In my early days of posting in public message boards (way before avatars were commonplace) I used to be bold. I'd ask anything that was on my mind. I'd tell someone to stick it in places and ways that I'd only dream about doing in real life. Funny thing is, I'd make both cyber friends and enemies quicker than would be possible in real life.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'd never go so far as to break or even bend posted rules of the boards (not that the concept really existed way back when...or, more specifically on the boards that I was at). I'd respect those in charge but not to the point of kowtowing.
Today though, there was a series of questions I wanted to ask someone, privately, but I didn't, nor do I plan to. What in the world is going on? Ok, the questions are controversial and about a controversial POV. I pretty much know how this person feels about this specific topic, I just wanted, well, details.
So why not just ask them, point blank?
Funny thing is, I don't know this person. Sure, I've seen a few posts and she's liked a few of mine as well (this is on a board with "rep points" and comments re: said points). She seems to be witty, open-minded and intelligent but other than that I'm not sure about her.
Perhaps I've matured in my attitude towards others in cyberspace. I approach others and speak with them as I would in real life. I'll ask what questions are important to me and my world when someone is out there that may be able to answer these questions, but, if for some reason it's not immediately important that I get the question answered, I can be patient. I give time for a friendship to develop before I'll ask these same nosy questions I would have asked before.
Is that cowardice or maturity? I haven't decided yet, but until then, I'll keep the questions to myself. Well, unless it becomes information I need for a character, then I'll ask anyway.