Lazy and Dozy on the Internet

Dozy (No offence to ostriches)

I love the Internet; its variety, its information, its madness, its connectivity and above all its denizens. I belong to groups, lists and forums, many of them inside Facebook, some on Twitter, some on email. After being on Twitter since 2009 and Facebook since 2011, I’ve sifted out  amusing people, good contacts, reliable sources of information. These are continuing pleasures.

But ever more, I’m starting to see two particular denizens growing in number – Lazy and Dozy.

Dozy can be forgiven to an extent; perhaps they’re new to the ever more complex Internet, they aren’t a frequent visitor, they’re time-strapped, they’re not a geek, just a normal person. But I’d suggest they pay attention to other people’s contributions first and try lurking a little before butting in or leaping in with inane questions or irrelevant points.

Dozy doesn’t read preceding threads where the answer to their question may lie, or where somebody has already made the point in an informed way. Dozy often quotes headlines from the Daily Fail, the Daily Distress or the Dumb newspapers or bogus Facebook groups or blogs. They don’t check where the info comes from, they don’t think what impact their post or comment may have – confusion, hurt, even panic. And in the viral age, their misinformation can spread faster than the old-fashioned wildfire. And they can be the naive unwitting spreader of ‘alternative facts’.

Lazy (No offence to seals)

Now, Lazy is extremely annoying; they can’t be arsed to look up the simplest thing. Not only do they not read previous threads/conversations, they think their question or comment is so important that other people don’t have anything else to do but answer it. A classic: “Does anybody know the address of the Kent County Council?” My reply (if can be arsed to make one): “Google Kent County Council”.

Other manifestations are not reading the files in a group or not bothering to click through to a linked site or blog and read it themselves. I’ve posted blogposts on Roman life or history in appropriate Facebook groups and commenters have made a point or written a comment that exactly duplicates what I’ve written in that linked post. I’ve pointed it out and received the reply as a follow-up comment “Oh, I don’t bother reading blog posts these days.” as if it was a virtue. No, they are just content to make (sometimes fatuous) comments or they consider themselves too important to descend to reading the blog post.

Oh, and have I mentioned spelling and punctuation? “i really lik the dahvinchy code caus itsreallymisterious.” (Genuine!)
I hesitate here because I am a rubbish typist, but at least I review before I post or I go back and edit it as soon as I notice (or somebody else does!).

Neither Dozy nor Lazy thinks before they type. Neither takes responsibility for what they post.

Now, everybody is 100% entitled to their point of view and has a right to comment. I take that as written. Reacting quickly is part of the fun of the Internet, especially on Twitter and the odd typo is forgiven. But nobody has the right to be Lazy or Dozy. In the end, they will embarrass themselves and look useless to others, but sometimes not before they have annoyed, mis-informed or hurt others.

How to avoid being Lazy or Dozy

  • Read the thread/previous comments
  • Be original
  • Quote your source and make sure it’s credible
  • Click through to the linked blogpost before commenting
  • Use Google for easy questions
  • Check the ‘About’ section, the pinned post and the Files section in a group first
  • Use humour appropriately
  • Make your headline enticing but not clickbait-y
  • Learn from what others say

(Yes, I’ve used the neutral ‘they’; Lazy and Dozy are found in all genders.)

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO. A Roma Nova novella, CARINA, is published 23 November 2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, FREE as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter

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