HubPages discussions meeting loneliness needs

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  1. jonnycomelately profile image81
    jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years ago

    There are several forums going on right now on the topic of religion, belief in god, etc.
    With all the intense and often heated discussions going on in this Hub, I'm wondering about the importance of the forum as a meeting place for lonely people.   I am one of these, although some of you might not have realised it.
    Then when I see certain individuals seemingly spending much of the 24 hours sitting at their computer; then they give opinions which are obviously strongly in to some religion or philosophy;  then the heated argument might be so forceful that the lonely person venturing onto the forum gets "put down" and maybe frightened off.  It would be sad if this happens.
    With my own attitudes sometimes, and the attitude of others, I wonder if we need to be aware of this and just be careful.
    Of course not one of us is entitled to limit free speech, and each of us is responsible, ultimately, for our own welfare.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You know, I see what you're saying here, jonny.  For me, the key was to sit back and just read for a bit before actually venturing into a discussion.  It allowed me to get to know the participants a bit, and determine which ones I felt comfortable interacting with.  When I responded to a particular person, and someone else jumped on me, I was ... not necessarily ready for it, but at least not so much in a position where I might have taken it personally, since I'd seen the way that the individual communicated with others.  Eventually, I found my groove. 

      Believe it or not, there were some folks in this forum that I wanted to punch in the eye when I first showed up.  smile  Thankfully, the internet doesn't allow for such action.  After a while, those people began to interact with me the same way I interacted with them, which was as respectfully as I could.  Now, I'd even say that I'm friendly with some folks who really did not like me at all in the beginning. 

      Also, while I'm not one for 'cliques' of any sort, sometimes, we do find folks in the forum who, while they might not agree with what we have to say, are kind and respectful to us, and often willing to point out to others when they're being less so with other forum participants.  In short, you'll often make acquaintance with folks in the forum who will 'have your back.'

      I love to see you here, and I love that you've become more vocal over time.  Many others feel the same way.  You're kindness and gentleness speaks to many and even though all we see here is black and white words on a computer screen, personalities eventually shine through to those of us who are willing to see beyond the text.

      Don't go anywhere.  We'd be sad!

      1. profile image0
        Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        For me personally, I read all of the discussions before I responded so that I could get a feel for what (or rather who) I was dealing with. I'm glad I joined because this community is so much more stimulating than facebook or twitter. I also met a lot of cool people who I respect as people even if we may not agree to everything.
        Jonny if you left, I'd be upset too. You are one of the coolest people I've ever met.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          The problem, I think, is that people get so passionate and then lose all sense of propriety because the internet makes for such anonymity.  Yes, it looks like black and white text.  There's a person behind those words.

          1. profile image0
            Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            And I can agree with that. Internet tough guys...LOL

      2. jonnycomelately profile image81
        jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Tha's another way of looking at it, Mo....thank you.   Yes I sometimes jump in a bit too early, especially if there are pages and pages of posts that I can't or don't wish to wade through.   Then the arguments get too deep, or too informed from "scholarly sources," and I am not able to follow the discussion at all.  It is at those points I tend to switch out and off.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Most (not all, certainly) of those "scholarly sources" are a bunch of bunk.  Remember, writers can make anything sound authoritative if they try hard enough.  Unfortunately, they use that as an intimidation tactic.

    2. profile image0
      Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I don't want to seem callous or harsh, But For as much as I would hate for anyone that is seeking human contact to be run off of HP because their posts or responses draws a certain response that may be deemed negative in nature, I also would think that the two biggest forums where a specific point of view will most likely be attacked are in Religion and politics. In a community like HP (where I understand is as much of a social media platform as it is a money making opportunity) you can't jump in if you are not ready to be questioned on your beliefs.

      1. jonnycomelately profile image81
        jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, DM, there are certainly some individuals we would all like to throttle some times,  especially when there is obviously ignorant and totally biased rubbish that comes over so clearly.

        However, I just wonder if a relatively uneducated person, with poor spelling, poor grammar, and with difficulty expressing themselves, comes in with a fairly sensible point into the discussion, we need to be careful we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

        Btw, I have no intention of leaving these forums for the time being... .except I do unfollow one that has been going for over 3000 posts, where everything gets very heavy.

    3. Chris Neal profile image75
      Chris Nealposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Actually I think about that a lot. As you know, I spent most of last year taking care of my dying wife and subsequently I don't have many "real-world" friends. Plus, I have three kids, one of whom is severely special needs and that eats a lot of time. I was able to work a job for a while and the social interaction was as important as the paycheck.

