When Jeff Pearlman, a sportswriter, wrote a recent column, he received his typical slew of hate, slurs and rude remarks on Twitter. But this time, he didn’t want to ignore it. Instead, he sought out his “online haters” in real life.
Pearlman ended up calling one of his “online haters” (one who sent him a nasty pornographic picture over Twitter) and turns out, the guy was a “meek and apologetic” college-aged student. Pearlman thought he would hate the guy but actually ended up liking him. The hater explained his actions:
“I was just trying to get a rise out of you,” he said. “You’re a known sports writer, and I thought it was cool. That’s all. I never meant for it to reach this point.”
And that shouldn’t surprise any Internet veteran. It’s crazy how some people can act over the Internet when they’re protected by mystery. They don’t know you and there’s little consequence. We’ve all seen it, hell, we’ve probably all acted out too. What I find amazing is how different things used to be before the wild west of the Internet. Pearlman says:
Well, 15 years ago, when I began my career at Sports Illustrated, everyone within the magazine’s office would receive a thick packet of that week’s letters to the editors. Some of the correspondence was positive, some negative. But few letters included words like “stupid,” “dumb” or “asinine.” Certainly no one, to my recollection, ever directed my attention to hard-core porn.
A good read from a sportswriter whom, for the record, I enjoy many a good reads.