I took a bit of a break from writing. Life is real and some of my previous editorials had some people after me. I have been running in fear of my life. The thugs The E-Thugs.
Im petrified of all these E-Thugs roaming the Internet Superhighway terrorizing everybody like they own the web or something.
If you don't know, an E-thug does all the things that a real life thug does except those actions physically violent or intimidating. Typically, they have better-than-average computer skills, particularly within the context of message boards and "keystyling." The "E" in E-Thug stands for "electronic" for the oldies reading.
The E-Thugs have landed and they can stand you down solo or with a gang of other E-Thugs. This phenomenon has progressively gotten stronger over time and as the online platforms have grown. So, the larger the audience, the harder the E-Thug.
What the E-Thug isn't so good at is face-to-face interaction and confrontation, but they can fend off just about any typist attacker with a swift movement of their fingers.
I can't lie.
I've written several of my columns and the comments and commentary of the E-Thug would make me believe that my life was in danger. Whenever I start seeing somebody typing in all caps, laced with profanity and irrational thoughts, I can only visualize a psychotic person slamming their keyboard foaming at the mouth. Like, this person has to be plotting a murder, if they only had the IP address of their victim.
I'm from an era that experienced much of life without computers, so when you had an issue, it was usually dealt with after school or face to face. Generally, the crowd would congregate as well. Or, even more fun, we would play the dozens, a right of passage where you verbally sparred with friends (or enemies) through hurtful, funny jokes. These things happen in the digital space now. If a twitter fight breaks out, people run to that page to see what is being said.
If you were a genuine thug, you could get away with pushing people around. Even those dudes would get tested from time to time. The point is, everybody knew there was some sort of bounds that they had to operate within or else you may end up writing a check you couldn't cash.
Most e-thugging is associated with the young and reckless, but that's not totally true. Recently, I have seen grown professional men e-thugging and digital gang banging on each other. Its just weird to me and also shameful. Perhaps they want attention or to make up some aggression that they lack in physical interaction offline. Men have always needed to show their masculinity in some way or another, whether its lifting weights or typing hard enough to damage their PC.
On the others side, I have seen actual thugs discover the computer and magically become E-thugs. But these dudes are generally more serious and will even give their prison number or something as a badge of authenticity. They can go back and forth, between real thug and E-Thug. But, their P.O. may not appreciate terrorist threats in real life. I dont know.
But, what I do fear happening is one of these wack job E-thugs is going to feel the need to cross over and make their gangster felt offline. Somebody is going to mess around and create the next Columbine disaster or worse. For now, they lurk under the cloak of anonymity and live "strapped" with threatening words that beg the question "What if?"
Some fun pictures. Please do not take these images personally and kill me.
Good Guy aka Everyman is a columnist on AllHipHop.com and his columns appear every Thursday or when he sends them over.
Of course his views are not necessarily that of AllHipHop.com, but secretly wish we had a big chain.