The Computer Lab Culture: Over Modesty

26 September 2021 | Duanyll | Tags: 废话

The most-frequently-heard words in a computer lab filled with Informatics Olympiad contestants (oier in short), or what they usually text online, may be “orz,” “tql,” or “%%%.” These words mean abasing oneself, showing one’s modesty, as well as admiring others. In most cases, people consider modesty as a virtue. However, if someone abuses those words for daily greetings, regardless of the context, other people may feel confused, or even uncomfortable. This is the over-modesty culture in the computer lab, or “faking” in oiers’ word.

The over-modest culture originated from a careless joke, and then got widespread through the internet. There are serval reasons, both optimistic and pessimistic, for an oier to become over-modest.

When someone takes his first step into a higher field, facing unknown people and challenges, he naturally tends to show his modesty. For example, attaining the first prize in a provincial contest is already an incredible achievement in common people’s perspective. But when the first prize owner puts his eye on further events, such as the national contest, he will discover his insignificance facing a much broader range of knowledge. Therefore, he becomes modest with the enthusiasm of learning more.

Others may explain that they show their modesty in case of an unexpected failure. Getting low points in a contest is possible for anyone. These people hold the view that if they keep lowering themselves and admiring others, they will not feel awkward when failure really occurs.

Despite those reasons, over-modesty can be a drawback of a person. On one hand, “you can beat me with your single hand” can be interpreted as a sign of hypocrisy when spoken by a high achiever. On the other hand, the frequently use of self-abasing phrases breaks one’s confidence, especially for those in trouble.

Furthermore, over-modesty does harm to the community. There are individuals who simply imitate others, to quickly intergrade themselves into the community. Over-modesty cannot promote the integration, however. In the contrary, it prevents them from boldly seeking help. Therefore, over-modesty not only hinders their path of growth, but also destroys the atmosphere of discussing. Besides, the abuse of modesty also contributes to the bias others hold against the oier community. It strengthens the stereotype that oiers are bad at communicating, which is not virtually true for everyone.

In conclusion, over-modesty is an extensively existed but harmful convention in computer labs among oiers. To create a more collaborative atmosphere, all the community members should avoid using these over-modest phrases, especially when speaking with novice.