Tag Archives: facebook

How I Stay Away From Internet / Online Drama

If you’re online long enough whether via blogs, Facebook, forums etc..,it’s very easy to get caught up in some sort of drama.  A discussion can get heated.  You may start calling names even if you’d rarely do that in-person.

I’ve witnessed many of these fights/dramas over the years but so far, I’ve been able to stay neutral and not get involved.   The only recent time I remember getting a little annoyed was on a personal finance blog. The main argument was that you shouldn’t complain about getting promoted if you don’t stay late.  Since I don’t equate true productivity with a physical presence, I had to jump in and comment.  Not the wisest decision since 95% of the people agreed with the blogger.  After a little back and forth with the blogger, I can’t say I changed his mind.  However, he did agree that a lot of people make up work (useless projects, overly complicated reports that no one reads, needless charts, etc..) simply to appear busy and stay late.  He stood by the statement that you need to work late to get promotions but at least acknowledged that people who didn’t  stay late were not simply lazy or not dedicated enough!

Anyway, I don’t know if I have any special secrets but here’s how and why I stay out of drama.

1) First, I have enough stress/drama in real life. Enough said!

2) I only tend to participate in discussions if I feel like someone is open-minded or open to real discussion. Part of me really hopes I change someone’s mind on a social or political issue.  Since I have this idea in the back of my head, I also don’t tend to get angry or name-call since those methods are not persuasive.

3) I focus on the comment, not the person.  This is not a good thing per se but I often read comments without paying attention to the name of the person (unless they link to their own blog). I read Grumpy Rumblings regularly but it took me a long, long time to differentiate among various commenters and I still don’t pay attention.  Therefore, I don’t tend to notice if someone is on several of the same blogs or consistently post the same type of comments.

4) I give people the benefit of the doubt.  Sometimes I read a comment when I’m having a stressful day.  I know that my bad mood colors my reactions to certain comments.  Sometimes I’m having a bad day or very busy and hit “publish” before I really had a chance to fine-tune my argument or comment.  This can lead to over-simplification and misunderstanding.  I just assume others do the same so if their comment is a little mean-spirited that one day, I don’t take it personally.

Overall I really enjoy online discussions about a variety of interesting topics. I don’t want to stay away from a blog or forum simply because things can get heated.

Left Out

I haven’t thought at all about popularity since high school.  I was so glad to leave those days behind and move on to college, which was much more my style.  I loved meeting people from different geographic areas and eventually found my niche.   Nowadays, at work, I’m more of a loner but it’s of my own choosing.  I have work friends but I often have to run errands or unwind with a magazine or book.

As a working parent, my time is mostly devoted to work or kids.  We rarely get any couple time.  I see my family because they help with the kids.  I’m happy to get one hour of exercise per week. It’s easy to see how friends fall to the wayside.

What makes it worse though is that no one is inviting me anywhere.  I find out about casual family get-togethers a day before because everyone assumes I can’t make it on the weekends.  This is sort of true but it’s a strange assumption because I’m not always saying I’m busy or tired and I didn’t start turning down invites; the invites just stopped coming. 

I should be glad because it spares me from having to make excuses.  However, I would have liked to join in on some events if only I had been given more notice.

Of course I’m assuming that I haven’t turned into one of those annoying parents who can only talk about their genius kids.  Anyway, I should just tell people and hope that invites start coming again.  What stops me is that I will probably end up turning down 99% of invites.

This brings me to another related topic. I hate Facebook and smartphones, or rather technology’s influence on my relationships.  In pre-Facebook days, or before all my friends started using it and smartphones, I received long emails on a frequent basis.  Now most only update and post photos on Facebook so you get out of the loop if you don’t use it, too.  And instead of emails, I usually get a quick text update written on their phone.  I know it takes more time to write a separate email to that one friend when you can update all your “friends” at once, but I like to think that there are/were some things that you share with a particular friend, not everyone who liked you on Facebook.

How do you stay in touch in this tech-driven age?  Do you ever feel like you’re the last person NOT on Facebook? Or do you love Facebook and think hold-outs are out-of-touch Amish-types?