Do We Really Have It Right?

The Off-Topic forum for anything non-LDS related, such as sports or politics. Rated G through PG-13.
Post Reply
User avatar
ceeboo
Regional Representative
Posts: 679
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:22 pm

Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by ceeboo »

If so, how often to we have it right? Sometimes? Most of the time? Rarely?


Hey all

Just like many of you, I have been participating on these boards for many years. During this lengthy span of time, I have made certain judgements about some board members and have come to various conclusions regarding other board members.

Given the significant limitations that we all face (merely typing letters on a discussion board as the sole method of communication) I wonder how many instances there have been, over the course of many years, that I was and/or now am completely wrong about my judgement and/or conclusions about a board member. Surely I have been wrong - the question in my mind is just how often have I been wrong.

Obviously this isn't possible, but if we were able to have all these discussions in person, I can't help but believe that it is highly likely that my judgements and conclusions would be very different - At least is some instances. In addition, when we read a post from someone, we are only seeing the post (obviously) - But what would change, if anything, if we were able to see more than just a post - What If, in addition to a post, we had the benefit of body language - or tone - or emphasis of the spoken word. What if we could see how someone interacted with their neighbors, or how someone treated their spouse, or how someone spent their weekends. What if we had the benefit of knowing more about the person typing - Would it be relevant to know that their parent just passed away - or that they just lost their job - or that they just got married - or that they just went through a horrific divorce - or that they just reunited with a loved one - or that they just left a rehab facility, or that they are battling some disease or sickness. Would any of this be important to know and/or make a difference.

Just something I have been thinking about recently.

The floor is yours, if you would like it.
Last edited by ceeboo on Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Some Schmo
God
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:21 am

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Some Schmo »

It's probably unfair, yet unavoidable to judge people based on what they write when you have no other information. When I type I post, I try to remember to only react to the text I read, and not make too many assumptions about the poster. That is hard to do.

What's not hard to do is to give someone the benefit of the doubt when they first appear. It gets harder as you get to know how a person posts.

One thing I have decided as a result of the moderator discussions that have taken place recently is not to post reactions to what I deem "stupid posts." I don't see an upside. I used to do it to vent frustration, but I suppose I've decided not to vent my frustrations publicly any more. If someone posts more dumb posts than thoughtful ones for a long enough period of time, I am just going to add them to my "Foes" list and ignore them.

And a lot of all this has to do with what you were just talking about, ceeboo. I don't know everything about everyone here, and the chances that my perception of another poster is accurate are extremely low. I know this because I've experimented on my own posts. I've gone back and read things I wrote months or years ago, and thought to myself, "Who's that guy?"

I suspect most of the people who post here would seem like regular, level-headed people if I met them personally. Why assume otherwise?

Besides, I don't want to argue with people who don't agree with me on basic facts. Arguments are fruitless enough without disagreeing on the underlying reality of what's being discussed.

So to answer your thread question, no, I don't think any of us really have it right.
Religion is for people whose existential fear is greater than their common sense.
User avatar
ceeboo
Regional Representative
Posts: 679
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:22 pm

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by ceeboo »

Hey Schmo

Thanks for the thoughtful post.
Some Schmo wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:48 pm
So to answer your thread question, no, I don't think any of us really have it right.
Yeah - I don't think so either.
User avatar
ceeboo
Regional Representative
Posts: 679
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:22 pm

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by ceeboo »

Some Schmo wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:48 pm
What's not hard to do is to give someone the benefit of the doubt when they first appear. It gets harder as you get to know how a person posts.
Full transparency: When I first read this part of your post, I thought it was reasonable and sounded about right - But for some reason, I had it stuck in my head and chewed on it for a while. Now, I think it's much more than reasonable - I think it's absolutely true and really profound.

Anyway, just wanted you to know.
User avatar
Xenophon
Elder
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:29 pm

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Xenophon »

I suppose I see it in two competing ways.

1) We are all peering through a narrow window when looking into each other's lives. We don't know any of the hardships, victories, challenges, cultural impacts, or any number of other thousand things that can alter who we are and how we post here. Our online personas are such a small piece of ourselves that we allow to be viewed here that making a totally solid judgement about someone is nearly impossible. You're also very correct that we are missing a lot of the nuance of in-person communication that can often cause misses. I'm not a particularly fine writer but I do hope that my posts here reflect that I think we all have many things to contribute and that open and meaningful discussion is possible among anyone. I tend to air on the side of kindness, which is nice and all but it actually doesn't make for a very lively board and isn't the only way to exist... which leads me to the other side.

2) At the end of the day this is the only window we have in which to interact (for the most part). Apart from granting one another a bit of benefit of the doubt and some common courtesy does it really make sense to respond to anything other than the very specific words that appear on our screens. At the end of the day we choose how we represent ourselves here and all we can expect is that people respond in the way that they choose. I don't fault people for using this, or other online arenas, as a place for venting and release or for not wanting to beat around the bush to make their points. Sometimes that can be ugly but it can often be cathartic for people and we've had more than a few very excellent discussions here that probably wouldn't be classified as fine or respectful.

