Have you come to expect rudeness and knee-jerk cynicism online?
This is my first actual post here, and I normally refrain from doing so because I tend to be wordy. Sorry about that. I didn't realize just how much I'd become accustomed to constantly being skull-cracked for asking questions on topics or posting about things people don't normally want to discuss anymore. Back in the pre-Millennial epoch, at least in America anyway, we generally took other people for what they really were - the sum total of their life's experiences. If we began talking to them for whatever reason, we would usually try to seek common ground to move the small-talk forward into deeper subjects. Trying that nowadays, especially on social media, is like constantly being hit in the face with a shovel.
After being drawn into an argument with a longtime friend of mine (30+ years) over the "Vaxx" debate, I found myself once again trying to ask questions to hopefully allow her see my side of things. As she went on to paste links to articles from sources she assumed rightly that I'd never read, it occurred to me that if I questioned her assertions any further that she'd figure out that I wasn't on the same soapbox she was. I'd heard her "side" for over two years, but when I finally dared speak up and ask about it, she acted like I'd letmy dog into her house to crap on the carpet. On FB, there is a button people can use to put you to "sleep" for a period of time so that they don't have to hear you anymore. Apparently this has been activated. Between friends of 30+ years. This happens to me quite often, and it's why I no longer converse with members of my family or high school friends. They're still on my list of friends, but they've perma-blocked me and never see any of my posts. I suppose I talked too much about the Constitution and used the J-Word a few too many times.
I'm honestly tired of the soap-boxing, the labeling and so on. I'm tired of people who see race/gender/whatever as a "uniform," and if you're not wearing it as well, you're the enemy. People hardly bother to actually debate anything anymore. What happens in online is not "debate" as I recall it. It's simply who can shout the loudest, assail each other in caps-lock and who can block each other first.
I came to view society as a kind of giant "brain" with a right and left hemisphere that should be operating as a cohesive unit with information flowing freely from side to side. Even if the two halves didn't exactly like each other, they still communicated. That's gone now. With facebook, people are too busy beating each other over the head with their 'cause du jour' to hear anyone else. I never bothered with Twitter because people are only there to insult and out-snark each other rather than listen. Plus, I can't think in short paragraphs, anyway (ha ha). The corpus callosum that once existed between people in this societal brain has been cut away by social media's outrage-machine. We've now become schizophrenic and withdrawn. The loneliness people feel in not being able to connect anymore is crushing. I've argued often that this has been done deliberately.
So do you remember the days of the pre-Millennial epoch when we could sit outside on the porch, stare up at the stars as they emerged in the evening sky and talk about all sorts of things without getting up in arms? The J-Word asked that mankind love each other, even our enemies. Imagine such a thing! I wonder why he said that? Probably because he knew THIS was coming.
I miss the old days.
Yep, I avoid in-depth "conversations" on Facebook. They always seem to devolve into some form of labeling, versus mutual respect for differences in perspective. Your approach is sound. Posing questions shifts the debate into an information sharing exercise. If all you get is vitriolic responses, then it's best to disengage.
These two ideas seem applicable here.
"Politics and religion.
Etiquette books tell us not to discuss these topics in polite company, but I say go ahead. Politics and religion are both expressions of our underlying moral psychology, and an understanding of that psychology can help to bring people together." -- Jonathan Haidt, THE RIGHTEOUS MIND: Why Good People Are Divided . . . Our culture has accepted 2 lies. 1.) If you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. 2.) To love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both of these concepts are nonsense. You do not have to compromise your personal convictions to be compassionate.
I find that the self-righteous virtue-signaling that goes along with many of those left-inspired arguments is the most irritating of all. I was having a decent friendly conversation with one of my neighbors until she started bringing up the ant-fracking group she belongs to and was trying to get me to come along, assuming that I shared all her views on the matter (which is actually pretty disrespectful if you think about it). When I told her I wasn't interested, she replied with "Don't you even CARE?!". I was so infuriated I almost turned the hose I was watering the garden with on her, but instead said as calmly as I could "It's none of your business what I care about. Right now I care about working in my garden in peace, Good day to you."
