Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stop It! Now!

I felt under the weather today, so I spent a good part of the afternoon resting on the couch and using my laptop between cat naps.  At one point I checked in to see what was going on with a couple of online forums I belong to.  The first one didn't have much, but the second one (which I joined not too long ago) was more interesting.  In this group some of the members of the group seem to go way back and have 'history' with each other.  Occasionally tempers will flare and a flame war will start.  There's never any profanity involved, but during an episode there's an awful lot of name-calling and bickering.

When I logged on to the site I found out that yesterday one person posted something outrageous. Others took the bait. The argument rapidly degenerated into personal attacks, which went back and forth multiple times and turned into a free for all.  A few members took the opportunity to hijack other unrelated posts, and those meaningful discussions were temporarily replaced by personal attacks.

Finally I got tired of all the bickering. I added my two cents to a hijacked post, asking the person who was causing most of the trouble to stop. Because I've never posted anything on this site that could be remotely construed as negative, I nervously wondered if I was adding fuel to the fire. Would my post make the person turn and attack me?

I never got a chance to find out. I hit the reply button, and my words disappeared into cyberspace, never to be found.  That's probably a good thing.

Five years ago today: Balance

16 comments:

  1. Sometimes God say "No". Don't you love it when He keeps us from putting our foot in our mouths? He does it a lot for me (and I really wish He'd do it more!)

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    1. Ha! You're right; there are no coincidences.

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  2. There's a website that I visit with a similar group who are mostly fun and positive, but occasionally they fight. I rarely comment during those times for the same reason - I don't want anyone to turn on me. It's happened before and was very unpleasant.

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    1. It sounds like you've learned your lesson :-)

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  3. wow I would stay away from something like that, being non confrontational.

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    1. Christine, I'm pretty non-confrontational, too, but my original purpose was to get things back on track. Obviously my input wasn't meant to be.

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  4. Hello Kathy, greetings and good wishes.

    Very interesting. Browsing the net often brings us face to face with people who write explosive things, calling names etc. but if we get involved in it, we will be dragged into the quagmire of confrontations. Best thing is to keep away. That will give us peace.

    Net is for enjoyment, news and fruitful discussions by which we can sharpen our knowledge and skills.However sometimes, as you have written, we come across such nasty forums.

    Best wishes

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    1. It's a balancing act. I'm not going to stay away from EVERYTHING that's out of my comfort zone, or I'll never grow. However, I'll do my part to back away from the worst of the negativity.

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  5. Sounds like a very good thing that your words got eaten.

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  6. "Attacks" are the very reason I never read replies when I've commented to a Yahoo News Story, and I put in my two cents a lot. Because people know you can't trace who they are, they don't just disagree, they like to get outrageously ugly. So I comment and move on. But I too have had times when my comment disappeared or failed to post. Like Teri, I take it as God telling me to keep my two cents to myself.

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    1. Our local newspaper had a problem with conversations about articles turning into attacks. Now you have to use a Facebook profile, which has reduced the worst of it.

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  7. Wow. This is an eye opener. I don't belong to any online forums other than blogging ones. Those have all been a positive for me. Hmmm.

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    1. Sometimes you have to take a little bad to get a lot of good. For the most part I learn a lot from this group, and (usually) look past the negativity.

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  8. I've never been part of an online forum before. I didn't know it could be so contentious.

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    1. In my experience most are pretty civil, but just like with any large group of people tempers will occasionally flare.

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