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Jason

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Social Media Anger
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:38:28 am »
I had taken a several years break from regularly reading the newsfeed on Facebook. Recently I started skimming through the news feeds and I am saddened by what I have found. There is so much anger on there. Profanity laced tirades against apostles, the church, and its members. Profanity laced tirades against political positions that I support. And condemn/blame/outrage/lie about things I hold dear.

You know what I am not finding? Profanity laced tirades supporting positions I take. Does that mean that those that hold my positions are generally more civil?

What do you do with those people? I do not want to unfriend them. I do not want to engage in those conversations, as it is easy for that type of post to rile my blood. But if they never hear opposing points of view, then the echo chamber effect that occurs so frequently on the internet grows, will continue to further divide groups of people. 
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 10:58:17 am »
What you see on your feed greatly depends in who you follow. A well-curated list makes it better.

Helpful hint:You can choose to unfollow people on facebook without severing the 'friend' connection - it means their stuff just won't auto go in your feed. They aren't 'unfriended', and you can still have full access to check up on them, and they you.

I make sure and actively follow good civil people on multiple sides of issues. Makes it easier to avoid getting into a false 'My side is good and decent, others are profane monsters' perspective - which I see all too often. THAT leads to a toxic and unfair perspective.

I have muted and unfollowed people who hold positions I generally AGREE with because their approaches are toxic.  They aren't in my feed because they don't exist, but because I have actively removed them.

It's all very personal, but I find Social Media to be a very important way to be exposed to perspectives and points of view I had never considered, because my experience had not encountered then. It helps me grow in empathy and understanding, even if I may disagree on the action items they want to take.

So my own personal opinion and approach: remove regular toxicity without removing diversity. And be charitable for isolated outbursts of frustration and anger, even if the approach is offensive to you. The pain is likely real, and understanding the cause better can lead to good things.

But regularly toxic people need to go. Regularly toxic people are those who never actually engage in discussions, they just yell buzzwords and generalizations, and never actually engage. These are both people you generally agree with and DON'T agree with. I've unfollowed several Ward and Stake members because, frankly, I still want to think decently of them in some regard.

I used to follow a lot of people from opposing perspectives that were regularly cruel and unkind. Once I let them go and followed more who were civil and reasonable, my general view of those holding those positions softened. It makes a big difference when your chief exposure to those ideologies isn't through the most radical and intentionally offensive crackpots.

But it only helps if you generally replace them with decent people with whom you just happen to disagree.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 11:13:40 am by Taalcon »
 
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dyany

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 11:30:08 am »
I pretty much agree with Taalcon.  I have a fairly decent sized friend list, mostly LDS, mostly writers, lots of family.  As I have learned more about healthy boundaries, I have come to love the 'unfollow' option.  The unfollowed person doesn't know you did it, they can still see your stuff, still send you messages, still be your friend, but you don't have to see their toxic diatribes.  I have some very good friends that I have actually unfollowed, because while I love them dearly, their constant vitriolic political posts were irritating and often offensive--not as much because of their position, but because they were very hateful and their arguments were generally unsound.  I found that a) that approach made me instantly defensive, which never helps foster real discussion, b) when I see people I normally respect making REALLY BAD arguments (for or against my position, doesn't matter), I lose respect for them, and c) when people make bad arguments, I get this false notion that they just don't see the error of their bad logic/incomplete information, and simply being informed will set things right.  Hoo boy this is wrong.  At least 99% of the time, anyway. 

We as a people don't know how to have civil discussions with empathy and open minds with people with whom we disagree (which, honestly, is the only group with whom civil discussions are productive, because listening to people who believe everything the same as we do doesn't teach us anything).  Being taught to simply avoid the subjects of politics and religion has created a people unable to talk decently about politics or religion, which we desperately need to talk about. 

All this being said, I currently have nearly 700 friends on Facebook and have been using that platform for nearly 10 years (quite heavily for about 4).  In that time, I have unfollowed maybe half a dozen people, and unfriended only about 2-3 (unfriending is extreme, and I reserve for the people who feel that making vicious posts on their own wall isn't enough, but that they must make vicious comments on my posts as well, even if it's only tangentially related to what they want to rant about).  While the feminist vibe sometimes gets kind of strong sometimes, I find that I rarely see much hate on my feed because of how I've curated it.  Occasionally, some of my fringier friends will have a post that has comment threads that get angry (because I don't control their friend lists, of course), but I have learned which posts to read comments on and which to just read the post and move on.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 11:59:24 am »
Dyany, what you said reminds me so much of this TED Talk. I recommend it to everyone. I've quoted a key part of it in I don't know how many Sunday School lessons and talks, and it never fails to be an eye-opener.

It's called "On Being Wrong". And boy does it apply to how we think about what we see and how we engage with online discussions. It humbled me.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong?language=en
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:01:01 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Iggy

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 01:18:47 pm »
@Jason, lately I have seen a lot of negative & hateful re-posts from my church friends. Shocks me, because the content is hateful. So, what I have been doing is Hiding the person who they posted from not my friend. When you click on Hide, then it gives you the option to Hide all posts from: your friend, or down a few options and Wallah - the person who your friend got the post from.

