Forums on HubPages

In My Opinion

The HP Forums are a great vehicle for communicating. Just about anything you want to talk about or learn about is out there. It is a place to go if you just want to take a break, have fun, and share jokes and laughter, but it also offers a wealth of information. The topics cover pretty much everything; help with relationships, writing, technology, gardening, cooking and a host of other things. It is as diverse as the people who visit there. You get to meet people from every part of our wonderful planet where you can share ideas, beliefs and feelings.

Although I don't hang out in the forums, I do participate. The forums I am focusing on here are Politics and Religion. I have visited the political and religious forums, but I never linger long. I find that instead of it being an exchange of beliefs and a good back and forth dialogue, it appears to me to be nothing more than a place to vent, mud-sling and practice oneupmanship. It kind of reminds me of the old my dad can beat up your dad.

 

Observations

My observation of what I've seen here in the HP forums, is that the two most volatile topics seem to be politics and religion, and sometimes, relationships, just as it is in life outside of HP. It has been my view that the relationship forum can get ugly, but not as ugly as the political and religious forums. For the purpose of this hub, I am focusing on the political and religious forums.

While visiting those forums, I found that often, what is said is misconstrued. It seems every word is scrutinized and every sentence is dissected, so that the reader can then put his own twist or interpretation to it, and find that one combination of words that he feels he can attack. Quite often, things are taken out of context, which leads to arguing and/or a shouting match.

The thing that disturbs me is how vicious and demeaning people can be when it comes to politics and religion. Obviously, everyone has their own thought process and belief system about those two issues, so it is beyond my comprehension why people feel the need to insist that what they believe is right and what someone else believes is wrong. While it is good to debate these things, perhaps in the hopes of converting someone's beliefs, ultimately, a person will be left with their own beliefs. This is not to say that people can't be swayed one way or the other, they can. At the very least, it does give a person a different path to investigate if they so choose.

I'll give you an example, very simplistically. My daughter and I disagreed about the taste of yellow and white American cheese. As a child, she didn't care for the white. My argument was, they are the same, they have the same taste, they are simply different colors. Well, I was proven wrong. A friend had me put on a blindfold. He then handed me the orange slice, then the white one, and lo and behold, there was a difference in the taste. Why I could only discern the difference by being blindfolded is a mystery to me. So my daughter was right after all. I find it fascinating that one can believe something for years, only to find out much later that they were mistaken all along. Sadly, it is not that simple or that easy when it comes to religion and politics.

Now, I understand that along with similar views there are also the opposing views. I truly am not that naïve. If I were to say black and you were to say ebony, is that a reason to argue? I think not. It is a good thing to have such diversity in life, but I get the feeling that despite all the beliefs and teachings out there, that each group or individual wants everyone to think and feel the same. If that were the case, we'd be a cookie-cutter world. The Stepford Wives comes to mind. It is always a good thing to read about and hear other views on life and to engage in discussions. It is how we expand our horizons and our knowledge base. So ultimately, what a person comes to believe belongs to that person, and the rightness or wrongness of ones belief system will be discovered by that person in due time, and not by a bunch of people insisting that that person's beliefs are wrong.

In the two aforementioned forums, it seems to always come down to I'm right and you're wrong. As an old expression goes, you can take what you like and leave the rest. Why don't people get that?

In Summation

Certainly, it is healthy to disagree and sometimes, even get loud, but whatever happened to civility? Common courtesy? Respect? An open mind? Didn't our parents raise us better than that? Perhaps not, for some people. While it is true there is no escaping arguments and disagreements or even opposing thoughts, why does it have to be so denigrating? Can't folks just agree to disagree, without it turning into a bashing of ones beliefs? By no means am I suggesting that everyone needs to be nicey-nice, but why can't it be a respectful exchange of opposing thoughts?

By nature, I am not a confrontational person. Perhaps I am just too thin-skinned to be in those two arenas.. Perhaps my thoughts and views are too Pollyanna-like, but I really don't think so, but maybe, just maybe I'm wrong, and I am just a dreamer looking for Utopia.


