Tag Archives: politics

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.

The World Is Divided…

I have lots of posts in my head but work is keeping me too busy to write anything substantial, so here’s a random list….or some causes of world divides:

  • Democrat vs. Republicans — I know I’m leaving out Independents, Green Party, etc.
  • Rolling Stone or Beatles — Gen-Y or younger would deem both bands as ancient!
  • Prince vs. Michael Jackson
  • People who like to try new foods or People who don’t
  • People who like spicy foods and People who don’t like spicy foods
  • Team Edward or Team Jacob
  • Dog people vs. Cat People (not sure where horse people fall in this… and I’m not even going to include people who hate animals!)
  • Macs vs. PCs
  • People who like to travel abroad or People prefer to stay home
  • Star Wars vs. Star Trek
  • Book readers/lovers vs. Non-readers
  • Wuthering Heights vs. Jane Eyre (or neither, you prefer Jane Austen?)
  • People on Facebook or People who are not
  • People who tweet and People who don’t
  • Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera

What other opposing sides can you think of? Which “side” are you on?

June 29: Be Apathetic?

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

My husband likes to keep up with the news from the mundane to political. I, on the other hand, don’t read too much news or keep up with politics.  Except for a brief time during college and occasional donations to favorite issues, I pretty much stay out of the fray.  My “activist” energies have been re-routed to fighting health insurers and hospitals/doctor offices.  

The sad thing is that fighting injustices and keeping politically informed is NOT simple. Politics is messy and it takes a long time to make any changes, if you’re successful.  I’m amazed by people who devote time and energy on political campaigns or other politically-related issues, especially if they work at other jobs and/or have families to consider.

This isn’t a tip-oriented post exactly.  I just wonder if it’s possible to keep things simple without retreating into your own world of backyard chicken coops, vegetable gardens, and cheese-making?  The personal is political, right? At the same time, if you’re only concerned about your little corner of the world, there isn’t much hope for real progress.

Recently, I was drawn into some working parent forums and I was struck by how many parents (truthfully moms) struggle to deal with working and raising children.  In many cases, maternity leave is non-existent or too short.  Employers are often not very understanding. Co-workers resent you. You get mommy-tracked, etc… 

I’ve been fortunate that my employer did make some accomodations during my pregnancy.  They were understanding when I was too sick to work during the first trimester.  I worked from home during part of my pregnancy, although this was not allowed after maternity leave.  Working part-time is out of the question.  However, everyone in our department values a balanced life so working  more than 40 hours is simply not the norm.

If I were politically-minded, I would try to do something so that all women have access to longer (paid) maternity leave.  Instead, like many, I ignore the issue since I was lucky enough to make it work for myself. It is simply easier to be apathetic.

Now I would never advocate apathy. Too much is at stake. Whether you’re aware of political issues or not, a myriad of issues affect your life.   If you must “keep it simple” at all costs, here are my suggestions:

  1. Focus on one main cause that matters most to you and devote your time to this.
  2. Donate money instead of time.
  3. Vote.
  4. Write to the media, your congress person, etc…

Are you politically active? Why or why not?