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January 07, 2006



I tend to just assume people like that are stupid, but that's not very productive, either, is it? ;)

You ask a lot of good questions. I don't have any good answers, unfortunately!


I think it's more important to be happy. I'd take happy over "wise" or "right" anytime. Allowing others their disparate opinions keeps me happy. And them too, I daresay.


I'd almost forgotten about message board culture. Back in the day, when I posted so much, I made a conscious decsion not to feed the trolls (those who post for the sole reason of causing dissention among members) or to fan the flames (flamers being drive by posters who leave inflamatory posts that tick EVERYONE off.) Instead, I would only engage regular posters, and debate only when I thought it was truly for the exchange of ideas, and not an overbearing loudmouth cramming their agenda at the rest of the group. I did on occasion, use the 'gift". I have an ability to make a post that shuts everyone up, immidiately. A real thread killer. It is to be used when negative energy and bad karma seeps and oozes into very discussion.


As to the "why do we do it" question. People get stupid on the internet. They use the veil of anonymity to be rude, and act in ways they never would in real life. I used to love message boards because it's such a great way to share a lot of information. It's like networking in overdrive. But.. as you know, people get territorial, and chase off new members, and there are always members who refuse to even consider a new idea. (a person whose name begins with "S" comes to mind) Before long, exchange of ideas becomes battle, and the discussions stop - replaced by quoted articles that support their side, and the other members quoting back, and it gets all angry and ugly.

I'll play armchair psychologist and make this guess. People (women especially) spend their days feeling undervalued, unappreciated, unheard. The boards give them an outlet. They can say the rude things they wish they could say to their boss or husband. they can vent anger at faceless strangers, because if you don't see the person's hurt, I guess it makes it okay. For some, it's a chance to say "look at me, look at me!! I'm so smart!!" You know, stuff like that. For me, when I was an avid poster, I was the mom of toddler twins. I longed for adult interaction. I took it in the form of message boards, and it worked. I was happy just to be myself, share the information I had from my years of working L&D and my limited knowledge of parenting twins. And, I admit, what I hate most in this world is stupid ignorant people,and when I encountered them, I wouldp oint blank point out that whatever delusion they were living with was wrong. Not usually ugly, but I would put it out there, mainly for the sake of their babies.. but I think i would do that in real life too.

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