As I spend every night online, mostly on HubPages, but also on other forum sites, I realise that there are few nights which go by without reading the many entertaining arguments between people. Years ago, before I was connected to the Net, I could go many months without having an argument or even witnessing one. Yet there seems to be something about the Net which encourages people to argue. Sometimes these arguments are about the big questions of religion and politics, but sometimes they are over the most trivial subjects.
Having become a part of such arguments, much against my better judgement, I have realised that it is all entirely pointless and an unpleasant experience. I have also realised how peaceful life was when evening entertainment consisted of watching Dallas or Dynasty. Watching JR or Alexis Carrington fight was much more fun than taking part in online arguments with people I don't know, on the other side of the world. Surely the Net was created for better things than this.
I wondered if others get involved in these arguments because they enjoy them, or feel drawn into them, and that they have to say something, when they read something which they strongly disagree with.
Yes to the latter reason (the need to say something when there's something I strongly disagree with).
I am trying so hard to become more tolerant, however, after reading some of my forum posts earlier today you would probably doubt that. When I first left school at the age of 16, with a few "O" levels under my belt (I know this is showing my age) I became a trainee hairdresser, I was told to avoid at all costs any discussion that involved politics, sex, religion or sexuality, as these topics were personal, controversial and could, at some point, incite a riot.
I'm afraid that internet forums often invite discussion regarding these issues, and almost always involve a "scrap" I often begin such discussions by trying to understand another's point of view, then end up arguing about something completely unrelated to the topic at hand. Then, end up leaving the room quietly, or by stating that I will agree to disagree and vowing never to enter into a discussion with a particular person again.
I agree, watching the drama unfold in the lives of others is far more entertaining then getting embroiled yourself.
I think I am becoming more tolerant, because I am learning to accept the fact that some people have views which I might find distasteful, such as racist, sexist or homophobic ones. Where I have responded in anger before, I now realise that it is a waste of time to argue the point, because it is almost impossible to change such views. As Website Examiner says, it is best to state your view once and than walk away. What is the point in becoming distressed in what is supposed to be the comfort of our own homes, by aguing with people thousands of miles away?
I know, I've already learnt to accept that some people have a very rigid, fixed way of thinking, sometimes that's a generational thing and we have to accept it. But, then there are others, who when you challenge them about the things they say, get really personal, insulting and completely unreasonable. I think that is usually because they have either a limited education or life experience, but then I don't like myself for thinking that, when I hear myself say that, it sounds pretentious, and I know I'm not.
Such arguments are mostly for people who enjoy them; hence you will recognize the same characters showing up in similar threads. Not infrequently, an inexperienced person has some grievance, overreacts, and the "community" sets them straight. Sometimes, people simply get off on the wrong foot.
One way to avoid getting caught up in arguments is to simply state one's opinion once and clearly, then walk away.
by David Bowman 15 months ago
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