Ah the old days, who would of thought that one day we wish we could turn the time. I too, feel the same regarding old friends 20+ years that all of a sudden ( past 3 years) , they've put me on purgatory for challengine their political views. Its funny that for the longest time I didnt wven know their political beliefs because no one brought it up. We would talk about sports, girls and which club we were going to go on a Saturday night. We also used to go camping with our families and sadly, that has come to an end too. I definitely miss those times and i don't see how we will recover from this. It is sad that people that i regarded as friends were capable of this crap. I tried to reach to them and put our political differences aside but apparently I'm satan now even though im godfather to couple of their kids. Hopefully one day they wake up from this "disease" that's been going around and put their brain back to use.
I'm an anti vaxxer and I am proud of it. I have ten years of research done on my own under my belt. You are absolutely correct though, we are trying to deal with the collective conscience, it's too bad they can't see what's right in front if their faces. Dont be afraid to speak your mind.
I left FB altogether for very similar reasons. I’m hoping to find honest debate and discussion here. I have eclectic interests and enjoy delving into random thoughts and learning new facts and theories.
I’ve only been here for a day or two but it seems that this might grow into something along those lines. It’s a new platform so it’s not perfect, but then again what (or who) is?. At any rate welcome!!
Join some groups and jump in with both feet!
Being politically correct is not a talent that I possess.
Knowing what I say before I say it is the only test i put forth before letting the words out of my mouth. Sentence structure and the proper choice of words is the key to bridge building but sometimes the gap it too broad to span. In turn, I resort to candor. If the truth hurts... then maybe they aren't worth the effort requred to beat it into them and just walk away. It's not only about what you say. It's about how you say it and to whom you are saying it to my friend. Some of friends have also lost a very loyal person in their life because of there ability to ignore rational common sense. That is their problem. I'm still here, still willing to be friends but but they need to quit the BS. There is only one side to a fact and if I've stated that fact and they want to interject some skewed opinion...
it's my duty as their friend to give them the tools to investigate or not...... but stupidity is unacceptable.
Oh.... I'll help you too. The "J-word"...... is Jesus, if that pisses them off, so be it!
You may get a wee bit of sarcasm from me (Mom is from Boston) but I'll label it with a sign
Blah Blah Blah
What I'm tired of is the Puritanism
Each side (right & left) has its own version of the "Gospel truth" and anyone whe deviates even a small bit is labeled an apostate by his own people
Cynicism is the mantle covering most online conversations. The lack of face to face removes the cost of commenting without measure or pragmatic social courtesy and inhibition. This has led to an epidemic of commentary prejudice and vitriol leading to more retreat into echo chambers which foment an increased moral assurance your intellectual position is right. Therefore most conversations are rarely on a topic or policy because they devolve quickly into nefarious judgments of the antagonists character and intentions vs the merit of their idea, policy, position. It is sad and the media and infantile politicians use this same Alynski tactic with too much success thereby promoting its propagation. Glad I found this forum.
As far as society goes, I have the most invisible person of all living in my house, and yes, he pays rent— a black, male, conservative. Under 30 years of age. Employed. Has an Afro. And is wise. Doesn’t have a FB account. He and I, and from my picture you can see who I am, have a funny relationship. He went to high school with my son. These two are so far from P.C. You should hear them in public. They make the unsuspecting public so angry, on purpose. When they worked together, they would prank the new guys. But it broke the ice. I tell y’all this because the general public has lost their sense of humor but we haven’t. This makes our home fun. So much easier than the outside world. What I’m saying is, we do bridge gaps. One relationship at a time. One family at a time. But some people refuse to have open eyes. And that is their choice. On this site, I’ve gotten to read about happier folks whose eyes HAVE opened, and that is EXCITING. Thanks, IDW. I’m so glad we are able to come here.
I am new to all of this and can totally agree with you, long time friends have stop talking to me because of my point of view. Grew up in Australia in the 60's and 70's things were simple if you had a disagreement it never ended a good friendship, not now.
Richter from Aus
That’s a shame that you have to endure this nonsense my mother tought me that the ppl that are closes to can’t accept what you believe and respect your views that where never your friends or family i know that it may seem harsh but it’s been my experience that what she said is true