Also I have one church friend who come across as incredibly unintelligent when he does make a comment when he re-posts. Hubby and I follow him, and even my DH who is so much more generous with people than I am, can't make heads or tails what this guy is saying. I have actually sent him a pm, quoting what he said and then asking him to explain what he is trying to say. He tosses it back with: Exactly what I said. So I pm his wife and ask if she can explain. She comes back with: I wish I knew - it really is gibberish isn't it. I reply with: I see it as the run-around-the-bush Song and Dance.

At church I asked him are your a right-wing, left-wing or trying to try out for the rudder? His wife understood me, he didn't.

I have unfriended two people. I met these two on another lds based forum many, many years ago. Then about 4 - 6 years ago they left the church and became anti-lds. No matter what I said, or re-posted they would post something vile against the church. So, rather than get in a pissing contest with them, or acknowledging them with any comment at all, I Unfriended them. It took them 2 to 3 years to figure out that they were no longer my friends, and to request it again from me. Nope. Not. Never again.

Oh, forgot about one friend who actually had lived next door to me. He claimed he was Big C Catholic. For years [starting around 2000 and ending in 2004] I would have him over when I had the Elders over for dinner. He would engage them in theological debate. For the most part the missionaries wouldn't take the bait but instead would offer to set up a meeting with our Branch President or their Missionary President, or????. He never accepted. Yes, I was slow on the uptake. It wasn't until I had also invited two married couples from the branch along with the Elders and my neighbor. One of the couples talked to me after everyone else had left and *Enlightened* me. Fast forward to 2017 - he has moved to North Dakota and I am back in Oregon, we connect on FB. When ever I post about anything regarding my faith, spirituality, thankfulness for the gospel - he makes a rather degrading to the church quip. I come back with how sorry I am that he feels that way and I see it as a cry for healing balm his own faith is not providing for him.

He bantered with some rather nasty comments, and for some reasons friends of his are also commenting. Well, it is MY post, so I delete them. He gets really pissed and tells me off for deleting his friends comments. So I post - MY original post. THEY are NOT my friends, hence I delete.

He blasted me again - so I deleted the entire post. He pm's me with a very long and fairly disjointed diatribe over how UNchristian I was being, how I was NOT following any of the 13 Article's of Faith, blah, blah, blah. THAT is when I unfriended him. Took him about 6 months to figure that out. I have also ignored his friend requests.

Don't know what the ND air/snow/whatever has done to his brain, but seriously folks - why would I expose myself to his anti-lds diatribes???

 
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Curelom

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 04:53:52 pm »
The negativity so often seen at Facebook, Twitter, etc. is certainly one reason Pres. Nelson asked the sisters to accept the challenge of a 10-day social media fast. I donít think he necessarily meant we should go silent, unplug the computer, & ignore e-mail or websites that we normally consult for news, research, etc. Few people in the modern world could successfully do that. And if that IS what he meant, all of us here at Nauvoo right this minute are breaking that fast!

I think he meant for us to evaluate whether our on-line activities waste too much time, make us angry, resentful, unhappy, or envious, isolate us from real contact with real people, & reduce people we don't see in person to something less than people. From the sorry state of public conversation today, much of it generated by political contentiousness, it's obvious that many people have already dehumanized whole segments of the population in that way.

Ö  I am saddened by what I have found. There is so much anger on there. Profanity laced tirades against apostles, the church, and its members. Profanity laced tirades against political positions that I support. And condemn/blame/outrage/lie about things I hold dear.

You know what I am not finding? Profanity laced tirades supporting positions I take. Does that mean that those that hold my positions are generally more civil?

I think it means that we find what we find wherever we find it, & we see it through a filter. There are obnoxious, angry, slanderous, vicious tirades from ALL political persuasions, from extremes on both left AND right, from the White House on down. It isn't common folks on social media who call their fellow Americans deplorables, lyin', crazy, losers, dummies, ugly, fat pigs, etc. or who use TV or public events to paint entire groups of people in negative ways.

The only segment of the political spectrum that seems to be somewhat civil is the middle, the reasonable people who wish the extremes would just STHU & listen for a change. And especially listen to those who are fed up with the hostility. Maybe they aren't so vocal because they are traumatized by what the extremes on both ends are saying or doing!

We humans are inclined to see (perhaps even look for & expect) the worst from those who disagree with us or donít value things we hold dear. And we are more prone to minimize, excuse, ignore, or overlook the worst from those who are more in agreement with us. This might be either unwittingly, deliberately, or a combination of both because of how high our filter is set, what we've already decided we want to see, & what we truly, deep in our heart of hearts known only to God & maybe not even ourselves, think & believe. How else to explain why a president of the United States could look at a KKK/neo-Nazi rally & the first thing he could think to say was "There are some very fine people among them."
 
