Did you ever notice that people tend toward two ways of thinking in the area of interacting with groups?
Whether it’s driving, cleaning up a common kitchen area, or the internet, people have an idea that being in a group either gives them greater freedom or greater responsibility. Driving down the road, one thinks, “I don’t know that guy and what are the chances I’ll meet him anywhere?” in the kitchen, “this mess doesn’t have my name on it — someone else will clean it up,” and on the internet, “if I get one person to respond, it will be worth all the irritation to the rest for whom it is noise.”
The other group of course, says to one degree or another, “I am a member of this group, and I have an obligation to treat others as I would like to be treated — I’ll let the guy go before me, clean up the mess, and not waste people’s time for my own minimal gains.”
I wonder if human nature has changed, or if we’re just in groups more often than we used to be…