ETA: As to the thread title: absolutely not but you didn't have a hope of it in the first place so you probably shouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
He/Him

“If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation.”
― Xenophon
User avatar
Some Schmo
God
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:21 am

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Some Schmo »

ceeboo wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:49 pm
Full transparency: When I first read this part of your post, I thought it was reasonable and sounded about right - But for some reason, I had it stuck in my head and chewed on it for a while. Now, I think it's much more than reasonable - I think it's absolutely true and really profound.

Anyway, just wanted you to know.
Thanks, man.

I go through cycles with the board (as I imagine a lot of us do - I once referred to this as our "posting rhythms"). When I get really engaged and end up becoming more emotionally involved than I think is healthful for myself, I step away for a while. When I come back, one of the things I do is take the temperature of everyone else, understanding that others can go through similar cycles. I try to do a "perception reset" on each poster. If I sense someone is in a different place than I previously perceived, it's easier for me to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, my success there varies, but I suppose what I'm saying is that if I'm going to re-enter the fray, I feel it's in my best interests to be as forgiving and forgetful as possible.
Religion is for people whose existential fear is greater than their common sense.
User avatar
Some Schmo
God
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:21 am

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Some Schmo »

Xenophon wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:08 pm
I suppose I see it in two competing ways.

1) We are all peering through a narrow window when looking into each other's lives. We don't know any of the hardships, victories, challenges, cultural impacts, or any number of other thousand things that can alter who we are and how we post here. Our online personas are such a small piece of ourselves that we allow to be viewed here that making a totally solid judgement about someone is nearly impossible. You're also very correct that we are missing a lot of the nuance of in-person communication that can often cause misses. I'm not a particularly fine writer but I do hope that my posts here reflect that I think we all have many things to contribute and that open and meaningful discussion is possible among anyone. I tend to air on the side of kindness, which is nice and all but it actually doesn't make for a very lively board and isn't the only way to exist... which leads me to the other side.

2) At the end of the day this is the only window we have in which to interact (for the most part). Apart from granting one another a bit of benefit of the doubt and some common courtesy does it really make sense to respond to anything other than the very specific words that appear on our screens. At the end of the day we choose how we represent ourselves here and all we can expect is that people respond in the way that they choose. I don't fault people for using this, or other online arenas, as a place for venting and release or for not wanting to beat around the bush to make their points. Sometimes that can be ugly but it can often be cathartic for people and we've had more than a few very excellent discussions here that probably wouldn't be classified as fine or respectful.

ETA: As to the thread title: absolutely not but you didn't have a hope of it in the first place so you probably shouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
This was great. I see it both ways as well.

Lately I've been thinking that I, personally, want to publish less negativity, primarily because less negativity is more. Venting is fine and important, but I doubt many people want to listen to others while they are primal screaming.
Religion is for people whose existential fear is greater than their common sense.
drumdude
God
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:29 am

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by drumdude »

I enjoy being surprised when someone I previously thought had a fixed position on an issue, suddenly expresses the opposite position. Or at least entertains it and doesn't dismiss it right away.

If atlanticmike suddenly gave praise to Biden for something I would be blown away :lol:
User avatar
Xenophon
Elder
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:29 pm

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Xenophon »

I know that most here already understand this but it is worth putting it in writing again.

All the comments about missing context, history, and background for the online people you are talking to is equally true for the people you know in real life. Apart from those you are truly closest to, and maybe not even then, it is impossible to know what all is going on behind the actions of an individual. Unfortunately given the way our brains work you likely don't even understand your own actions entirely.

I say that only to remind us all that a little kindness, grace, and leniency goes a long way... especially for yourself.
He/Him

“If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation.”
― Xenophon
User avatar
Doctor Steuss
Teacher
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:48 pm

Re: Do We Really Have It Right?

Post by Doctor Steuss »

Xenophon wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:49 pm
All the comments about missing context, history, and background for the online people you are talking to is equally true for the people you know in real life. Apart from those you are truly closest to, and maybe not even then, it is impossible to know what all is going on behind the actions of an individual. Unfortunately given the way our brains work you like don't even understand your own actions entirely.
To compound the issue, I think we all tend to have different faces to meet the faces that we meet.

I can't speak for others, but if I am with close friend #1, I am not entirely the same person I am with close friend #2. When together with both of them, I am not a complete manifestation of both me #1 and me #2 combined. There are small differences in who I am (or rather, who I present) when I am with my oldest sibling vs. my youngest sibling. I have a different face for different coworkers.

Veering off course a bit, but that might be one of the rascally things about self-discovery. Sometimes, our sense of who we are is masked by what we hope others are seeing. Sometimes, I think we don't even peek behind our own mask.

Or maybe I'm just coming off my coffee high.
Post Reply