Comments 40 comments

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

Great job. It is a little intimidating to join in some of the forums due to constant bickering going on. Thanks for hubbing about it.


the pink umbrella profile image

the pink umbrella 6 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

This was awesome. ive been hanging out in the forums alot lately, and i am ashamed to admit ive gotten caught up in the arguments. But this video mae me laugh, and realize i shouldnt take myself too seriously.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

trish I delve into those forums once in a great while myself and you are right that the forums are not a place for the faint of heart. I do not hang out there as much lately as the nastiness that pervades from them is just not enjoyable. But it is hard to stay on an even keel in the times we currently live in. The anger of people is palpable and the forums reflect society at large. That being said I usually drop by the entertainment forums so I can keep my sense of humor.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi Joni,

Yes sometimes it is intimidating. On the few occasions where I put my two cents in, my comments were always glossed over because they were too busy with the arguing to even notice other people had things to say.

Thanks for stopping by.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi pink umbrella,

Taking ones self seriously is not a bad thing, because if we don't take ourselves seriously, who will? I think what bothers me most is the wrong/right, black/white thinking that goes on in the forums.

Glad you enjoyed the video. I love George Carlin :)

Thanks for stopping by.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi Tony,

You're right about society being off kilter. I didn't think of that aspect when I wrote this. I believe a lot of the angst and bitterness I see is born of frustration with the state of our country and the world as a whole. I suppose those two forums give people the freedom to speak their minds, to vent without getting physical, which, in that sense, is a good thing. Perhaps I'm just too appalled at how people handle themselves, even for the sake of venting. There seems to be a core of meanness that pervades those topics.

Glad you stopped by and thanks for sharing a different perspective :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Hi Trish - it isn't just on HP but you find it on so many forums and what's sad is that very often the older ones who should know better are usually the most offensive and the most pompous. Is it because the virtual world tears away the veil of civility and lets you vent with no holds barred? Or is it because there's so much frustration that the anonymity of the net just makes it all spill out? And you're right, the meanness is disconcerting!

Great hub, Trish!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Shalini,

You're right, I'm sure this happens all over the internet. I used to see it when I hung out in chatrooms as well, people always arguing about something. I am sure that the anonymity has a lot to do with it, the same as it plays a role in the dating sites. I would love to think there is more good than bad in the world, but when I see this behavior, and of course, see and hear the news, the world is in a fragile state of affairs, which is really nothing new. It's just more frightening with the modern technology.

Thanks so much for stopping by, it's always nice to see you.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

There's such a juvenile aspect to the posturing that goes on in this Internet venue called a "forum". It reminds me of high school. Although it may be important to have your facts lined up for a discussion or an argument, it's more important to be top dog, at any cost, at anyone's expense.

Mature folks ought to know better, but maybe there's a thread of anger or hostility that never goes away, and the anonymity of the Internet is the perfect place to play it out.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

I agree. He who shouts the loudest or gets the last word in is the winner. NOT.

You're right, it is juvenile behavior, and the anonymity of the internet allows people to get away with all sorts of things. I remember hanging out in the chatrooms, and if you cared to, you could create your own room. By doing that, you then became the gatekeeper. Anyone you found to be rude or obnoxious, all you had to do was click on their name, and poof! they went away :)

Too bad the forums don't have such a feature.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

You're right.. it seems like everybody gets way too worked up for any real meeting of the minds in there.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi Carolina,

Yes, and you're right. I mean, it's ok to argue, it really is, but as with many arguments, it turns personal and ugly and often strays away from the topic at hand. I choose to sit here and be happy. More drama I don't need :)

Thanks as always for stopping by, always nice to see you.


britneydavidson profile image

britneydavidson 6 years ago from united kingdom

yes i agree with your statement - "HP Forums are a great vehicle for communicating" also thanks for nice video.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi britneydavidson,

I think of the forums here as quite a cut above ordinary chatrooms :)

Glad you stopped by and thanks for commenting.


David 470 profile image

David 470 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

I think the forums are pretty good I just wish somehow hubpages informed you when someone replies cause it can get confusing. Sort of like when you get comments and it will tell you.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi David 470,

Oh, I think the forums are great as well, overall. The issue I have is simply the bad behavior that I see in political and religious forums.

