan dalam setiap permainannya. Cerdas, licik, manipulatif, spekulatif, optimis, dan hobinya mengintimidasi anggota tim yang lain sambil bawa-bawa senjata api. Tapi sebetulnya dia sangat peduli sama teman-temannya, dan orang yang paling tidak pernah down atau mengeluh dalam komik ini (setidak-tidaknya, dia yang paling tidak mau kelihatan ‘lemah’ diantara teman-temannya yang lain)

Youichi Hiruma

– D! –