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Roper

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 07:50:33 pm »
My FB pool is limited.  I'm only connected to extended family. With the exception of two cousins, all of my connections are ultra conservative.  Several of them post things praising Donald Trump on a daily basis. For some, if you don't support Donald Trump, then you must not be a True Christian. I learned very quickly to never post anything that could somehow be construed as outside of the party line, or things would get ugly and create bad blood between myself and the people I love.  So I keep my opinions to myself on Facebook.  It's a weird dynamic:  They can rant and rail all day long without any thought of the consequences, but if I respond, no matter how respectfully, calmly, and civilly, I will likely be unfriended.  Probably even shunned at family reunions.  "What's he doing here?  I heard he once voted for a Democrat. He's probably one of them libtards." I mostly post pictures about my family--pretty non-threatening stuff.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 07:56:01 pm by Roper »
 
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JLM

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 08:24:55 pm »
Not on FB.  Keep in touch with fam be means of group texts.
 
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Nottoc

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 09:22:27 pm »
Most perhaps all the people in my feed that fit your description of hostile angry people are there simply because they were in my graduating class. Generally, I simply ignore the posts. I generally, don't see a path where I can post a positive rejoinder, they are usually lost causes. However, if there's an obvious non-degrading rejoinder I jump into the fray. I've even got one of the hostile to admit they used profanity because they are a simple human who makes mistakes. That was a good moment.
 
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LMAshton

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 03:35:56 am »
I agree with being friends with people who have differing opinions to me, but only up to a point.

I don't have the energy to deal with people who are openly bigoted or misogynistic. I have relatives and friends who will say - repeatedly - openly bigoted, misogynistic, and hateful things. I don't allow them in my feed at all, and, for that matter, the worst offenders I don't allow in my life in any way. I can't change their mind. They're not interested in changing. And I just don't have the energy to deal with them. I don't need to expose myself to that sort of thing. So those people go.

My emotional, psychological, and spiritual health is important, and must take precedence over allowing these evil influences into my life.
Nauvoo Member #701 aka quidscribis, joined April 2003
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 07:35:46 am »
Those would definitely fit my definition of regularly toxic!
 
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Iggy

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 01:36:37 pm »
There are two members of my family that I still keep as friends, but I hide them for 30 days at a time. I can go and see what they post, but I think that they can't post on my page. This is so I can keep tabs on them without giving them my phone number(if I call them), or my address (other than the ambiguous description of somewhere in Oregon) if I should write to them. Pesky postal cancellation marks on the stamps are a sure give-away. I have lost the address of my little sister anyway. I had been writing to her RS Pres, then Lil Sis moved out of the ward boundaries and the RS Pres didn't know where she moved to. Little Sis hasn't updated her FB page with her current city.

Both are toxic. So toxic in fact that even their children have divorced themselves from them - - they are not a married couple either. One is my little sister the other my sil. SIL does have my phone number ~ so she could call me if she so chooses. I am fine with that.

But I use FB to keep in touch with my mother's extended family. I rather recently found them, and through FB they have been sharing family stories, pictures, and updating all of us with births, marriages, deaths. When I see pictures of Mom's 1st cousins I see Mom and Grandma in them. All that I have met have been good people too. I totally understand now why Mom wrote to all of them after she and Dad moved to Seattle. Oh, there are 10 of the 1st cousins (less 3 who have since passed away), then she wrote to the children (really don't want to open my genealogy program so that I can count all of them) ~ anyway, it was a blessing that I found them and they opened their arms to me.

Some day before I "kick the bucket", I want to drive back to South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and visit ~ *face to face* with them all, and not at a humongous family reunion.



 
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 02:51:54 pm »
A long ago decision when Facebook was born has kept my experience with FB generally positive and of benfit to me.  Once in a while I friend someone that I let in to my closely guarded and vetted group, only to find they are a wolf in LDS clothing.  They get unfollowed.  I still care about them, they are on the periphery but their day to day walk with God is on such a different path that it sucks the joy out of communicating with them. 
Some of my nephews are on that list,  I cannot handle watching theor bad decisions.
But I love them.  I minister to them in very gentle ways.
I do not understand having a very public social media account, nor having thousands of friends.  I actually know in RL 95 % of my little tribe.  Maybe I am an outlier but I chose to limit, vet and  not friend every person who asks. And that includes the sudden influx of members of my 50th high school reunion...they have not thought of me in 50 years,  so we are really strangers!  It is my party to whom I can invite people in.
 
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pnr

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2018, 01:45:55 pm »
Sometimes I report my facebook friends for false information, when the outrageous things they say twist their words.   With facebooks new algorithms, if they confirm they are false, their posts get buried, and they are deemed inaccurate, so they are also not included in feeds.   Most of the toxic stuff isn't quite false facts, but when it is, I want to be part of wiping it off facebook.
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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Jen

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Re: Social Media Anger
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2018, 03:54:02 pm »
I'm quite enjoying the social media fast and I think I'll stretch it out for awhile. (Apropos of nothing, it's coinciding with some work/family drama.... family business is fun... and will help me avoid the commentary and questions that will inevitably be coming the next few weeks. Another win.)
 
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