I've been an editor in the high-tech field for more than 15 years. When I first started in this field, I came over from working in more industrial areas. My first impression of the people in this industry was that they were so very nice and courteous. Everyone seemed to be part of a great fraternity of people who really cared about electronics, making things work better, and about each other. I went to the IMS2011 show in June, and was reminded of this feeling of congeniality.
Over the past few weeks, however, I have observed a number of occurrences that have surprised and disappointed me. It seems that, perhaps, a growing number of people have lost that sense of courtesy. For example, a reader insulted me after I posted a blog on Boosting Brain Power. Then, another reader insulted a student at Stanford University in this post. Happily, other readers have gracefully entered the discussion to encourage constructive debate. My colleague Max Maxfield got a taste of the same with his blog. These are just a few examples of the types of "snipey" things I have noticed very recently, and they are coming to us through comments and emails.
So, I have to ask... what do you think? Is it this anonymous medium of screen names and gmail that is encouraging people to drop the bounds of professionalism and courtesy? Or, is the industry becoming so cut-throat in this down economy that agendas need to be pursued at all costs? Or is there some other kind of change afoot? Please use the comments section to weigh in, and, dare I say it, please engage in professional and courteous debate....In the meantime, I will leave you with a quote: "When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible," Mohandas Gandhi.