      That plus I'm a religious whacko. Tends to cut down on the socializing.

  2. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    That's very sensitive of you. I never think of anyone here as lonely. I assumed we were simply killing some time. I'll attempt to keep this in mind and be a little more courteous.

    1. moonfroth profile image76
      moonfrothposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Jonny was talking about good manners, as near as I can figure.  I've responded to a lot of his Hubs and Questions and yes, he is indeed a caring, compassionate, open person.  He also has convictions, insight, and courage.  All he's saying is that argumentative emotions can run hot and high--but there always must be room for manners and RESPECT.  A lonely person, rightly or wrongly, may feel insecure and unsure.  Freedom of expression does NOT give any of us the freedom to bully or harass someone who may have exposed their vulnerability; in fact, if one of  us IS being extremely rude and ill-mannered, one of us should step in and snap them up. Civility is always in fashion.  In a heated exchange--should passion be unavoidable--we should be capable of slicing the other fellow's arguments into  piles of bloody bits with nary a harsh or unkind word--and NEVER words directed at a person.  Stick to the words, the writing, the language.  Those are the vehicles for the thought..

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yeh. I got the part about the good manners. However, your suggestion that people should be snapped up when you consider them to be rude, or out of line, appears to have been attempted. In this environment, considering the issues at hand, that action usually results in an escalation of the exact behavior patterns the OP appears to find upsetting. And that applies to both sides of the conversation. 'Rude' is subjective.

        Those who feel they have the right to 'snap up' others may be more of the problem than they consider themselves to be.

  3. darkside profile image78
    darksideposted 5 years ago

    Since the Religion sub-forum was opened it has been a place of heated debate. Many a person has been suspended or even permanently banned for not being in control of their online anger.

    It's not going to change. And I doubt it will ever be removed. Activity on a website helps with its rankings.

    The only thing to do is not rise to the bait or avoid them completely.

  4. jonnycomelately profile image81
    jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years ago

    At this stage, let me just add to the discussion with a clarification.   It's been good to have the feedback so far.

    I was primarily concerned with one or two people presenting strong christian views in the Hubs.   I got the sense that it might not be just their faith which was driving them, but a deeper need; that their discussion about their beliefs is coming from their needs to feel a sense of belonging.   

    Belonging to a church, of whatever denomination, can give a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie.  When you can say all the right things and be accepted by other members as "one of us," that can be a big antidote to loneliness.

    Extend this to the HubPages, where a person can join in a conversation, a discussion, and feel welcomed, feel kindness, feel listened to.   Even people disagreeing can bolster the sense of "I am really part of this scene."   This is partly what I have felt personally.   You people form a major part of my social life.   

    So thank you for being here.   I am not trying to direct your contributions in any discussion.... just suggesting a decorum which we might adopt.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree completely with what you just said here.  Ultimately, we all want to be part of an actual conversation.  No one enjoys being talked 'at.'  We enjoy talking together.  I tend to tune out the minute it appears as though my contributions are basically being ignored.  It may look as though people are responding to what I've said, but they're really just hammering their points home with little to no consideration for the others with whom they're conversing.

    2. profile image0
      Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Good point. This should be more about sharing ideas, expressing oneself, and everyone increasing understanding and awareness of each others differences all the while embracing similarities. Unfortunately, there are those who would seek to push their agenda so hard that they become bullies. For those people, it is sometimes necessary to cut out the cancer before it spreads. I see it so often in the threads. Toy have so many people trying to force their individual perspectives so hard that a lot of us band together to stamp it out. It has nothing to do with the person. It is the poisonous thoughts that we try to stop

    3. Disappearinghead profile image74
      Disappearingheadposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you Jonny. I have a real sense of belonging on hubpages, I left Church three years ago over doctrinal disagreements and as one who believes in universal salvation/ultimate reconciliation, I find myself pig in the middle between the evangelists who think I'm a deceived heretic and some atheists who think I'm a simpleton. However, I've found some like minded people here and others who are open to ideas outside of atheist/theist orthodoxy. That is a great comfort to me.

      Hubpages does provide a community to exercise intellectually stimulating debate that I just do not get with family members, neighbours or work colleagues. Real life is far too superficial to have the sort of conversations we have here. The anonymity is liberating because one's posts can only be judged by their content, whereas people in the real World judge our words by what they perceive us to be.

