If you've never seen someone "flame" another on the web, then you've never read comments. Whether it is You-tube, Facebook, or some random forum, there will always be people who like to talk smack. The phenomenon is not unlike road rage. Put a normally unassuming person behind the wheel of a car and we can sometimes see a cross between a Tony Stewart wannabe and Norman Bates' lost sibling. On the web, a person at a keyboard can start out surfing quite gingerly through pages, but as soon as they hit one with which they have a disagreement, WHAM! They become Surf Demon- the spawn of evil incarnated through a modem.
Whenever I read comments, I can usually ascertain the age of the one posting by how they choose to be a jerk. Young teenage boys usually call each other "faggot" or infer that in some way the other person is gay. Older teenagers and men in their twenties will usually make some comment that is at least related to the actual material. They will be insulting, but they try to disguise their own arrogant disdain by using the guise of helpful criticism. If that fails, then they will show their true nature by slamming another person with various colorful put-downs.
Women usually don't "flame" on the net. Instead, they nest as gatekeepers of their kingdoms. The boys and man-boys chase the queens whilst the ladies keep them at bay, but offer them hope. This works until one female gatekeeper has an unpleasant encounter with another gatekeeper. Then an all out war begins. Each one indicates to their subjected servants why the other gatekeeper is a horrible human being while they, themselves, are victims. This splits their followers into groups and causes an inevitable breakdown in the overall enjoyment of the said blog, chatroom, game, etc.
What I find most fascinating is the way people rage against others on their blogs. In order to get at the other person, they will write angry passages in hopes that the other person will read it and be effectively "told off." It is as if the blogs and Facebook posts are encrypted messages of anger and bitterness.
I question the effectiveness of this passive-aggressive form of communication. Not only does it drag in innocent bystanders, but it creates a negativity that surrounds the poster's communications. Soon, people will stop reading the words of one who chooses to spew venom through posts. Once that happens, the writer who chooses to "flame" will be left producing a "maniacal monologue by a moron to myself."
"Flaming" on the web is a sign of deep anger and bitterness. If you ever find yourself wanting to "get at" someone, dig into your heart and find the real source of the pain.