Flowchart: The Cycle of an Internet Argument

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Arguing and the Internet go together like cheese and crackers. Whether it's a back-and-forth over favorite movies, songs, drummers, teams, players, women, men, politics--you name it--it's a phenomenon like none other when you combine passionate subjects and Internet anonymity.

In fact, Penny Arcade covered these events quite well with this little gem:

Penny Arcade
Click for uncensored version

xkcd did, too.

Now, much like the social media flowcharts from last week, there's a handy guide on Internet arguments, and the best ways to avoid them (take the high road). The chart was created by the Not Quite Wrong webcomic, which is overseen by Rosscott, Inc, the same guys who did the "So You Found Something Cool on the Internet..." flowchart that taught us how to correctly cite the content you're sharing.

Their latest creation (via Laughing Squid) teaches us what to do when the something makes you mad on the Internet. While taking the high road is the obvious, most logical suggestion, sometimes pride takes over and people just have to let their opinions be known, no matter how petty or, well, sad it makes them look.

The chart in question:

Internet Anger
Click for the full-sized version

Look familiar? If you ever taken part in any kind of flame war or Internet argument, it should. Rationale thought, at least in terms of engaging in these "discussions," leaves pretty quickly, especially when someone says your favorite (insert movie, athlete, vehicle, person here) is not as awesome as you know them to be.

From there, unless the high road is taken, it descends into a "YOUR GAY FACE DOESN'T EVEN MAKE GAY SENSE" morass. The goal is, quite clearly, to avoid getting to that point, something the creators indicate in the post that accompanies the flowchart:

I think we’ve all seen it before, the argument online that gets out of hand. Our message is simple, the minute you engage you probably should have walked away. So don’t get angry, just chill the fuck out and eat a sandwich. I mean look at Professor Internet. He seems like a smart cat. Better listen to him.

Smart words from smart people. Or, is letting the other person just how horribly incorrect they truly are really that important?

If so, perhaps the "You need help!" suggestion isn't that far from being accurate.

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