      I'm not lonely, but hubpages provides me with an outlet to exchange ideas and a place to learn form others that I wouldn't otherwise have. Just forgive my occasional bluntness, I'm actually a big softie.

      1. profile image0
        Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Well Said.

    4. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You are once again spot on jonny. There are a few people who are used to people agreeing with them, and so they expect us to agree. One thing that has intrigued me is when someone makes a claim that a miracle has happened, most, if not all the Christians never question the so called miracle. When I question them other Christians jump in and tell me these things happen all the time, but not one of them has ever supplied evidence. This is what I find fascinating and it's why I'm here, I think.

      I almost left a few months ago because it was something you said that answered on of my biggest question. It was a brilliant remark that has stuck with me and is why I always read your posts.

      There certainly are a few who show narcissistic traits and those people I attempt to stay away of, except for short comments revealing the narcissism. These people will cause harm.

      1. profile image0
        Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Good points. It is the narcissistic people that carry the poisonous thought that they are Right instead of accepting that theirs are opinions and as such as valid as any other opinion.

  5. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    You guys are starting to scare me. I suppose, one's idea of poisonous thoughts is another person's idea of cosmic probabilities.

    I appreciate the sentiment that started this discussion; however banding together and stamping out what you don't agree with, or approve of, smacks of censorship. This is a religion and philosophy forum. Emotions tend to run high at times. It would be best to look at ourselves and ensure that our emotions are not ruling our heads when we are attempting to judge what others are saying. Or, better yet, keep our own posts to the standards we espouse and let others do the same by their own standards.

    Running around and attempting to 'ride herd' will only expand the problem.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Perspective is a wonderful thing.  Like how several different folks can look at the same thing and see something totally different.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Exactly. So, what is the point of lamenting the fact that this is a fact, and wishing everyone could help ensure one perspective is given respect? Isn't that what this had boiled down to? Everyone should agree on standards of behavior, above and beyond Hub Pages guidelines and those who don't agree with the group will be 'snapped up' and accused of being poisonous?

        It sounds like a clique in the making.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I see your point. 

          I just don't think that was anyone's intent. 

          People being people, some of us do tend to jump to others' defense when we think they're being treated unfairly.  I don't necessarily think that's clique-is behavior, but I can see how it can be perceived that way.

          I don't believe anyone is advocating silencing of anyone's opinions, just a respectful attitude when sharing them.

          Ultimately, too, we're all really on our own in here.  We all stand a chance of having our opinions or statements moderated.  There isn't a one of us who has the power to silence another's voice on HP.  Even when someone is banned, their original statements aren't removed from threads.

          I get what you're saying.  It is indeed a matter of just being sensitive to others.

          1. profile image0
            Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Exactly. It is the respect factor that binds a community

          2. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            And, I am a firm advocate of being sensitive to others. No matter how many may roll an eye at that, considering the reception my posts receive in this forum. But, that is the entire point. Dissent does tend to be misinterpreted, misread and generally viewed with a negative eye. It doesn't make the dissent negative. It is merely a reflection of your perception.

            I am not a fan of anyone jumping to anyone's defense since it serves to validate the misconception and creates a pack mentality.

            1. profile image0
              Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              I am a fan of jumping to the defence of others when needed. It's what stops a school yard bully.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                And yet, we are adults here. Sometimes the person claiming to defend others is, in fact, the bully.

                I will defend anyone I believe is being victimized and/or mistreated. But, come on. These are discussions on beliefs. Who can really bully you?

                1. jonnycomelately profile image81
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  I love what you are writing... just want to say there is still a small boy inside of me.   He wants to explore still;  he wants to take risks now and then; he's sometimes strong and courageous; he's sometimes soft and tender; sometimes he wants recognition;  other times he wants to be invisible..... seen and not heard as he was taught when actually a boy.

                  Must go again now.... have a OMNI group meeting in 45 minutes... that stands for "Older Men: New Ideas!"

                  1. paradigmsearch profile image88
                    paradigmsearchposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    You and me... About time...

                  2. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Well, there's a kid inside all of us. I may be all kid, because I assumed the part of me that mirrors what you wrote is my adult side. That's a little disconcerting now that you've said that. smile

              2. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Also, I have been in a position where I could have claimed being bullied by those of opposing views. I haven't made that claim because I honestly think if someone feels that they are being victimized they should walk away. Why play the victim? Unless you want to be one.