When you select forums, there is a tab that says 'your'. Just click on that and it shows you all the forums you participated in, so you just need to check back periodiocally to see if you were replied to. I agree though, sometimes it's hard to tell, especially when the responder doesn't address you by name.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hey Trish, I appreciate your well written look at a sensitive subject. Isn't it interesting that the two subjects we are taught not to argue about occupy an overwhelming portion of HP forum interchange? I think the rudeness comes from the commenter's own personal issues rather than the topic--maybe we should have a rant and vent forum for those who just need to take out their frustrations on others who don't mind and are doing the same thing and afterwards they all shake hands and thank each other for the punching match. That way they could visit the politics and religion forums and leave their boxing gloves at home. =:)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi there Winsome!

I'm sitting here chuckling. I love your idea! I can imagine the first person into the boxing ring (which, by the way, would be a great name for it) saying to someone, your momma wears army boots LOL. It would be quite interesting since there is no end to the amount of topics or peeves that would get trashed. The reasons to go there are many, a bad day at work, the cat pooped on your bed, the car wouldn't start, the wife or hubby won't give it up LOL. And the list goes on. I have an idea, how about you open up the thread for it? :)

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on my hub.


hubpageswriter 6 years ago

I've never really been interacting the forums at all. Maybe I should head on over to take a look.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi hubpageswriter,

Well, I can tell you there is something for everyone in the forums, whether you want to learn, get help or just get to meet other hubbers. Overall, it's a nice feature of HP.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Hi, Trish. I am with you in this.

I decided to skip on religion and belief forum. Not good for my heart. :(


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi Freya,

I'm sure many feel like you do, I being one of them. It's just too mean-spirited for my liking, and it's really a shame. I don't know what's become of open-mindedness.

Thanks so much for commenting.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

Like you Trish, I pop in and out of forums. I am disappointed in the direction of many people when expressing their opinion, those famous and average on the ground folks alike. It seems we humans forget our humanity when talking for or against something. Often, I'm really glad no one has a weapon in their hand.

Recently, I was at a Senior center here in town, eating lunch and mixing (as is part of my job, now...not because of my age you understand, ahem...) and listening to a man speak against our President. He was repeating Fox News verbatim, his "right" of course. I didn't hear one orginal thought, tho, nor one reason or fact. Just a lot of emotion.

Finally, I spoke up, knowing I was going to get butchered. After saying two sentences about "...how much our president, in my opinion, had accomplished, and No, he was not a muslim and if he were, what of it?" the man sputtered and slammed his plate down, got up, walked off, and hasn't spoken to me since.

I just wonder where and when we lost respect for differences? When did one side think they had the only right of voice? And, when did we decide it was ok to burn books that matter to one group, and not care if it costs lives in todays world?

My parents were "political" people. Topics were hot in the 60's...I remember riots, etc. Must we repeat history? To over-simplify, "can't we all just get along?"

The older I get, the less I understand sometimes...


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,

I certainly hear what you're saying. It certainly is a scary thought to think about people toting guns. I read a story just before signing in here about a man in KY who killed his wife, her daughter, three neighbors and himself, all because his wife didn't make his breakfast the way he liked it. Sadly, violence is found in all age groups, children included as witnessed by all the shooting rampages in schools.

I don't think our world will ever be peaceful. There is no such thing as Utopia. Most of us are simply mere mortals trying to do and say the right things in hopes of making our world a better place, but it seems in the end, violence wins out.

as far as your current job, you can't fool me Marisue. I know your avatar is an old picture and you are really up there in age LOL. Just kiddin! Keep on fighting the good fight. It's people like yhou and I who continue to believe in the goodness of people even though we tend to be proven wrong time and time again.

