Common Courtesy on IRC

Author: Raven Shadowborne © 1997



Those of you who get involved in an IRC relationship with or without a collar really should keep a few things in mind.  

Many will say an IRC relationship does not affect a person in real life as deeply as the physical presence would. But I have found (through personal experience and alot of observation) that this just is not true.  

Through IRC you learn alot more about the inner workings of a person's mind and heart than you do in real life. So the bond that forms is indeed a very real one. The mind is the largest sexual organ within the body. To affect someone mentally is to affect them emotionally.  

Many times I have sat and watched a collared submissive wait for his/her dominant to show up. And the same in reverse.  Never getting word that he/she would be gone in the first place. I have talked to many and heard the hurt and anger that comes with such disregard for common courtesy. Then the missing person returns with nary an apology and the attitude of "it's just IRC" or "I forgot" or "real time comes first" 

Yes real time or your real life should ALWAYS take precedence over IRC, BUT that does not mean you can just walk away from someone you have told you love without a single word. Think for a moment: Would you like this done to you in real life? If the answer is no, then don't do it on IRC either.  

Emergencies do arise that prevent a warning of an absence but usually (in real life) a person finds a way to let their loved one know why they are absent. The same can be said for IRC. An email takes less than 5 minutes to send. An email as soon as possible can go a long way towards diffusing some anger and resentment at being ignored.  

Due to the seemingly rampant lack of common courtesy on IRC,  I feel it is a neccesity to repeat here, for those who really care about what they do and how strongly they can affect another through this medium, a few basics of behavior to prevent such an occurance.  

1: if you are going to be gone, a note, email, phone call or whatever to your other half is only a nice thing to do.  

2: If you say you are going to be there and aren't, then show up with an excuse of "I forgot" or some prepared for the anger you have earned and aware of the hurt such an action causes.  

3: Saying I'm sorry goes a long way, but it has to be heartfelt and meant...not just said to try and diffuse the anger your actions earned.  

4: Don't fall into role play..react the same way you would in real yourself.  

5: Anger can quickly lead to a huge argument, harsh words and humiliating circumstances. If you find yourself the recipient of someone's anger and truly have not earned it, close the window with a word or two about "when you calm down, we will talk". A mature person can handle that (once they get past their initial shock)  

6: If you have hurt or angered someone you said you loved, then have the respect to hear them out and accept the consequences of your actions. Do not change the subject, avoid the subject or belittle the other's feelings.  

7: If a fight does happen, remember that alot of people say things hasitly out of anger that is simply caused by the anger. To hold this against them forever is not fair. This is a real person typing at you, and most likely their hurt and anger is also real. Forgiveness is a neccesity in real life, it is also here on IRC. (Of course if you are guilty of saying something out of anger, you should be mature enough to acknowledge your mistake and say you are sorry)  

Try to remember you are dealing with a real person, and treat them with the same respect you wish to be treated with. Be careful of saying I love you and not meaning it. To many people those words bring with them expectations of behavior. Which disregarding common courtesy is not part of.  

IRC = real life with extra typing: remember that people and play nice, play fair, play real and you'll find your experiences on IRC are more meaningful and more fun than not.  





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