In almost every chatroom, one individual is quickly and informally identified as the “slowest” member of the community. This is individual is commonly referred to as the “KoC.” The origin of the term is unclear. It may be derived from a psychological term. It may be an acronym. In any event, its use has become more prevalent over the past few years.
Many in the chatroom are tolerant and spend a good portion of the chat each day explaining relatively simple concepts to the KoC. Others are less tolerant of the amount of time required to provide “remedial chat” since it detracts from the flow of conversation, i.e. “dumbs down” the chat.
An interesting aspect of this situation is the KoC will usually not recognize the mocking and insults of the less tolerant chatters. If recognized, the KoC will dismiss criticism as a function something other than his/her own individual characteristics, e.g. people are exhibiting racism, sexism, and/or elitism toward him/her.
Similarly, the situation is complicated because the KoC is usually unaware of his/her shortcomings and pretends to be more intellectually skilled and/or educated than is actually the case. This is obvious to all in the chatroom except the KoC. One implication is frequently the domination of the conversation by the KoC. Often, the quality of the conversation and attendance of the chatroom suffers as a result.
In spite or because of his/her limitations, the KoC is often opinionated. The KoC will often adopt bizarre position on issues such as defending or minimizing rape, pedophilia, and animal cruelty. On it’s face, this appears to be an attention getting mechanism but familiarity with a KoC reveals, these positions are sincerely held and are more likely the result of substantial intellectual deficits and associated deficits in social skills and language. However, the unevenness of development across areas suggests an acute event, e.g. brain injury, rather than garden-variety mental retardation.
Since these problems (disabilities) are readily apparent to the chat group, members are often sympathetic, even when the KoC remarks, other members of the group are “boring.” This pity sometimes results in members defending the KoC even when he/she adopts significantly maladjusted and ridiculous position such as “sex is gross.” However, some members can not help involuntarily spitting on the screen when encountering such odd notions expressed by an adult.
The author believes a KoC should be gently counseled into joining more appropriate chatrooms. However, the author also recognizes, chatrooms are usually not designed to provide the therapy and remedial assistance that would benefit a KoC. In addition, a more “intellectually appropriate” chatroom may needlessly expose young children to a possibly dangerous individual.
Please use the “Comment” feature provided if you have experiences with a KoC.
“I started chatting in a legal topics room yesterday and encountered a male KoC claiming “sex is gross.” I thought I’d die laughing.”
“They called him “Sixty second man?”
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