                1. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  I don't think offering an opinion is bullying. But making threats is, and I've been threatened with harm and the law a few times. Many of us have been here a long time and I feel I've made some kind of relationship with some here even though we've never meet personally and I've seen people show little or no regard for the feeling of others. I remember on person stating there spouse just passed away and another calling them a lier. When research showed he was telling the truth the other party offered nothing but malice and demanded answers to questions. Adults can get bullied as well.

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Rad man. You were only bullied because you see it as bullying. Yes, people can be rude, inconsiderate, callous and pretty much any other word you can use to describe unkind behavior. But, bullying? I don't see how that is possible in cyberspace, unless you want to feel put upon. Why would anyone want to feel put upon?

                  2. profile image0
                    Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    I like you Rad!!

    2. profile image0
      Deepes Mindposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You obviously took what I was saying out of context. The poisonous thoughts I was referring to had nothing to do with anyone's religious views.

  6. RBJ33 profile image60
    RBJ33posted 5 years ago

    Hello folks - really good conversation here.  First of all let me add that I totally concur with all of your positive comments about jonny - good man.

    I too have encountered those "nasty" folks in various forms.  I have come to some conclusions.  One is that I believe it is much easier being nasty in writings rather than face to face.  I am convinced that some of those folks feel safe being nasty because they don't have to face you, so they go to extremes. 

    Another is that some of those folks just enjoy stirring things up.  They get "nasty" because they just enjoy the controversy. 

    Another has to do with an old belief that the toughest guy around needn't tell  you how tough he was, you just knew - meaning the "nastier" the person the less they believe in what they are preaching - they have serious doubts. 

    As far as calling them out - I was once told by my boss that I needed to learn how to tell someone to go to hell, and make them enjoy the trip.  You can sting someone with civility and manners  delivered in a gracious manner.

  7. moonfroth profile image76
    moonfrothposted 5 years ago

    Jonny -- I'm going to give it up.  This is the THIRD time I've been well into a fairly long and, I would think, quite controversial response to one of your posts. . .only to have it abruptly disappear.  I must now at least entertain the possibility that someone in Power at Hubpages doesn't like the way I think and just plain cuts me off. . . .whoops! here it comes again.  I'll try to post this,   Cheers to all.

    1. jonnycomelately profile image81
      jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      "Roger!"  Moonfroth... I copy!

      kEEP GOING, your input is always treasure.   I don't respond to every post, just like to see where things lead.

  8. Karre profile image84
    Karreposted 5 years ago

    You are right, free speech and everyone is entitled and I agree with jonnycomelately that your input is a treasure. I do however believe we should be careful for one reason, Hubpages is supposed to be a forum for intellectual stimulus and not emotional upheaval -- though that is difficult to accomplish in politics and religion. What I do when I write, and what I suggest to others is, to make sure that theories or ideas are backed by authority -- in other words, if its regarding the Bible or Quran, add what scholars are saying...not preachers, scholars. :-)  Though Hubpages is not supposed to be about opinions, it just can't help but be at times. Keeping articles scholarly allows the ability to be sensitive to every reader. This helps to keep it intellectually based and if things get too heated, it provides an "out". Another good idea is to make sure we always note our appreciation to the opinion-writer. People are too precious to attack simply because of strong opinions. The reader/commenter needs to be valued...I totally agree with your comment that we should be careful, but not at the expense of inaccuracy of whatever our article message is. And its easy to get off-track. JCL says he doesn't always comment, and that's acceptable. But sometimes a "thank you for your input" does the trick and makes you more appreciated by other commenters and allows them to answer more freely (so they do not feel ignored). Good luck and keep writing. I hope this made sense. :-)

    1. jonnycomelately profile image81
      jonnycomelatelyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Karre.

  9. erorantes profile image52
    erorantesposted 4 years ago

    Thanks God, we have a freedom of speech in this beautiful nation. The U.S. A. I try not to be alone.  I  work. I help my community. I talk to my friends and relatives. Also, I keep myself busy with hub pages . I love hub pages. I recently,  took a trip to Central America El salvador. The place is beautiful. People are friendly. There are people with jobs and some do not have work. But they all eat well. Food is good there. I am happy. I am back in the U.S.A.  I like  El Salvador to visit.  I saw some lonely people there waiting for their relatives to visit. It is good to visit people.check you will like it.

  10. bBerean profile image61
    bBereanposted 4 years ago

    "...sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone..."


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