Thanks so much for commenting, and btw, I'm so glad you're back here on HP :)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks so much Trish for writing about the forums. I have heard about the forums but have never gone on this before. I guess I'm not into all that mud slinging. I really like reading hubbers story here and commenting and I like that they are mostly supportive and not argumentative. We are all adults and we should all know by now that we all have our own beliefs. That is what makes life great and exciting. I feel that the fighters that want to make sure you know your wrong are just insecure. I appreciate you writing about this and have heard of these issues on other hubs. :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Minnesota Twin,

I'm with you. I don't need the mud-slinging of that nature in my life. If I feel the need to get down and dirty, I'll take my granddaughter outside and we can make mudpies :)

I also agree with you that the ones doing the slinging are probably insecure, and go into the forums swinging to make themselves feel important, or something.

Thanks so much for commenting.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

I don't go into the forums anymore. Too much negativity.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I took a long break from the forums. I'm back now but not going anywhere near the religion or politics forums.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Lady Guinevere,

I'm glad to hear it. Nobody needs negativity in their life, and especially don't need to go looking for it, however, I feel some people actually enjoy all of the mud slinging that goes on in those volatile forums. I believe, for some, it's the only way they know to feel a part of something.

I appreciate your comment, thanks for stopping by.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Uninvited Writer,

Nice to see you back, and very glad to hear you'll be avoiding politics and religion. On the very intermittent visits I make to the forums, it's been my experience that no matter which forum or what topic I'm commenting on, when I go back, not one person addresses my comment, they just keep on joking back and forth with the people they seem to know. I gave up :) Which is not to say I won't venture out there and leave a comment, but it will be few and far between.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Very nice hubs. I have two hubs I consider terrible that I wrote. They are rated as two of my best. They are about the forum or commenting. You've created a much better hub than mine that relate to your hub. Buttons up! George Carlin is so CORRECT! God bless.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Micky!

Nice to see you! Thanks for the compliment. I love George Carlin. He makes a whole lot of sense to me as he cuts right to the chase :)

Thanks for commenting and happy holidays.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

This is why they say never discuss religion or politics :)

But I think that forums should be better moderated, if nastiness is allowed to go unchecked.

It really is not like that on every 'Religion' Internet forum ~ maybe most, but not all.

Debates will, though, get heated ~ even if they remain relatively polite. That is the nature of the subjects. They mean a lot to people ~ and people are usually convinced that they are right.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Trish,

Yes, I hear that said all the time. I do agree that debates get heated, which is why I choose to stay clear. I don't need to convince other people that what I happen to believe is correct. My beliefs work for me and if someone happens to either agree or disagree, that's good enough. It's the nastiness you mention that really turns me off, not the fact that someone else thinks differently than I do.

Thanks so much for commenting.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

Good Read!I appreciate the time you put into this.Voted UP.and now a follower.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Don,

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate the up vote and you're choosing to follow me. I've been pretty lax of late in writing anything new, but have made a concerted effort to comment on some hubs. Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things soon.

Thanks again!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

trish1048,

I love HubPages but the forums are hard for me to navigate - I just cringe. I wish I could filter the rough stuff and all the subjects I wish to not even see.

I agree there are more similarities than differences and often we simply do not listen - we are right!

I am addicted to HubPages and love reading and commenting but the Forums are trying for me. I ask questions and the conversation seems jumbled, I read through the questions and answers and it is such a mash of information it is often hard to decipher.

Enjoyed your viewpoint very much!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi GmaGoldie,

I so appreciate your comment, and I agree that the forums are quite a lot to take in. I find that what happens with me is that I'll get involved in a discussion that I'm interested in, then go off to the hubs. It takes a conscious effort on my part to go back to continue following the conversation, and usually by the time I get around to it, it's gone away or changed direction.

I too love HP, and I hope you just keep trying in the forums. One thing I remind myself is that the forums are the best place to be to get yourself noticed.

Thanks for commenting and welcome to HP.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Hi Trish! I so agree. I have been to the forums too, but, just like you, I feel like when I try to add something constructive, it is shot down. I guess since we are not face to face, some feel comfortable about being rude. I go check in every once in awhile, but I don't linger too long.

Great Hub! :-)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi sholland,

I totally agree with you also. The few times I bothered to linger, my comments were not acknowledged. It seemed that a few people had been having a back and forth and could care less what someone else wanted to say. They simply talked over any new or different comment. Oh well, to each his own I say.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

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