Interacting online

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I’m feeling a bit down at the moment. A person I have spoken to on line has become annoyed by some of my posts. I understand why, because my thoughts are in opposition to hers, and I have probably pushed my opinion too much.

The problem is when you write something on line you have to be so careful, if you have a face to face conversation, or even a phone chat, you can hear the nuances in their voice or see the expression on their face, clearly you can’t do that in an online discussion.

What to do? I’ve apologised and said I won’t comment again. I feel it’s a shame because you should be able to have an open discussion about opinions. But nowadays things seem to escalate to arguments. When did life become so difficult? I think the problem is the Internet encourages differences of opinion, “us and them”.

I wish I had never said anything, but I don’t feel I should just agree with everything if I can see another side to the argument.

Sadly in this case I think my only option is to keep quiet and not say anything again. Plus profuse apologies.

12 thoughts on “Interacting online

  1. I think the Internet and the communication that’s evolved has changed people. I have a blogging pal who gets on my nerves very, very, very often. Sometimes I just want to tell her to “shut up.” I have actually sort of done that a couple of times. But she’s a grown up and 1) she’s not going to change, and 2) she likes disputation, and, 3) I know if we lived nearby we’d be great friends.

    Other situations involve people I love dearly in real life but who are awful on Facebook. I unfriended them. When I was asked, I just said, “I don’t want that much activity on Facebook and we have a lot of fun when we get together.”

    I’ve actually been thinking of writing a post on this topic. I just haven’t thought it through yet.

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    1. Thanks Martha. It’s the feeling that I was in the wrong that hurt. I don’t post things to upset people, but another one of my friend’s friends suggested I was being mean to her. It seems really childish and I’m not going to let it get to me. But it’s a lesson in being aware of how people think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My theory is that everyone is self-absorbed and the Internet makes that even more true. In real-life we can make eye contact and see how our friend is feeling and adjust ourselves. I dunno.

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      2. Agreed, and the temptation is to always agree to keep the peace, but sometimes you have to speak out (hopefully politely) we are going through something called brexit at the moment. Britain leaving the European Union. It has been and still is very difficult and has split families and friends. I guess its similar to politics in the USA. Why have people stopped thinking for themselves…. I sometimes dispair.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s similar to here, yeah, I think so. I live in a town where people with my political bent just keep quiet because we all like and need each other. It’s old-fashioned, but it works. Online, though. Oh my. 😦

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  2. I have experienced a few testy moments with some people on facebook. Once I was contributing to an online gardening group, one woman didnt agree with my comment and abused me so I removed myself from the group. A friend on facebook had a go at me the other day just because I put up a couple of posts about Mary Poppins, she said ‘what sort of game are you playing with all this stuff’. Life is too short to put up with other people’s insensitive , inappropriate behaviour. Sometimes it is best to say nothing and ignore them. But I have needed to delete some for my own sanity. Happy Days πŸ™‚

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  3. I’ve run into this kind of issue a few times, especially on Reddit where the audience seems to be generally less thoughtful and less mature than here on WordPress. I think what helps me sort it out in my own head is knowing what is my responsibility and what is there’s.

    Generally I feel that I can write mostly what I want so long as I’m not inciting violence or illegality. I also hold myself responsible enough to be truthful in my accounts of things and expressions of thoughts and feelings but that because of my own values rather than something society requires of me. Lastly I try to avoid making generalisations about groups of people but again this is my choice. So once I’ve done that with a post I don’t feel bad about what I’ve written and if people get upset or annoyed about it and want to argue or spout nastiness in my direction I ignore it or politely tell them I don’t agree. I don’t have any responsibility to only write stuff that everyone likes. If others choose to try to force me into retracting things or changing my mind that’s their problem, not mine. It helps. I used to get really upset about this stuff but I’m not now. I just taught myself to recognise when someone is being a bit silly about something and ignore it.

    On Reddit I wrote a polite but critical review of the film “Ready Player One” mainly because the movie people changed so much of the story from the book which I loved. I got hammered by people on that forum for disliking the film. They were violently and hatefully rude and vicious about it, just because I didn’t like a film and they did. They said I was a Spielberg hater, which I wasn’t, I own copies of most of his films. They said I was anti-nerd which is insane because I am a certified nerd myself. I considered removing my comment but I read it through and it was polite, true to how I felt and generally decent so I let it stand and just accepted that (a) some people would disagree and (b) of those who disagreed there would be some who didn’t have the maturity to agree to differ or explain their different point of view politely without attacking or making things up.

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