Are people online too negative?

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The latest episode on Momversation wherein I get really honest. Negativity? Online? I've been burnt many times from people who dislike me just because of what I believe. It sucks, but sadly, whoomp, there it is. I don't like to be cyclical with it; I prefer to ignore it and refuse to give people and their negativity power over me, which can be difficult sometimes. As Karen says in the video: happiness is contagious but I fear that negativity is also.

I'm careful not to take out my bad days on the internet, which is very hard (as I said, which was edited out for timeliness) because this medium, the printed word is how I work out all of the jumbled stuff in my head. If you're a new reader you may not remember, but I've discussed before how, while in therapy as a child, writing was the skill I was encouraged to use and it helped get me through my tough times. I string the jumbledness together in some fashion of coherency here and offline, written places that I don't share with the internet. I take care - I don't obsess over what I send out because, like I have all my life, I write for myself first. I censor less, I'm more honest this way and when discussing this in the realm of social media I feel this keeps it real on my end; I'm truly connecting with people instead of avoiding topics or sugar-coating things, although sugar is tasty. What I write is so ridiculously tied to my emotions that in order to direct my thoughts down a certain path I have to use music to help keep the focus. If I try to make it something that I'm not feeling then my words to me sound very after-school-special.

It's become a bit of a challenge to continue being so open as the years have gone by and the eyeballs increased, but I feel it's forced me to become more creative with regards to how I approach things. There is a way to vent without making people want to go sit in the corners of their bedrooms and listen to Joy Division while scratching out faces in their yearbooks in solidarity. I'm also joined by the lovely Rebecca for this episode.

10 Comments

Awww, I love you Dana! I love to read your stuff, I love to hear your opinion, and I love it that you really care about what you do. I LOVE that you're out there doing what you're doing!

There's some love for you girlfriend :)
~M

See, this is exactly why I started the Finding Joy category on my own blog. I try to post 5 things every night/every other night that made me happy that day.

Because if I don't do something to force myself to find the happy in each day, the depression will win.

it has always helped me to remember that we are only responsible for those actions that are our own dana.....i am not religious freak by any means, but one thing that jesus was quoted as saying in the bible is that "we are made in his image...." which i find both humbling, and powerful.....

our capacity for reason, and hope should therefore be more than enough to rise above, in any situation, negative, or not.......anyway, hope your doing well, and i am a fan...

ken


This one is a hard call for me. Are people really meaner on the Internet?

Or is it that people are generally losing a certain, previously-taken-for-granted sense of decorum when it comes to addressing and discussing others altogether?

Or is it that people are taking comments from strangers more personally than ever before?

Or?

Whatever the answer, I hope that it never discourages you from writing what you feel and think about your life on your website. I know that I'll still read even when I don't agree with you. How dull would it be if I only supported people who were just like me?

Also, I'm wrong sometimes.

I have to say, for someone who could not differ from me more politically, even socially, I adore you. I think you rock. I want to french braid your hair. Kiss.

Oh boy, is this a tough one. I was nodding my head at everything you said.

I am a conservative as well, and some of my favorite blogs are bashing America left and right, and I am having a hard time holding my tongue. It is really getting me down. After a full day of reading blog after blog that dogged Americans, I finally popped off on one of my favorite photo blogs. It just struck a cord, and made me so mad, no matter how mild the post was.

I think people say whatever they feel online....,what it is is a loss of manners and forgetting who your audience is.

Great video!

Sarah, I think you nailed it. I don't know what caused it, but we're losing our sense of decorum. More specifically, I think we're losing our ability to disagree politely...to have a discourse without offending or being offended.

A pack mentality has pushed people to align along philosophies, which is fine, but we too often villify people with opposing opinions. This is especially true in political discourse...just listen to Limbaugh belittle liberals at every turn. Not healthy.

We all benefit from hearing the other side's opinion, because it tends to hone and temper our beliefs. And moderation is a wonderful thing...(except when eating gooey butter cake!)

Seeing that makes me want to hug you. I know how down I feel and I'm not nearly as immersed in the happenings of the world as you are.

I really like what Rebecca said about flowers between the cans. It made me think of my daughter who is so happy this week because every morning she can find at least one flower to pick in the front yard on the way out the door.

Now I'm all teary. Have an excellent day and chin up.

I think it has to do with virtual anonymity. Online you can assume an almost completely unknown identity and either trash talk or speak openly w/o having people know who you really are. It's one of those things that you just learn to ignore over time because it will never go away.

While the anonymity and distance provided by the Internet is certainly a factor, one thing that has happened a lot on forums I frequent is that since there is no way to indicate tone, people often take comments the wrong way. You read everything literally and put your own interpretation on it, which you don't do as much when you're listening to someone's words rather than reading them.

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